Saturday, 8 May 2010

Jenna Starborn - Book Review

An oldie today:

Jenna Starborn by Sharon Shinn

What is it about:
Conceived in the gen-tanks on the planet Baldus and rejected by the woman who commissioned her birth, Jenna Starborn finds a career as a nuclear generator technician on the inhospitable planet Fieldstar. At the estate of Thorrastone Park, Jenna finds solace and friendship in the household's staff; she also succumbs to a forbidden attraction to the mysterious master of the house, Everett Ravenbeck, and finds her life changed forever.

What did I think of it:
This is a Scifi retelling of Jane Eyre, with Jane pushed to the background to give the centerstage to Jenna. I myself really liked it, even though it felt like a lovesick teenager wrote herself into her favourite romance, which I think is odd as Shinn is a very talented writer and doesn't need to stoop to writing fanfiction. It has all the things that make Jane Eyre a good story and adds cyborgs, spaceships and other scifi stuff to it. This story isn't a mash-up like 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies'. Shinn wrote the whole book herself, not using text from the original story and therefor it's a much better book than any of the recent mash-ups which often turn out awkward in my opinion.

Why should you read it:
If you like Jane Eyre and you like Scifi this might be your book.


Enbrethiliel said...


Hmmmmmm. So it's basically Jane Eyre with an extra character--one who pushes Jane into the background? =S I'm afraid that screams "Mary Sue!" to me.

I know I'd love to read a futuristic retelling of Jane Eyre, which is one of my favourite novels, but I'm not very encouraged to read that this book reminded you of Fan Fiction. =(

(But though I've been turned off, I hope you know that this is a good review because it gave me a real sense of the novel!)

Sullivan McPig said...

I must say it was the one thing I didn't like aboout the book: Jenna takes the role of Jane Eyre in this book, but still there also was a Janet Ayerson (Jane Eyre anyone?) who was the governess at Thorrastone Park. By adding this character Shinn turned it into a fanfiction instead of a re-telling.

Alice Audrey said...

Jane Eyre was all right. I might actually like the combo better.

vvb32 reads said...

this sounds super cool! i'm adding to my list ;-D