MY CALAMITY JANE (The Lady Janies #3)
Written by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows
Published by Harper Teen, June 2, 2020
My star rating – 3.5 stars
Welcome to 1876 and a rootin’-tootin’ America bursting with gunslingers, outlaws, and garou.
JANE (a genuine hero-eene)
Calamity’s her name, and garou hunting’s her game—when she’s not starring in Wild Bill’s Traveling Show, that is. She reckons that if a girl wants to be a legend, she should just go ahead and be one.
FRANK (*wolf whistle*)
Frank “the Pistol Prince” Butler is the Wild West’s #1 bachelor. He’s also the best sharpshooter on both sides of the Mississippi, but he’s about to meet his match. . . .
ANNIE (get your gun!)
Annie Oakley (yep, that Annie) is lookin’ for a job, not a romance, but she can’t deny there’s something about Frank she likes. Really likes. Still, she’s pretty sure that anything he can do, she can do better.
A HAIRY SITUATION
After a garou hunt goes south and Jane finds a suspicious-like bite on her arm, she turns tail for Deadwood, where there’s been talk of a garou cure. But things ain’t always what they seem—meaning the gang better hightail it after her before they’re a day late and a Jane short. Find it on Goodreads
I call this “series” of books some of my “accidental favourites”. Why, you ask? Well – I never wanted to touch the first book in this series, honestly. If you want to get technical, I was downright opposed to it! My Lady Jane was described as a historical fiction about King Henry and Lady Jane, but with people that just so happen to turn into horses. Nope. No thank you. It sounded so stupid! I was totally hooked on a historical fiction about King Henry and Lady Jane……… but horse people??!! What the hell for?
Then the reviews started coming in saying that it was one of the funniest books they’ve read in a while. It was a hell of a good time. It had all the things you wanted and more. So I caved……… I listened to the audiobook then promptly shoved my foot in my mouth and bought a physical copy as fast as my internet provider would allow! Safe to say – these authors have made me a fangirl! When book three came out I stalked my mailman for it’s arrival. This was just the book I needed exactly when I needed it.
But if you noticed my rating….. it’s only a 3.5. Obviously there was something amiss with this book. And there was. I’ll get to that in a bit. For now, let me indulge you with all the reasons you need this book in your life!
The thing that stood out for me in this book was the characters. Throughout this series, the characters and their development has been a shining star. But in this case, they seemed even more so. This is a western and there was very much the presence of stereotypes. Women stayed at home and cared for children, being ever so careful to stay clean, pretty, and not speak out of turn. Men were rough and tumble working men or lived a hard life in the saloon with a pistol at their hips. But none of these characters followed their stereotype and made damn sure to put people in their place if their differences were pointed out. Jane was the type that could handle her own in any situation. Often dressing like a man (first out of necessity and then out of comfort), she is as tough as nails and afraid of nothing. Annie is your typical girly girl but she can shoot better than any man. Who cares if she wants to look pretty while doing it? Even the men in this series found a way to be strong and tough but also loving and caring – not worrying about showing their softer side and who sees that side in them.
As the synopsis mentions, they’re a team that hunt Garou (which is just another name for werewolf). On a hunt, Jane finds that she was bitten by one of them and feared that she herself was turning, so she headed off to Deadwood to find a cure before she turned. This created an interesting part of the plot – the whole group splits up. Jane leaves for Deadwood and everyone follows in their own way, finding little events that sidetrack them. This worked for me and it didn’t. I would have liked to see them a little more as a team, but it DID present something interesting! Because everyone separated from each other, it lent the idea that everyone needed to be strong on their own. Being strong as a team is a good thing, yes, but being strong independently makes the team even better. I did miss a lot of that team dynamic though since they weren’t together as a whole for long in this book.
And here’s where I get into why this is only a 3.5 instead of a 5. I wanted to give this all the stars but I just didn’t like it as much as the first and the second. Weirdly – I can’t even tell you why! I think that the language had a lot to do with it. I bounced back and forth between reading it physically and listening to the audiobook and, no matter how I read this book, the language always seemed to trip me up and take away from the story. It was to be expected – this is a western after all! So “aint”, “darn tootin”, and many other wild west types of sayings were anticipated. Why this tripped me up still, I just don’t know. I also know that I enjoyed the second half of the book more than the first. Why? I don’t know – and that’s really aggravating! I really struggled to get into it and latch on to the characters in the beginning. But as soon as the book gets going, you fall in love with everyone!
Was this my favourite in this series of companion novels? No. But did I have a good time reading it? Heck yes I did! The humour is hands down the best part of these books! The times that the narrators pop in for a little “side track comment” is the best part of these books! I can only imagine what it would be like to have dinner with these authors!! I can’t wait to see what these ladies have in store for us next!
**Any of the books in this series can be read as a standalone! No, you don’t need to have read the first two to read this one. All of their books follow different characters in totally different times in history. They are in no way related**
Until next time, happy reading!