Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Set of Fangs Doesn't Have to Hurt

If you're a frequent reader, you no doubt have noticed that there is a proliferation of Austenalia out there in bookland.   You are of course not the only one who's noticed - Michael Thomas Ford, for one, came up with the bright idea of an Austen-vampire mashup... obvious, in a way, given that other ubiquitous (okay, far more ubiquitous :)) creature du jour.  Actually, sad as it is, he is not the only one to come up with this - I say sad, because while Ford's novel is completely tongue-in-cheek, and quite funnily so, Mr Darcy, Vampyre and Vampire Darcy's Desire (I think those are the two titles I know) capitalize on the dual trends with an absolute straight face.  Because Darcy is just so much better with fangs.  Anyway, in this case the pairing was made only for for the sake of humor.

Jane Goes Batty (currently under review) is actually the second book in the series.  I read the first last year, I think off a recommendation on Austenblog, because I wasn't reading Austenprose at the time (and Austenblog still had regular posts :( ).  I was slightly hesitant (for obvious reasons, and also because, as always male authors are a warning sign) but I thoroughly enjoyed Jane Bites Back.  It could have gone either way, since a lot of the potential in the situation of Jane as a vampire is that Jane is alive today.  And Jane being alive today means Jane can see what we've done with her books... everything we've done.  So, very realistically, Jane is not altogether enthusiastic about her fandom, at least elements of it.  But there's a fine line to tread here, since what is Michael Thomas Ford, but another lowly plebian trying to ride the Austen popularity wave? In any case, he does manage to tread the line pretty well.  I'm not saying his Jane isn't a little too vulnerable at times and a little too snarky at others, but she's believable.  I think if Jane Austen was a vampire who couldn't reveal her true identity she might well struggle with the lack of appreciation shown her and the sometimes misplaced homage to her works.  I don't think she would suffer from writer's block or have trouble getting her novels published, but okay, it's permissible.

Most importantly, you don't have to take anything these books say seriously, because they don't take anything seriously at all.  The writing is... well if not juvenile, simplistic enough to be understood by the masses so even the most dramatic moments have a kind of drab ordinariness about them.  And right when things start gettings tense, everything just kind of resolves itself without too much effort.  It's great, at least for the book's purposes.  No matter what kind of ridiculous antics everyone is getting up, you can take it because it's all in good fun.  And I think there's definitely room for fun here - I mean yes, I read Twilight and yes, I read Mr. Darcy's Diary et al. - but I know they're kind of silly :)  And Michael Thomas Ford does a good job with pointing that out using just the right kind of gentle jibing.

Besides all this, it's fun to read about Lord Byron, and Charlotte Bronte, and Jane Austen.... like my version of a tall tale :) And the story itself ain't bad either - quite a decent romance going on, if you were wondering (not a real romance of course, the author is a man).  But in any case..
Verdict: 3.5/5

And I totally forgot...
100 POSTS!!!! Yay!! :)

No comments:

Post a Comment