Perhaps it was my fault. I mean, my expectations could have been too high. Perhaps I was not open-minded enough. Maybe I have just read too many books. Is that even possible?
At any rate, I was overall disappointed with my reading of Jane Bites Back by Michael Thomas Ford. It is well written, grammatically speaking, but it seemed to lack the crafting and wit I was hoping for. There were moments I almost felt the building of anticipation, but then nothing happened. It was not even enough to be anti-climactic. It was like feeling the ground beneath your feet begin to incline slightly, but still looking out over a relatively level path.
It started off well enough. Chapter one totally had me intrigued. I thought it set a wonderfully dark and twisted tone, parody perfect even. It would make an interesting short story all on its own that I could let my imagination run rampant from, but after that (sigh) the story lost much of its bite for me. I kept thinking, Wait, was that Jane biting back? What kind of vampire is she?
How Jane became a vampire in the first place was something I was eager to learn, but what I found particularly dull was the realization that in 200 years she had not developed at all. She seemed more a foil than a character, at least not the richly multi-dimensional character with witty depth that I would expect from a 200 year old vampire who was also responsible for writing stories that spoke to a keen observation of human behavior.
I blame my complete addiction to vampire lore for my disappointment in the vampire aspects of this novel. I take issue with the behavior of all vampires within this novel as they all disappointed me for one reason or another. Even so, I’m hoping against hope that Jane Goes Batty, the second book in the trilogy, is better about addressing the vampire aspects because I have already purchased it and am committed to reading it next month. Plus, Byron promised to teach Jane more about what it means to be a vampire at the end.
I think it important to say that I did not hate the book. There were some interesting ideas and story threads I found quite stimulating to my imagination. I giggled at some of the dialogue, especially the discussion between Jane and Lucy about female anatomy. You just have to read the book to understand. And for all the vampire disappointment at least there was no sparkling (though, on that note I should admit that I do like the Twilight saga, so feel free to question my sanity).
Have you read Jane Bites Back? What did you think? Should vampires just be people with fangs or should they possess a level of twisted darkness all?