Fantasy · YA

Jane, Unlimited – Kristin Cashore

3 Stars

I picked Jane, Unlimited up from the library on a whim the other day, after seeing a description and the cover in a Facebook group I’m active in.

Jane
Cover from Goodreads

The metallic cover was intriguing and I am sometimes a sucker for a pretty cover. The description was also interesting:

If you could change your story, would you?

Jane has lived a mostly ordinary life, raised by her recently deceased aunt Magnolia, whom she counted on to turn life into an adventure. Without Aunt Magnolia, Jane is directionless. Then an old acquaintance, the glamorous and capricious Kiran Thrash, blows back into Jane’s life and invites her to a gala at the Thrashes’ extravagant island mansion called Tu Reviens. Jane remembers her aunt telling her: “If anyone ever invites you to Tu Reviens, promise me that you’ll go.”

What Jane doesn’t know is that at Tu Reviens her story will change; the house will offer her five choices that could ultimately determine the course of her untethered life. But every choice comes with a price. She might fall in love, she might lose her life, she might come face-to-face with herself. At Tu Reviens, anything is possible.

Jane, Unlimited was quite a strange book. I got very serious Rebecca vibes from the book – which Cashore reinforced in her afterword where she explains that she was inspired by Du Maurier’s Rebecca. It would make sense then, that I wouldn’t enjoy Jane, Unlimited much, since I HATED Rebecca when I had to read it in high school.

I also struggled with the structure of the book. Cashore starts by building a story with many threads and mysteries swirling around and then abruptly things get weird. It’s as though Cashore couldn’t figure out how to weave all her various storylines together, so instead of writing one cohesive ending, she wrote five – each ending more absurd than the last. This made for somewhat dull reading. Each new ending started at the same moment the others did and therefore was fairly repetitive. For cohesion, some details and events remained the same throughout each ending which was pretty boring.

Ultimately, I loved the fifth and final ending, even though it was very nearly the most absurd of them all (though #4 sure gives it a run for its’ money.) I could have read an entire book based just on the fifth ending and done without all the rest of the book.

Jane, Unlimited hit shelves on September 19, 2017. If you check it out, let me know what you think!

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Urban Fantasy

The Furthest Station – Ben Aaronovitch

 

I received an e-ARC from Net Galley in exchange for my honest review. I also purchased the Deluxe Signed Edition from Subterranean Press, which was released June 30. A non-deluxe release is planned for September 8, 2017. 

5 Stars

A fun installment in the Rivers of London/Peter Grant series, The Furthest Station is a satisfying jaunt away from the main thread tying the series together. In this novella, we spend time with Peter’s cousin Abigail – who I was delighted to see more of – and learning about ghosts.

A photo of the cover of The Furthest Station.
My copy of The Furthest Station.

As with the rest of the series, Aaronovitch spends an unusual amount of wordcount describing locations and buildings for an Urban Fantasy series. However, since geography and locality play such important roles in the overall series, it doesn’t feel like wasted space. I always finish a Rivers of London story having learned something new about architecture (though if you take note of Peter’s opinions, you’d think England had nothing but terrible buildings throughout).

If you’re a fan of Rivers of London/Peter Grant, definitely pick up The Furthest Station – it’s a satisfying story to tide us over until the next installment of the series comes out, whenever that may be.

The Furthest Station is a novella set between books 5 and 6 of the PC Grant/Rivers of London series.

This review was originally published on Goodreads April 20, 2017.