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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

'Jane Jameson' SERIES by Molly HARPER


FROM THE BLURB:

After being laid off from her job as Half Moon Hollow's children's librarian, Jane drowns her sorrows in Electric Lemonade and Mudslides using her severance package (a $25 Shenanigans gift certificate). Atthe bar she's kept company by a magnetically attractive (if a bit pale) stranger, Gabriel Nightingale - who follows her out and takes matters into his own hands when Jane's car breaks down and she's mistaken for a deer by a drunk with a rifle as she's headed home in the dark, on foot. If Gabriel doesn't turn Jane, she'll be, as the saying goes, dying young and leaving a pretty corpse. Being undead, though, is just the beginning of Jane's problems. She's still unemployed, has "family issues," a best friend who finds love with a werewolf (werewolves and vampires don't mix well); she's also being framed for murder, stalked by a former crush, and romanced by her moody sire. What's an undead girl to do?

If Bridget Jones were to become a vampire, this would be her new series.

Molly Harper’s debut is a funny, fast-paced twist on the paranormal romance. On the back cover bestselling author Susan Anderson is quoted as saying Harper’s lead character, Jane Jameson is the new Sookie Stackhouse. Well, not quite. Charlaine Harris’s ‘Southern Vampire: Sookie Stackhouse’ series is a lot darker with more emphasis on plot and the central mystery woven into each book.

These first 2 books in the Jane Jameson series are less plot-driven and more character-driven. We meet Jane at her lowest moment, fired from her dream job as children’s librarian. We see her worst day turn into her last, as she is killed in a freak accident and then sired by hottie vampire, Gabriel. From there the books are an examination of her adjustment to the afterlife, as she breaks the news to family and friends who take to her new vampirism with varying degrees of horror.

Jane is a fantastic leading lady. She is not a catwalk model for whom vampirism is just another lucky draw in a charmed life. Instead Jane is a plain, klutzy, anal-retentive, fact-fiend who was a gawky band geek in high school and grew up to be a geeky librarian. She is an utterly charming protagonist who has a quick wit and her own Jane-isms that quickly catch on.

Apart from both series being set in the Deep South, ‘Jane Jameson’ is nothing like ‘Sookie Stackhouse’. If anything, Molly Harper’s laugh-a-minute page-turner is similar (but not really) to MaryJanice Davidons’s ‘Queen Betsy’ series. Mixing paranormal romance with quirky humor and an even quirkier protagonist.

If I have one complaint about ‘Jane Jameson’, it’s that the romance angle need a little more heft behind it. Jane and Gabriel’s relationship is explored more in #2 ‘Nice Girls Don’t Date Dead Men’, but is by no means the central storyline. Maybe my small complaint stems from a slight Sookie expectation in that I’m used to reading about female protagonists’ who have more than one fella panting after them – granted, that’s not likely to happen to Jane (although two more possible love interests are mentioned and disregarded in book 1 and 2). An unnecessary expectation perhaps, but there you go.

I highly recommend this debut series. It’s funny, fresh and all together fabulous.

5/5


4 comments:

  1. Jane sounds like a good heroine..it is hard to find them these days. I like that she is/was a geek. I haven't heard of this series...

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  2. I love this series - totally keeper shelf! The characters are well-rounded and likeable (or not, depending on the character!). I agree, I would like to see a bit more of the romance angle, but these books are fun. Can't wait for book 3!

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  3. Danielle,

    I have both of these on the tbr shelf. Glad to know you enjoyed them. :)

    Great review.

    M

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  4. I LOVE this series. Last night I bought the third one on pre-sale at amazon YAY!!! I just can't wait :)

    BTW, I can't help but notice how many series we have read in common. There are a few more I follow that I think you'd love.

    I added you my lybrarything.com we should talk and exchange opinions :)

    hugs

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