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Jaq's Harp (Future Tales, #1)
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Jaq's Harp (Future Tales #1)

3.48 of 5 stars 3.48  ·  rating details  ·  46 ratings  ·  19 reviews
In a world of floating islands and bio-engineered beans, the bad guys are taken down by agents of the Mother organization—agents like Jacqueline “Jaq” Robinson. Instead of accepting her next routine assignment, she sets out on a mission of her own—to destroy Giant Corp, the company responsible for her sister’s wasting illness. Jaq must steal her cure from Giant’s headquart...more
ebook, 93 pages
Published February 21st 2011 by Carina Press (first published January 21st 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 191)
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Jaq's Harp is a sci-fi romance that pays hommage to the old tale of Jack and the Beanstalk, adding a little twist to make things more interesting. Jack and the Beanstalk has never been one of my favorite children's tales, but that didn't affect my take on this story.

Agent Jacqueline Robinson is on a mission - and this time, it's personal. Jaq's sister is severely ill and Giant Corp, the company responsible for her wasting illness, holds the cure hostage. So Jaq plans to infiltrate the company's...more
Penny Watson
Jaq's Harp by Ella Drake:

This was an ARC....will be released by Carina Press in February. The premise for this story is fantastic. It's a futuristic sci fi take on the legend of Jack and the Beanstalk. I adore funky new twists on fairy tales and legends. Drake calls this book a "twisted fairytale, biopunk romance." What I liked....the sci fi details are awesome. Drake does a tremendous job with her world-building. The bio-engineered beanstalk, the floating "islands," the hovercrafts, the dark, g...more
Jess the Romanceaholic
Reviewed at The Romance-a-holic


As you may be able to tell from the cover, Jaq’s Harp is a futuristic twist on the fairytale of Jack and the Beanstalk. I really enjoyed the not-so-subtle nods to the original story, such as the “magic” bio-engineered beans, Monsieur Bovine, a reference to “the blood of an Englishman”, and more.

What worked for me:

* The cover art is simply gorgeous.

* I’m not normally a fan of stories where the main protagonists had a previous relationship, but I heartily approve o...more
Disappointing. The world building works in some areas, but overall the tension and action fell flat.

When the hero is undercover and the villain is waiting for him, it's not a good thing for the hero to lie on his bed, get naked and tell the heroine (who is upset at him already) to climb aboard and ride him for a quickie before they try and take down the evil corporation.
Mishel Zabala
My Rating: 4/5 stars

I usually don’t like short stories and/or novellas because I always seem to be left pretty unsatisfied in the end. So I tend to stay away from the shorter side of the story-telling world. However, something drew me to Jaq’s Harp, and having never read anything by Ella Drake, I can’t really tell you what made me want to read and review it. Jaq’s Harp is a unique re-telling of Jack and the Beanstalk that involves floating islands, secret agents, and new-age technology. Add in a...more
Every time I see a cover that just stands out from all the others it makes me want to read the story. It does often happen that I come home with books that I haven’t even heard of, but the cover made the book more interesting than the story so I bought it. Jaq’s Harps cover is just amazing. The city, the Beanstalk, the whole mystery feeling I get from it makes me want to read it. So I’m glad I got this for review from Carina Press.

Jaq is a young woman who is strong, caring and very protective of...more
Jen (Red Hot Books)
Jaq's sister is dying. And if she doesn't steal a cure for her, there is no hope. So Jaq sneaks her way onto the floating island that the Giant corporation calls home. There, she runs into her ex-fiance, Harp, who is on an undercover mission to take down the company and its corrupt owner. And of course, the heat between them ignites all over again.

This is a short story, only 67 pages. So there's not a lot of room for anything too deep. Basically, you've got two questions that play out: Can Jaq &...more
Very clever! I liked it. I admit, when I started reading it I knew only that this story was Science Fiction Romance and nothing else. So, the play on the story of Jack and the Beanstalk surprised me. I thought it was well done.

I liked Jaq, liked Mr. Bovine (he was funny) and I enjoyed the thorough worldbuilding. The SF was nicely blended with the Romance and there seemed to be equal parts of each. I liked the tech. It had a bit of a James Bond feel. I liked the way a couple of innocuous things n...more
Reviewed by Mishel at

I usually don’t like short stories and/or novellas because I always seem to be left pretty unsatisfied in the end. So I tend to stay away from the shorter side of the story-telling world. However, something drew me to Jaq’s Harp, and having never read anything by Ella Drake, I can’t really tell you what made me want to read and review it. Jaq’s Harp is a unique re-telling of Jack and the Beanstalk that involves floating islands, secret agents, and new-age...more
Review provided by Black Lagoon Reviews:

Jaq's Harp by Ella Drake is an imaginative, futuristic twist on the well known children's classic Jack and the Beanstalk. While this may be an extremely short novella, coming in with under seventy-five pages, this is still a romantically charged, action packed story that was interesting and enjoyable.

With many subtle and not so subtle references toward the original fairy tale, this novella grips the classic and drags it into the next millennium with bio-en...more
Mar 05, 2012 Anna rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: sci-fi
This is a retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk... in space! With added gender reversals and a good old evil corporation. Which, of course, led me to say "yessss, I am in!"

With that sort of premise, you expect a fun and creative retelling of the original fairy tale, but to my disappointment, the author played it as close as possible. Apparently the gender reversal and turning the giant into a big evil corporation is quite enough variation, because that's about all we get. On page 10 Monsieur Bovin...more
Too Short to Do This Premise Justice

I have to say that I really can't offer a summary of the story that is any different from the blurb provided. The concept for this one was really brilliant. A sort-of fairy tale retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk with an adult science fiction twist. Unfortunately the story is quite short and thus not enough character development or backstory is provided.

Without the character development both Harp and Jaq felt flat and their romance lacked any real spark. The...more
Critique de Book
The good: I loved the play on Jack and the Beanstalk with a good dose of a dystopian world, advanced technologies and the contrasting privileged lifestyles of those in the floating cities. There's a real sense of the desperation of the landers. My heart ached throughout for Jaq, and I was desperate for her to get her HEA. I wanted this book to be longer so I could enjoy more of the world building and great descriptions throughout.

The bad: I felt there was too much back story crammed in between t...more
Kat Duncan
The story is fast-paced, the characters are fascinating and the story world is amazing! Ms Drake did a great job of making these characters come fully alive in a short time. I was sorry when the story ended because the story world was so fascinating I wanted to know more about it. The tension builds from the first page and never lets up until the end. I felt sorry for Jaq as she seemed so lonely plus she never really understood why Harp left her. Happily he realizes his departure was a mistake,...more
It did have some good elements that could be expanded. I liked the winks to the original story.

I think part of my low rating was because the reader could have been better with her voices. The main male henchman sounds so very female. When his character was speaking, it wasn't nearly threatening enough.
Marie Wolf
Fast-paced inventive new take on a children's story.
I am not much into science fiction, but I loved the world Ella Drake created.
This was a great read!
J.L. Hilton
Fun read with a unique, futuristic twist on the old fairy tale.
I liked this twist on the Fairy Tale Jack and the beanstalk!
Natasha  A.
review to come
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As a child Ella read books under the covers with a flashlight. There she found a special love of elves, dragons, and knights. Now that she's found her own knight in shining armor and happily ever after, she loves to write tales of fantasy, hot enough to scorch the sheets. No flashlight needed.
More about Ella Drake...
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