Jane True, Book 1
Synopsis: In the tiny village of Rockabill, Maine, Jane True—26-year-old bookstore clerk and secret night swimmer—has no idea that her absent mother’s legacy is entry into a world populated by the origins of human myths and legends. It is a world where nothing can be taken for granted: vampires are not quite what we think; dogs sometimes surprise us; and whatever you do, never—ever—rub the genie’s lamp. For Jane, everything kicks off when she comes across a murder victim during her nightly clandestine swim in the freezing winter ocean. This grisly discovery leads to the revelation of why she has such freakish abilities in the water: her mother was a Selkie and Jane is only half human. With this knowledge, Jane soon finds herself mingling with supernatural creatures alternately terrifying, beautiful, and deadly—all adjectives that quite handily describe her new friend Ryu. When Ryu is sent to Rockabill to investigate the murder, he and Jane fall hard for each other even as they plummet into a world of intrigue threatening to engulf both supernatural and human societies. For someone is killing half-humans like Jane. The question is, are the murders the work of one rogue individual or part of a greater plot to purge the world of Halflings?
Review: Jane True is a six book series, whose the sixth one will be released on May 2013. Before starting this review I’ve to confess that it will be tainted by the fact that I’ve already read the five first books and because I’m huge fan of Jane and Nicole Peeler. But it’s not so much a problem, as the series gets better and more entertaining with each book. About the sixth (and last) one the author has it planned all along and as much as I want Jane’s adventures to continue I’m happy the author don’t try to stir endlessly the story, but I think she can tell you about it better than me (and anyway her English is way better ) :
« Fury is the penultimate book of the series, as I always knew I wanted Jane to have six books. My reasons for that are simple: I wanted to end in control of the character and the book, and in a way that satisfied me and, hopefully, my readers. As a reader myself, I remember with love the series that left me wanting more–the ones that ended when I was still involved, still engaged. So that’s how I wanted Jane’s story to be. I wanted to end before I lost the flow of the original idea, or got bored with my own character, or bored my readers. » http://reluctantadults.blogspot.fr/20…
But I’m here to talk about the first book! We met here a young ordinary woman, who is haunted by the abandon of her mother and the lost of her first love and she suddenly discovers that she’s only half human. With that, it could be the story of any fantasy book and it’s here that Mr Peeler surprises us all, because the story is not utterly predictable, it’s a new point of view!
So Jane lives her simple (and boring) life, where she cares about her heart sick father (literally and metaphorically), works in a library shop with two great bosses and with her culpability. She’s got three hobbies foods (with the curves that implied), reading and swimming (at night in the freezing ocean… Yep she’s a very good swimmer). She also has a lot humor and a libido and virtue fighting in her head. To me, she’s a personage very complex, which reactions don’t seems “made up” but real, I could totally think I could react like that if in the same situation. Like when she finds the body of Peter, her reactions are not rational, she drags it out of the water but only realizes later that this was not a good idea!
If there were any clues left intact after his time in the sea, they’d doubtlessly been totally erased by the long drag up on the beach. Not to mention there would be confusion over the fact that it would appear as if his killer had left him on the beach after apparently dipping him in the ocean just for kicks… In turn, this led me to my third reason why I should never have touched Peter. If a murdered body wasn’t bizarre enough for Rockabill, the police would now have a body that had either dragged itself up out of the ocean or whose killer had had second thoughts about dumping it and decided to use his victim to decorate the local nature trail, instead. (Jane True, Tempest rising, Chapter 3)
She’s normal, but not in an Harlequin way, with wonderful and multicolour eye, a goddess body and character so very “normal” that it’s not even real… No, here, it’s seems like if she is real person and that makes you want to meet her!
Back to the story (and the dead body). One night, while her nightly swim during a tempest she discover the dead body of Peter, a writer who came to write his book. And that’s when Jane’s quiet life ends! Not only because she has found a dead body (which is already quite disturbing), but also because Peter was not a mere human, he was an Halfing, part human, part supernatural and so is Jane. She discovers her mother was a selkie, part-seal, part-human, which explains all the crazies swimming-at-night-during-tempest-and-not-be-cold abilities. And since she has found the body she’s to be interviewed by the sup’s inspector : Ryu. But while investigating (among others activities), they discover that there might be behind this murder “a greater plot to purge the world of Halflings »
I’ve read a lots of reviews where the lack of “feelings” or connection between Jane and Ryu is pointed, that’s normal ! If you’re used to read tons of novel, you can have hint why, but even if you don’t, you’ll see it all later (end of the second book if I remember correctly) and that would be a shame to drop the book just for that. It’s a risky bet from the author, not to give us a wonderful and perfect relationship from the beginning, but to me that’s a good point and another reason I love this author so much. Because it’s so much more interesting (and plausible) that’s everything’s not perfect from the beginning. That’s the same with the intrigue, as said before, which is more complex and deep that it first seems, and with each volume it’s getting, bigger and badder (and better <3 <3 , but once again this is not objective). There's a lot of surprises and twists and the evolution of Jane is very interesting, she's getting tougher with each misfortune who fall on her, but she stay very “human” and close to us.
To conclude, it’s a book I’ve loved to read, it makes me laugh a lot and it’s a refreshing new way of seeing all kind of supernatural folks, some we don’t use to see and other we see in a brand new way =p
« With the exception of when I was swimming, I was definitely built for comfort rather than speed. I could possibly outrun a three year old, but anything else ? »
Nicole Peeler, Tempest Rising