Eager reader of history, mystery, classics, biographies, steampunk, lit fic, science, scifi, and etc. My reviews are mostly positive--I rarely finish or write about books I don't enjoy. My TBR is too high for that.
Jane Austen is back and she’s not a vampire! With the invention of the Afternet disembodied souls can now communicate with the living so 200 years after separating from her body Austen is publishing a completed version of Sanditon--which she’s worked on since leaving it unfinished at the time of her death--and she’s planning new novels, exploring social media, and maybe finding love with a long dead but charming WWI soldier. She’s helped by Melanie, her agent who’s become a close friend, and Mary, a struggling young actress who’s taken on the role of Jane’s avatar for book signings and other appearances, but there are those who don’t believe Jane is the actual Jane Austen and they are digging into the past to create trouble.
Jane has been able to observe the world in the time since she’s died, but while she’s been changed by her experiences Austen is just what you’d expect: mannered but high spirited, and avid, witty and observant but with a touch of melancholy since the “life” of the dead is necessarily circumscribed. This is a longish book with lots of characters, points of view, and plot lines, but the characters, including Austen, are complex, interesting and mostly endearing, the story is riveting, especially in its latter chapters, and easy to follow, and the imagined world is fascinating and a joy to inhabit. The author has also written a mystery that involves the Afternet, Good Cop, Dead Cop, that I can’t wait to try, as well as a regency era novel, My Particular Friend, inspired by both Jane Austen and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. All three books are the first of a series so there is potentially a lot of good reading to look forward to.