Quick Take: It took a while for me to warm up to the characters and story of this book. But once it warmed up, it stayed that way. Wittiness aplenty made this a fun(ny) read.
Living in small town Rockabill, Maine, Jane True always knew she didn't quite fit in with so-called normal society. During her nightly, clandestine swim in the freezing winter ocean, a grisly find leads Jane to startling revelations about her heritage: she is only half-human.Review:
Now, Jane must enter a world filled with supernatural creatures alternatively terrifying, beautiful, and deadly- all of which perfectly describe her new "friend," Ryu, a gorgeous and powerful vampire.
It is a world where nothing can be taken for granted: a dog can heal with a lick; spirits bag your groceries; and whatever you do, never-ever-rub the genie's lamp.
So. Reading this book was something of a varied experience for me. It took me longer to finish than usual, and it's in part because it took a while for me to find a connection with the main character and her tale. The story starts by placing the reader into the daily life of Rockabill, Maine, as seen through the eyes of Jane True. Jane's musings were quite sentimental and tinged with sadness…but without much context it didn't resonate. Jane's voice was snappy and witty, her humor irreverent, but again not much was leaving an impression. There were a couple of characters that felt to me like "straw men" antagonists (read the book and then ask me who. ^_^). And overall, it felt rather slow…even with a number of occurrences that were intended to thrill. I really was having trouble putting my finger on what it was that precluded my enjoyment. (I still feel like perhaps rereading the book to try and figure it out.)
At some point, however, I started warming up to Jane. It might have been that, in getting to know her and experiencing her formal yet sudden introduction to the paranormal, her experiences carried more import. With many character introductions and initial world building out of the way, it became quite enjoyable getting to spend time in Jane's head.
I quite enjoyed the easy banter between Jane and Ryu. Some of their shared antics had me in stitches, and the presence of Ryu's character brought out so much of interest in Jane's, perhaps more so than any other device. Through him, we got to see many sides of Jane…including the saucy and flirtatious! ^_^
The mystical creatures that populated the story were so interesting and amusing. In many cases, they remain quite memorable and I look forward to some reappearances in subsequent installments.
There is a character that was involved with a life-altering experience that Jane suffered through as a youngster. Despite his having been long gone before the book's beginning (e.g., he's "dead" dead by page 1), his relationship with--and influence on--Jane ended up being pretty poignant.
Best of all, the story wrapped up in such a way that I was seriously eager to continue onto the next book. One can't ask for better than that!
Oh, and though the book's cover and the story are two separate entities, I have to give props to the artist or team that does the artwork for the Jane True series. It's so much fun, and the little visual clues about the book's content are a nice touch.
Rating: 4 of 5 stars