Thursday, April 15, 2010

Contest & Review: Jane Slayre

Jane Slayre
Sherri Browning Erwin
Charlotte Bronte
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Gallery

First, let's start off with a confession. I do not generally like literature from the 1800's. I know this will shock many of you, but I wanted you to know before I review Jane Slayre. Many of the reviews out there will be from fans of the original book that may have read it over many times. They love the characters and go into it with an eye towards what was changed. Not me. I opened the cover and thought "This should be interesting." It's my first literary mash-up as books such as Jane Slayre are being called. I had no idea what to expect.

Things started out a little slow, but I think it was just me adjusting to the style of the writing. I was surprised that it was written in a first person POV. I've heard so many negative things about books written in the first person, but I thought it worked well and made the story more personable. I was stunned to find that Jane was only 9 years old at the start of the book, living in a house of vampires, except for the servants. All I could think of was "Run, Jane, Run!".

The story moved from that house of horrors to a new one where Jane discovers a group of Zombie children, but also makes a friend and ally in one of the teachers. I rarely have nightmares, but I'll admit this part was creepy enough that I had one the night I read it. I thought Ms. Erwin did a wonderful job of working the paranormal and horror aspects into the story. The style of writing flowed smoothly, and I never had a feeling of something new being mixed with the old. It was rather obvious to me that she loved the original book, and was very careful in merging her ideas with Charlotte Bronte's.

Jane Slayre has a very clear cut sense of what is wrong and what is right. Vampyres are evil. Though they may come to regret their choices, they will never be redeemed except by death. The descriptions of the monsters and their mischief were eerie and horrible, as they were meant to be. There was no softening of the details.

I also learned to appreciate the humor of Charlotte Bronte and Ms. Erwin. It's not a snarky, in your face wit, but is instead subtle. It made me smile more than once throughout the book, as I'm sure it was meant to. I loved this statement from Jane:

"It happens when one stakes them too. Poof! They turn to dust. It's fascinating, really. Even a little pretty in the moonlight."

This happens later in the book, as Jane slays a vampire lurking behind her and Mr. Rochester:

"Fortunately I had sharpened that stake just this morning and my aim was true as my love for Mr. Rochester, for I would not have had a second chance."

Jane does not brag of her slayer accomplishments nor does she whine about having to resort to violence. She goes about sharpening stakes and hiding daggers as if it's as normal as needlepoint.

I really like Jane Slayre and hope many of you will give it a chance, whether you are a fan of Charlotte Bronte, literary mash-ups or not. The book was obviously written with care and much thought on the part of both authors. Then there is the ending. The. Best. Ever.

Learn more about Sherri Browning Erwin:
Visit the author's website
Follow Sherri on Twitter
Visit Jane's Publisher Page which includes a reading!

The publisher has graciously allowed us to give away one copy of Jane Slayre! As usual, I ask a question, and you leave me some wit or wisdom in the comments.

Have you read any literary mash-ups yet? Is there a classic book you think would make a cool paranormal mash-up like Jane Slayre?

Leave a comment as an entry to the contest, which will end on April 30th, 2010 and I'll use the random number generator to pick a winner and post the results on May 1st. If your email is not associated with your profile then please leave it with your comment, so I can reach you.



Kelsey said...

I've been wanting to read this book since I first heard about it! Count me in and thanks for the contest!

krae991 at yahoo dot com

Unknown said...

I'm currently reading my first literary mash-up, Pride & Prejudice & Zombies.

jennsicurella at verizon dot net

Christina T said...

I'm glad you liked Jane Slayre too! Do you plan to read the original?

I enjoyed your review. Here is mine

Unknown said...

I actually need to look-up the term. *blushes* I do not think I have read any yet but the idea is interesting.

I look forward to this read.

robin [at] intensewhisper [dot] com

Martha Lawson said...

no, i haven't read any mash-ups!! if i win this one, it will be my first.

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

Unknown said...

Thanks so much for your review! I have read so many reviews of these kinds of mash-ups and mostly from people who had read the original book. But it was very refreshing to hear a point of view from someone who hadn't and was just reviewing the book at face value.

I have this book for review too and although I have read Jane Eyre in the past, your review has made me feel optimistic about this book! :)

Unknown said...

I have read Dawn of the Dreadfuls. It is a prequel to Pride Prejudice and Zombies.
I am still not sure what my opinion is of these mash-ups (are you a GLEEk too?). But I think it's because the original stories are boring to me, so they didn't have the greatest starting point.
However I have heard the Jane Slayre is a really great one, that is entertaining so I would like to win it!

booklover0226 said...

