Series: Jane True, #6
Edition: UK Kindle
Published: May 28th 2013
Obligatory heads-up: This review will contain major spoilers for previous books. Be warned.
The sixth and final book in Nicole Peeler’s Jane True series is kind of a rarity for me, now that I think about it. Not because its genre is unique, or anything like that – it’s special to me simply because it’s so rare for me to have read the Final Book In A Series. I’ve been thinking about that since I finished this book last night, and I’m pretty sure the only other time I’ve seen a completed series through from beginning to end (not counting trilogies) is with Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera (also six books long, and worth every single second and every reread since).
But, this is about Jane. I was a little sad to see this series come to an end, because I’ve enjoyed it a great deal, but to give the author her due, she ended it well.
Here’s the setup, courtesy of the Goodreads blurb:
Anyan may be trapped in an evil dragon and Blondie may be gone, but Jane knows one thing: she’s not about to give up. She’s ready to tear down heaven and earth to save her lover, despite those who believe he’s lost.
Luckily for Jane, those who’ve given up on Anyan do not include those closest to her. Defying The Powers That Be, Jane and Company form their own crack squad of misfits, in whose hands the fate of the world may well rest.
With a little help from her friends, the Universe, and lots of snacks, Jane embarks on her greatest adventure yet, confident that with great sacrifice comes great reward. The question is, who will be that sacrifice?
Tempest Reborn picks up right where the previous book left off, and as is befitting the fallout from that dramatic ending, this is the Most Serious Story Yet for Jane. It couldn’t have worked any other way, though I’ll share my particular thoughts on that in a few moments.
There were plenty of ideas and setups to love about this book, and the series in general. The twist on faeries vs. humanity, with the Alfar (until now) remaining in hiding from us mortals. The brave but unlikely heroine, who Never Wanted This Job. The supporting band of misfits, generally braver and/or smarter than they are magically powerful. None of these aspects are particularly original, when stripped to their bones. That said, Peeler does a good job of giving her misfits some pretty distinct voices. They are an interesting mess of colourful characters, not least of which is Jane herself – but happily, I enjoyed reading scenes with some of those supporting characters just as much as the main attraction. Hiral, the gwyllion-spy of the group, was a wonderfully forthright and amusingly snide standout. Another was the ultraviolence-loving kelpie, Trill. She might be alarming when she grins, but I loved it when she had good reason to. If Peeler ever returns to this world, I would love to get more stories featuring these two in the spotlight. Think of the mischief!
Overall, I was happy with the story’s wider arc. From Jane’s small-town-outsider beginning in Tempest Rising to her heroic last stand in this final part of the story, her development kept me coming back for more with each book. I had certain issues with it along the way, but the fact that I couldn’t imagine not seeing it through to the end says a lot for it. About those issues (and this is really just getting them out of the way): there were times, here and there throughout the series, where I couldn’t help feeling like a little more serious drama would have gone a much longer way toward the awesomeness of the series, than the tendency toward making light of a situation. This isn’t a flat-out criticism, because I still enjoyed each book immensely, but it is something I picked up on. There were moments when Jane’s ‘fluffiness’ (and I use that word for lack of a better one, right now) irritated me slightly, but next to how much I enjoyed the series in general it’s a small thing. I have made this observation about another similar series that I nonetheless still enjoy, though, so it’s worth highlighting here.
None of that, however, is to say that there wasn’t worthwhile character growth to be found. Jane does indeed ‘grow up’ a great deal, particularly in the course of this book, and by the end I was suitably impressed by the choices she makes and the way she handles the situation that she and her friends are in. Her journey has been about learning how to deal with the responsibilities she’s faced with – not only about what it means to be a hero to those who are depending on her, but about how far she will go to do what’s right. In the end, I had absolutely no complaint about Jane’s choices.
I might have had something in my eye during the final act, but I had no complaint.
So, I’ll be sad to see Jane go, but I’m glad I got to go on her journey with her. The woman slew a dragon, ferChrissakes. Twice. That’s worth some respect. And I am officially a fan of Nicole Peeler’s work. Can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.