Jane Slayre Author:Sherri Browning Erwin, Charlotte Bronte A clever and funny literary mash-up that rewrites Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre so that Jane is a vampire slayer and Rochester's wife is a werewolf.
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Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë has to be one of my all time favorites classic books. So, I was excited to learn that someone took that book and made a paranormal out of it. Sherri Browning Erwin has made what I believe as a successful adaptation of the Jane Eyre. I enjoyed this book a lot.
I can also see why some people may not like it. The purists who hate to have a classic messed with might not have the same fun that I had with this book. The main story of Jane was altered a bit and not just by the paranormal parts. Jane had a more amiable time with the humans in her life than in the original book. Her fortitude seemed to come more from the frightening circumstances in her life before she was old enough to handle such things. Even Mr. Rochester was more likable from his introduction into Janes life. It still was not a happy childhood, and Rochester is still forever the antagonist, but the main turning points in her life still held. It is as though a fan just tweaked parts of her life we would have all liked for our heroine. That I understand completely. :)
I do recommend this book for those who want to have a bit of fun with their classic version of Jane. Finding a new way to cheer for her. For those that are purists of classic literature, I suggest you pass this one and read the original Jane Eyre. I gave this book 4 stars and had fun reading it.
'Jane Slayre' is a mash up of what could be a female Van Helsing in training and Charlotte Brontes classic Jane Eyre.
Were introduced to Jane, much as we are in the original novel, as a young girl. However, this poor Jane lives with the Reeds who are not human, not human at all.
Cruelties perpetrated on Jane in the original work are explained away by monsters with blood sucking tendencies in this new version and it seems to work pretty well. Erwins writing style matches well with Brontes and does a wonderful job making a seamless transition to what should honestly be a ridiculous notion. Bronte and Vampires, PAH!
Without giving too much of the plot away, Jane grows up in a vampire household for a short time. Gateshead Hall sheltered a family of vampyres, an undead maid, some two dozen mortal servants who were paid well for their silence and their service and me. Where did I fit in? I was like nobody there.
Shortly thereafter, she is sent away to live amongst zombies. All the while wondering at her true destiny as a slayer of evil things. She ultimately finds her way to the house of Rochester and falls for the broodingly handsome Mr. Rochester. A man who happens to be hiding a lunatic werewolf wife in his attic. (The good ones are all taken!)
Mr. Rochester isnt a likable character in Jane Eyre and in Sherri Borwning Erwins rendition of the literary classic he doesnt improve much. At least, with the addition of vampires, werewolves, zombies and possible demons, you would think his character would be somewhat altered or at least improved upon. Alas, he isnt and in my opinion, not even in comparison to the degenerates aforementioned does he improve during the reading.
Don't misunderstand. This is not the fault of Erwin. Many a critic have thought Rochester a disliked character by women with type A personalities throughout time. Erwin's treatment of him in the book becomes all the more fascinating. Without giving too much away, his selfishness and internal brooding takes on a more physical aspect near the end.
In the original novel, Janes ability to gain independence after their failed attempt at marriage was gratifying. It made a very feminist portion of me cringe when she went back to him. In this new Slayre version, her independence and total ass kicking ability makes the return to her true love all the more bitter in my eyes. Count me among those who dont find Mr. Rochester beautifully faulted.
Alas we cant choose who others love, and Jane loves him well. My favorite quote from the novel is from Jane. Gentle reader, may you never feel what I have felt! May your eyes never shed such stormy, scalding, heart-wrung tears as poured from mine. May you never have to be the instrument of evil to what you wholly love. This, of course, is an amended quote from the original.
There were gruesome action scenes that were completely fun and weird. Bronte is in my heart, just as much as Austen is and I was able to read this book with enjoyment and ease. However, if you know you won't be able to stand having one of your favorite novels altered, I recommend putting this one down.
Those of you up for a gothic adventure, pick up this tale!
I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. WARNING! Definitely NOT for purists!
To read my interview with the author, go to my column: http://www.examiner.com/x-45045-Jane-Austen-Sequel-Examiner and click on Sherri Browning Erwin on the right hand side.