Sep 172010

Our Jane Can Bite!

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Source:  Review Copy from Publisher

While attending the Basingstoke Assembly with her dear sister Cassandra and good friend Catherine Bigg, Jane Austen encounters a fascinating and mysterious group of men and women from London. These people are impeccably dressed and exceedingly attractive, yet do not possess a reflection. Jane discerns that these guests are members of The Damned. One of these mysterious strangers, Mr. Smith a.k.a William, dances with Jane and after engaging in an energetic debate with her about vampires and immortality decides to turn her into a vampire. Now Jane is hungry for blood, able to hear the thoughts of others, and in possession of superior strength and beauty. What will our beloved authoress do?

Upon discovering that his daughter is a vampire, Mr. Austen decides to travel to Bath and have Jane take the waters in hopes of it curing her from this affliction. Before Jane has a chance to sample the waters, the French armies of Napoleon invade Bath! Jane is faced with multiple dilemmas as her family is now forced to remain in Bath against their will, board French officers, and possibly face the infamous guillotine. Because of Jane’s weakened state and lack of nourishment (blood), she is forced to seek out her own kind, and becomes ensconced in an establishment of vampires.

Even though Jane Austen is a well-mannered clergyman’s daughter, she has much to learn about vampire etiquette and protocol. From her Bearleader (vampire mentor) Jane learns how to properly drink someone’s blood, how to hide in shadows, and how to attack. As Jane’s band of vampire friends plot to overthrow France’s hold on Bath, she discovers that vampires aren’t just immoral, lewd self-seeking reprobates. Especially the one vampire who has captured her heart! Jane finds that she is torn between two worlds. The more time she spends with The Damned the harder it becomes to return to her family. In addition, Jane has finally found the love and companionship she has been seeking for her whole life. Should she follow her heart and remain one of The Damned? What would become of her writing? What about her family?

Reading Jane and the Damned was a thrilling and adventurous experience! From ambushing and spying on French armies to getting arrested and facing the guillotine, our not-so-dainty-and-delicate-Jane does it all! Ms. Mullany did an adept job of combing true events and people from Jane Austen’s life with French armies and vampires. While I admired Ms. Mullany’s portrayal of our beloved Jane, at times I felt she seemed a little unlike the famous authoress I’ve read about. Perhaps this is because she didn’t do a lot of writing in this novel or maybe it is because she is a vampire…

Overall, I found much to enjoy in this vampiric tale about Jane Austen. I could easily see her being concerned with being a moral and benevolent vampire, and having no qualms about fighting the French.  In addition, I loved the vampire elements of this novel and that there was a history and explanation behind everything. Moreover, Luke Venning, Jane’s Bearleader was a handsome and compassionate Mr. Knightley type of character whom I absolutely adored! While this may not be every Austenite’s cup of tea, I do feel that many will find Ms. Mullany’s intriguing blend of vampires, history, and Jane Austen a captivating and exhilarating good read!
This is my tenth completed item for the “Everything Austen Challenge II” hosted by Stephanie’s Written Word.
COMING SOON: Interview with Author Janet Mullany October 18th!!!
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  6 Responses to “Jane and the Damned – Janet Mullany”


    I skimmed your review because I’m reading this for a TLC tour later in the next month…glad to see the 4/5 rating and I look forward to cracking the spine!


    Is this anything like “Jane Bites Back”? I personally liked it, was rather Austenesque I thought.


    I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this one, Staci!

    @Nic: This one is similar to Jane Bites Back in that Jane is a vampire in both. This one takes place in 1797 though, whereas JBB was modern day. I personally liked this one more.


    I have to give them kudos for a really cool looking cover! I’m just finishing Emma and the Vampires right now, so I’m not 100% sure I’m ready for another mash up yet. Thanks for the review though. I’ll be putting it on my list for down the road!


    Hi Becky! I think the cover is awesome! I love the tag line “It’s more than her wit that’s biting.” I’m interested to hearing your thoughts abour Emma and the Vampires, I read it about a month ago. I’ll look for your review!


    Thanks so much for the great review!

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