I was give Queen Victoria: Demon Hunter and can't wait to start it. I also look forward in reading Android Karenina and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.

Tracey D
booklover0226 at gmail dot com

M.A.D. said...

Mary D
zenrei57 (at) hotmail (dot) com

This book looks AWESOME! My fav mashup so far is Dawn of the Dreadfuls :D

doreen lamoureux said...

I haven't read any yet but wouldn't Through The Looking Glass make a good one,

dorcontest at gmail dot com

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

I haven't read any mash ups yet, but I've been anxious to!! This one looks really good, and I also want to read Mr Darcy, Vampire. Thanks for the contest!!

inthehammockblog (at) gmail (d0t) com

Unknown said...

Awesome review! I definitely want to read this :)

The only literary mash up I have read is Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, and I really liked it.

pirate_pony2 at yahoo dot com

LSUReader said...

I haven't read any literary mash-ups and didn't think I would...and now this one comes along. Who could resist Jane Slayre?

Unknown said...

I actually saw the movie of Jane Eyre and I loved it. So, the mash-up Jane Slayre should be an interesting read.

I, do have the book of Jane Eyre I have not had the chance to read it, as of yet.

Enter me into your contest I would love for a chance to win Jane Slayre.

nancysoffice at gmail dot com

Misusedinnocence said...

I read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and loved it. Would really love to read this.

Sullivan McPig said...

I read 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies' and that one was amusing, but I don't like Jane Austen's writing style I must confess *ducks before lots of Jane Austen fans start throwing books*
I also read 'Queen Victoria, Demon Hunter' and that one was really cool! (not exactly a mash up with a classic though)
As for other mash ups:
I'd love a Treasure Island mash up.
I'd also be willing to settle for a story about Tsar Nicholas II with zombies or vampires added to it.

Unknown said...

Please enter me, I'm curious to see this demonic turn on Jane Eyre! ;-)

I would like to see a paranormal version of Emma by Jane Austen!


stella.exlibris (at) gmail DOT com

tetewa said...

I;ve read Pride & Prejudice & Zombies and I'm looking forward to this one!

k_sunshine1977 said...

i haven't read any yet, but i'm looking forward to it! i've been hearing about some great titles...

bookaholic said...

No,I haven't read any mash-up as yet,but if I win this,this will be my first!I think Wuthering Heights would make a great is already a gothic novel and a little sprinkling of vampires and werewolves will spice it up more!
Please enter me for the contest!

Linda Henderson said...

I haven't read any literary mash-ups yet. I would like to try this one though. Maybe The Scarlet Letter would make a good mash-up.

seriousreader at live dot com

Aik said...

No, I haven't read any mash-ups, but I'm really interested in reading them! I'd like to see the story of the Grand Duchess Anastasia appear in a mash-up!

aikychien at yahoo dot com

Unknown said...

I'm not very clever, so I'm not real sure what would make a good mash up and I'm a new reader, it's my new hobby. But what about A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court?

throuthehaze said...

I haven't read any mashups yet but I plan to soon :)
throuthehaze at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

No have never read any mash ups, this one sounds great.

Audra said...

I have not read any mash ups yet

April Ash said...

The classics mash-up term is new to me but interesting!
How about Little Women: Demon Chasers? Have those ladies, demure as they are, hiding a whole other life as demon chasers?


susan said...

Never read a mash up book but would like to try one. susan Leech

Diane Pollock said...

I haven't read a mash-up, am curious! Maybe Romeo and Juliet would work?

Carol L. said...

I have to agree with Sullivan, Tsar Nicholas II with zombies or vampires would be a fantastic read as well as Little Women:Demon Chasers. I haven't read any of these other books yet. Look forward to reading Abraham Lincoln:Vampire Hunter.
Please enter me.
Carol L.

vvb32 reads said...

i loved dawn of the dreadfuls - the prequel to pride&prejudice&zombies.

i'd like to see the great gatsby as a vampire mashup.

vvb32 at

JenM said...

I haven't read any mash-ups. It seems like there are suddenly so many out there to choose from. Aside from Jane Slayre, Sense/Sensibility and Sea Monsters also sounded really interesting.

For some reason, I think an interesting mashup would be Laura from Little House on the Prairie as a teenage demon hunter.

heatwave16 said...

I think Romeo & Juliet would be great as a paranormal mash-up...maybe they could return as zombies. :)


Unknown said...


Emmagan said...

I have not read any literary mash-ups yet.

Emily said...

The only one I've ever read is Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I thought it was pretty funny but not knock-you-in-the-teeth fantastic.