05-26-18 – Blog Queen - Sarah Raplee

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Book Recommendations: Authors Kathleen A. Flynn & Sophie Jaff

by Michelle Monkou

The Jane Austen Project by Kathleen A. Flynn is Perfect for fans of Jane Austen, this engrossing debut novel offers an unusual twist on the legacy of one of the world's most celebrated and beloved authors: two researchers from the future are sent bak in time to meet Jane and recover a suspected unpublished novel.

In a nutshell, The Jane Austen Project is a time travel adventure story wrapped in a literary style as if Jane Austen or her contemporaries wrote about this unusual and intriguing encounter.

Author Flynn takes her time with the world of 1815 England from the eyes of its back-in-time traveler. Staying in character or true to character, the flavor of the period rings with authenticity to make any desire to go back in history one that may elicit excitement, but also give pause for the things we take for granted--gender roles, rules of society, technology, illness, injury, and mortality, etc.

Flynn, on the other hand, doesn't delay the start of the adventure with its first line: What kind of maniac travels in time? by its heroine who isn't afraid to use her heart and brain to solve the problems of the day, navigate the unpredictable path of her feelings for two men, but also to challenge the assumptions and expectations about the mission against her own code. Here we see (through the heroine's eyes) her interaction with various women in their stations of life, including Jane Austen. Her modern disposition and privilege contrasted, but at times, empathized with their 1815 identities.

By the end, I'm glad that Flynn didn't gloss over the effects of researchers going back in time. There are consequences and every interaction casts another ripple through reality, which should always be the big problem to solve or acknowledge about in any time travel story. As a result, I'm not disappointed with the (surprise) ending.  I'm quite pleased actually that Flynn with her careful considerations stayed true to "every action has a reaction" theory to the end.


Sophie Jaff's Crown Of Stars is a heady mix of the supernatural, thriller, and mystery elements. Book two of The Night Song Trilogy will delight her fans with the dual stories that are connected by a dark prophecy. Sacrifice and betrayal motivate and yet tear apart the characters' souls.

The dark worlds, well-written and wonderfully detailed, will grab the reader and take her on a winding and satisfying ride. Jaff drops in the creepiness in steady doses to push the urgency and pacing of the plot.

Although we are guaranteed a third installment,  Jaff is never lazy with  this unique tale making sure to challenge her complex characters to the bitter end. She closes on a high note that will keep our anticipation for book three on simmer.

In the sequel to the critically acclaimed cult favorite novel Love Is RedCROWN OF STARS, the past and present collide in a stunning, suspenseful, supernatural saga of revenge that will enrapture fans of Karen Marie Moning, Susanna Kearsley, and Anne Rice.
Katherine narrowly escaped death at the hands of a notorious serial killer, but in saving herself she destroyed her relationship with Sael, the man she loves. However, she’s pregnant—and he doesn’t know. She’s already adopted Lucas, the son of her murdered roommate and plans to raise him and the baby on her own, until a chance encounter with Sael forces them to confront their future. He asks them to come with him to London, where he’s starting a new job. Still deeply disturbed by the events of the past few months, Katherine agrees to a new start abroad.
Hundreds of years earlier, a young English girl named Margaret witnesses her mother’s vicious murder in the woods surrounding their village. A strange, dark-eyed child, Margaret already attracts suspicion and her miraculous survival only stokes rumors of witchcraft among the neighbors. When her father remarries a much younger, hostile woman, Margaret knows she must leave for good. Her fight to survive on her own reveals she has inherited her mother’s extraordinary gifts.
Katherine begins her new life in London, and Margaret also gets to start over—as an alewife in a local lord’s castle. Even though Margaret’s is a medieval world, separated from Katherine’s by centuries, both women struggle with loneliness, the pain of being misunderstood, and the consequences of a passionate love affair gone wrong. And as their stories converge, an electrifying narrative builds towards a climax that forces Katherine to confront her destiny and that of her child, which are intertwined with Margaret’s own troubled fate.
Enjoy the read!!



Barb said...

You made them both sound worth chasing down.

Michelle Monkou said...

Barb, each story was pretty unique in style and voice. The Jane Austen Project is a good book club discussion piece. I had a lot of thoughts and reactions to that one.

Judith Ashley said...


Diana McCollum said...

Both books sound fascinating! Thanks for sharing.