4.5 stars This revisionist retelling of Lady Jane Grey's brief reign and romance shouldn't work--but it does! It's deliriously dotty and clever, with4.5 stars This revisionist retelling of Lady Jane Grey's brief reign and romance shouldn't work--but it does! It's deliriously dotty and clever, with affectionate nods to great absurdist historical comedies like THE PRINCESS BRIDE, Monty Python, and even, I think, Black Adder and LADYHAWKE. The ridiculously punny humor had me giggling from beginning to end.
It's also superbly well-crafted, especially considering the three POVs were written by three different authors, and the historical details and context are inserted with just the right touch. Most notably, the strict mores and sexism of the time are observed and acknowledged before they are slyly subverted, particularly in the fantastically endearing and capable women (only one of whom wields a weapon).
It's hard to believe a tragic moment in history could be turned into such a delightful confection of joyous alternate history, but The Lady Janies have done it.
3.5 stars I liked this, but it felt overly long, and could have used better pacing. It's also kind of weird to essentially rewrite what we know of his3.5 stars I liked this, but it felt overly long, and could have used better pacing. It's also kind of weird to essentially rewrite what we know of history to recast a murderer as a heroine. At first glance it seems like a Abe Lincoln, Vampire Slayer-type mash-up, but it's really closer to the idea of giving Jack the Ripper good reasons, albeit supernatural reasons, to commit his gruesome crimes. I also wish we'd spent more time on the actual Borden murders--everyone here seems to avoid talking about or even thinking about it too much.
Still, the old-timey horror style is interesting, as is the nature of the creature feature. Whether we saw enough of all that, and whether there's enough here to sustain a sequel, is another story. I'd read book two, though....more
I actually liked this. It skips over emotional development and takes a lot of shortcuts and side trips and backtracking with the plot, but it kept myI actually liked this. It skips over emotional development and takes a lot of shortcuts and side trips and backtracking with the plot, but it kept my interest and I was surprised by how things turned out for some of that characters.
Best enjoyed the way you would a historical romance. Don't expect it to be deep, but it is very entertaining.
This was a compelling read, and heartbreaking in its circumstance, if not entirely in its writing style. I think the distance that Kathy displays as the narrator works for the book, however, and I think it's tremendously difficult to write first person POV and reveal things about the character that she doesn't know herself--or won't admit to feeling. So I admire and like this one, and was even moved by what happens...but it wasn't quite the wrenching emotional experience I'd expected, which surprises me.
In any case, the narrator of the audiobook, Rosalyn Landor, did a lovely job.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Well, I read the first 150 pages of this novel and then skimmed another 50, but this one just isn't holding my attention, I'm afraid. The writing andWell, I read the first 150 pages of this novel and then skimmed another 50, but this one just isn't holding my attention, I'm afraid. The writing and mood are actually rather nice, and the language seems pretty appropriate to early 20th century New England (albeit an alternate history version) aside from some jarring words here and there.
There just isn't enough witchery in this book for me, however, since the book seems very heavily centered around the romance. And unfortunately, the romance wasn't very compelling to me either, as the two boys--and Cate herself--do very little that is truly interesting or remarkable. And please, spare us from any more found-diaries-as-plot-device machinations!
Still, I expect this might be more appealing to lovers of YA historical romance who don't mind that the paranormal elements take a back seat, which is why I'm giving away my copy if you're interested in trying out the book for yourself! The book, which is the first in a planned trilogy, will be released next month in February 2012....more