Friday, September 03, 2010

Jane Slayre

Jane Slayre. Charlotte Bronte and Sherri Browning Erwin. 2010. Simon & Schuster. 396 pages.

There was no possibility of continuing my walk that night. We had been wandering, indeed, in the leafless shrubbery an hour after dark, but since Mrs. Reed had picked up a scent (Mrs. Reed, when there was no company, hunted early), I was sent home so the others could stalk their prey. I was glad of it. I never liked long walks, especially on chilly evenings. Dreadful to me was the coming home in the raw midnight, with nipped fingers and toes, and a heart saddened by the death of the poor thing they'd dined on, raw, right in the middle of the wood. Not that I frequently watched as they took their meal. I avoided accompanying them on the hunt as often as I could.

Jane Slayre has every reason to dislike her home with the Reeds. For one, they're vampyres. And while Mrs. Reed, Georgiana, and Eliza don't thirst for her blood--too common--'Master' John Reed does. It is his attack which prompts her trip to the red room. She's not sent there to recuperate, to heal. No, she's sent there as punishment for tempting John to bite her and drink her blood. While there she encounters her uncle's ghost who tells her she must fulfill her family's legacy--to slay the monsters of the world. That is how her parents were killed--in the line of duty. Jane does "escape" Gateshead Hall when she is enrolled in Lowood. But Lowood has dangers of its own. There is a reason--a good reason--the children aren't allowed meat. (She becomes suspicious when some of the children don't eat anything! She also notices that they're a bit too obedient!) But Lowood does introduced her to two of the people she'll come to love best. Her classmate Helen. Her teacher Miss Temple. (Miss Temple definitely has great influence on the young Jane Slayre. For it is from this beloved teacher that she receives her first training.) Jane remains six years as a student at Lowood--after the first year, things are less monstrous and more routine--and two years as a teacher. But then Jane Slayre seeks employment as a governess. She meets Mrs. Fairfax, Adele, Grace Poole, and, of course, Mr. Edward Rochester. And her life will never be the same.

Jane Slayre is a paranormal retelling of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre. I don't always love like paranormal fiction. Vampires, zombies, and werewolves don't typically thrill me. But. I really enjoyed Jane Slayre. I thought it was clever. I thought it worked well. It's not that I think the original needed improving. But the changes seem more natural than I ever would have thought possible. I liked Sherri Browning Erwin's Jane. She was strong and fearless. (She saw her slaying as a gift.) Yet she was tender too. She fell in love with a man with a past. And she had a few tough decisions to make. I definitely recommend this one!

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Kailana said...

This trend is getting a bit overdone... I haven't really read any of them, but still, they are everywhere!

Blodeuedd said...

Nice blog you got here :)

And I do like these mashups so this one I'd like to read

Birdie said...

Oooooh, I so want to get hold of this one! I skipped the Austen mashups because I'm not very keen on Austen, but I LOVE the Brontes!