Title: Sense and Sensibility
Author: Joanna Trollope
Source: from publisher for TLC book tour
Review Summary: This book was an incredibly similar experience to reading the original and it feel fresh again because of the change in setting.
There are two kinds of re-tellings. There are those which use the original as an inspiration and which become awesome by using the original material in creative new ways. Cinder is one of my favorite examples of that kind of re-telling. This is not that kind of re-telling. This is the other kind, where the source material is preserved almost entirely with just a setting change and this is by far the best example of that kind of re-telling that I’ve ever read. Continue reading
Author: Richard Aellen
Source: bought on Amazon
Review Summary: By far my favorite Count of Monte Cristo re-telling, this book kept all the most important things about the original and in doing so became a great thriller with a lot of depth.
Keith Johnson is happily married and pursuing a career as a helicopter pilot when he’s sent to Vietnam. When evidence suggests his sergeant has killed one of his own men, Keith is unable to keep silent. Unfortunately, one of his friends is willing to betray him for a chance at a safer posting and his sergeant is desperate to get rid of him. Sent on a mission meaning almost certain death, Keith is reported as missing in action but actually survives only to be thrown into a prison camp for 20 years. When he eventually escapes, his only thought is of revenge. Continue reading
Title: The Sultan of Monte Cristo
Author: The Holy Ghost Writer
Source: bought on amazon
Review Summary: The writing style was similar to the original, but the plot was boring, unbelievable, bizarre, and not true to the spirit of the original.
This book is supposed to be a sequel to The Count of Monte Cristo. My review contains some spoilers for this book but none for the original.
Initially, I actually had high hopes for this book. From the first few pages it was clear that the author had done a good job capturing Dumas’ writing style. The language was flowery, Dantes was arrogant, and Hadee subservient. Not my favorite things about Dumas but integral to his work and well represented here. However… The book opens with a blatant sex scene between Dantes and Haydee. Now, I don’t have a problem with sex scenes in principle, but nothing like this happens in the original. More than that, I thought the ambiguous nature of Dantes’ relationship with Haydee was part of the first book’s appeal. Continue reading
Title: The Dashwood Sisters’ Secrets of Love
Author: Rosie Rushton
Review Summary: Although nothing to write home about, this modernization of Sense and Sensibility was a cute, fun read.
Like the book, this review is going to be a quick, easy read. The plot is almost exactly that of Sense and Sensibility, just a modernized version. My first reaction was disappointment that the author didn’t even try to copy Austen’s beautiful prose or understated humor. Once I got past that, I was better able to enjoy the book for what it was. Elinor and Marianne were both updated very nicely. Like the actions of Austen’s characters, the update wasn’t predictable but just felt right. Of course Elinor would be good at academics! Of course Marianne would act! I was also impressed by the way the update translated events with no modern equivalent. For instance, some of the social constraints on the original characters’ actions have no longer exist, but the author managed to come up with suitable substitutes. Continue reading
Author: Intisar Khanani
Source: from author for review
Review Summary: This book was darker and more violent than I expected from the pretty cover, but I was pleasantly surprised when the main character turned out to be a strong heroine you could really root for.
As I mentioned in my previous review of a Goose Girl retelling, the basic gist of both this book and the original fairy tale is as follows. A princess is sent to marry a prince in a foreign land and on the journey, her maid uses some form of magic to take on the princess’s identity. Once they reach the foreign capital, the princess becomes a goose girl and must decide if and how she wants to regain her place as a princess.