Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Review of Jane Bites Back

Jane Bites Back  By Michael Thomas Ford

Jane Fairfax is the owner of a bookstore in Upstate New York. She is a single woman of forty years who has settled into a nice, comfortable, uneventful life. The only thing that distinguishes this Jane from any other middle-aged woman is that she is really the 19th Century author, Jane Austen, and she is a vampire.

Other than feeding on unsuspecting mortals, for the past century or so, life for Jane has been pretty dull. But that changes when another 19th Century literary figure comes back into her life. Brian George, who was the one who had turned Jane into a vampire, is determined to have her all to himself once again. He couldn’t have arrived at a worse time because Jane has just hit the big time with a New York Times bestseller, Constance. Because she will not oblige him, he wreaks havoc with her professional and personal life. While on a book tour, Jane meets another female 19th Century author (who we know as Violet) who isn’t all that fond of Jane to the point that she wants to utterly destroy her as a writer.

That is the setup for Jane Bites Back. The first half of the book is amusing, but when Brian George shows up, the humor drops way off because he is a sinister presence in Jane’s life. And, frankly, he takes over the story because he is much more interesting than Jane. Actually, everyone in the novel is more interesting than Jane, including her wisecracking bookstore manager, who gets most of the best lines.

The major problem I had with this book is its inconsistency. Brian George is evil through three-quarters of the story, and then for a very lame reason, he starts helping Jane. All through the novel, Jane is unable to be with Walter, her anemic love interest, and although nothing changes on that front, she decides that she can be with Walter. I would have liked this book more if Jane Austen had been a witty, well-developed character, like the real author, but she’s not. 3/5 Stars


  1. I'm with you. I thought the Jane in this book was definitely not as witty as the real Jane.

  2. This book held so much promise, but it fell flat pretty quickly. The best thing about it was Brian George's character. I think there are more books to come.

  3. I must admit Mary, I am not the slightest bit tempted to read this book but I love your comments. The world of spin off Jane novels can be of a high quality I know, but when it gets into the realm of vampires, and other monsters of the night, just the mere thought leaves me cold. I suppose it is the only genre that provides a platform for reincarnation.

    However,if people are so desperate to reincarnate Jane they should really read her letters and her family's letters as well as the novels. The novels and the letters , that is as close as anybody is going to get to the real Jane.

    Of course, in addition to the novels and the letters, coming over here and following in her footsteps in the places she knew and visited adds another layer of reallity.

    All the best,

    PS I shall now order one of your books from AMAZON. I am intrigued.