My third post is all about fantasy indie writer Jenn Gott! I read her superhero inspired novel, The Private Life Of Jane Maxwell, so scroll down for my review and a superhero-based mini interview!
About the book:
As the creator of a popular new comics franchise, Jane Maxwell knows a thing or two about heroes, but has no illusions of being one herself. All of that is shattered, however, when she finds herself swept into a parallel world-one where her characters are real, and her parallel self is their leader.
There’s just one problem: that Jane is missing.
Under the growing danger of a deadly new villain named UltraViolet, the team has no choice but to ask Jane to do the impossible: step into the suit left behind by her double, become the hero that they need her to be. But with budding powers that threaten to overwhelm her, a family she only half-recognizes, and the parallel version of her dead wife staring her in the face, navigating her alternate life proves harder than she ever imagined…
I was sold on Jane Maxwell the second I read the blurb; alternate universes, an unlikely heroine, a lost love suddenly back in the flesh? What’s not to love!
The Private Life Of Jane Maxwell actually took me quite a while to read. I think for the bargain price of £2.99 I hadn’t expected quite so much story to be packed in to the pages! The story is fast paced, but like all good superhero movies there’s a lot of twists and plots to make the story more than just a sequence of villain-hero battles.
I loved the subplot of Jane and her late wife, whose parallel self plays a vital role in the greater story. Whilst there is some focus on Jane’s grief after her childhood sweetheart unexpectedly dies in a car accident, the story is more about her gaining the confidence to be the hero of her own story.
Some parts of the dialogue are a little cheesy, but honestly that just plays in to the genre for me. Who doesn’t love some cheesy banter between arch enemies?
Overall Jane Maxwell is a fun, action-packed book that’s opened up a whole new genre for me; sapphic superhero novels, which I’ve now discovered is a thing!
Interview with author Jenn Gott:
As Jane Maxwell is such a fun comic inspired novel, I spoke to Jenn Gott about the genre!
If you were going to enter the world of a superhero, which superhero would you choose?
Honestly, like Jane, I’d must rather visit superhero worlds through fiction than deal with them in real life! That said, there are days I would happily trade in this world for Wonder Woman’s home of Themyscira. And of course, who wouldn’t want to visit Wakanda at least once, after seeing Black Panther??
Do you have a favourite comic series or publisher?
I tend to favor “smaller” comic publishers, rather than the big(gest) dogs of Marvel and DC. So for recurring comics, I gravitate toward Image Comics. Saga, Paper Girls, Monstress, Rat Queens, Sleepless–they tend to publish a lot of imaginative sci-fi/fantasy with gorgeous, sprawling graphics. BOOM! Box also does some great work, notably Lumberjanes, Giant Days, and Goldie Vance. For standalone graphic novels, I love some of the work that First Second Books have put out, especially Lucy Knisley’s autobiographical comics.
And, of course, I am always up for a good indie-published title.
Recommend us something you think could be the gateway comic for people who wouldn’t usually pick them up.
The thing that a lot of people don’t realize, if they’ve never looked at comics before, is that the field is WAY more complex than superheroes and spaceships. Really, whatever interest in you have in prose books, you can find in comics. There’s YA, romance, mystery, nonfiction, horror, slice-of-life, sports… it’s endless, really. So for things that are a little different than you might expect, try: “Princeless” volume 1, by Jeremy Whitley and M Goodman; “The Prince and the Dressmaker” by Jen Wang; “Drama” by Raina Telgemeier; or “Something New: Tales from a Makeshift Bride” by Lucy Knisley.
Jenn Gott’s superhero-inspired Jane Maxwell novel and fantasy Beacon Campaigns series can be picked up from Amazon, or her website!