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.
Synopsis from Goodreads
My Lady Jane continues to be one of my favourite revisionist historical novels to reread, especially when I'm in the mood for a light and funny story. Together, Hand, Ashton and Meadows continue to write humorous "Jane" stories that reimagine famous Jane's from history. One of the best things about these books is the authors unapologetic stance on rewriting these historical figures. They acknowledge that they are changing history, and then do it anyways, which is always great for a giggle. My Calamity Jane brings us to the American Wild West, where gunslingers are abound...and apparently garous (werewolves) are too!
Making History Work for Them
As a reader, I get such a kick over how these authors rewrite history for the purposes of their stories, in both fantastical and practical ways. As they get closer to contemporary times, it does seem like it gets a bit harder to manipulate history the way they might want it, but overall, they are still able to bring in the bits of magic that has made the these novels so successful. This time, they've introduced werewolves (called "garou" in the book) and made this a central plot line. I really had fun reading the puns that came out of magical elements and the chaos that arises around these people.
Characters Can be Frustrating
I found Annie and Jane got on my nerves a lot in this book. Honestly, Frank was my favourite character and I wish we had more chapters solely from his perspective. I found Annie to be rather annoying with all her naive demands, and she often came across as juvenile instead of in control. I was surprised by this, especially after the well-crafted characters from the previous novels, but Annie's chapters were often either boring or annoying for me to read. Jane's chapters were a bit better and I thought her storyline overall was a lot stronger. BUT, she tends to stumble through this novel instead of actually seeming in control of her decisions. Either way, I felt like this book was really saved with the addition of Frank as the practical, logical character that kept the story on track (plus, his conversations with his dog were excellent!).
Cheers to LGBTQ+ Characters
I was so happy to see the inclusion of LGBTQ+ characters in this book! Jane's love life is excellent and I was really pleased to find that the authors focused on her sexuality as much as they focused on her garou storyline. They did a great job developing this relationship and I thought it was brilliant to include a character who transitions from female to male seamlessly throughout the novel, but is consistently recognized by Jane because of her interest (I hope that makes sense - I don't want to give spoilers, so it's somewhat hard to discuss this). Basically, Jane kisses a girl and everyone is completely supportive of her, which made me so happy.
Overall, this wasn't my favourite book in the Jane series, but there are some stand out features that make me still want to recommend it to people. So, I'd recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed the other Jane novels, to those looking for strong LGBTQ+ characters, and to anyone who enjoys reading completely revisionist histories! Although I did find some character annoying, this was still a light and fun read and one of the few Wild West books I'll probably ever read.
What did you think of My Calamity Jane?
FINAL RATING: 3/5
Hi, I'm Alexandra! I love reading (largely YA fiction, but sometimes I'll read "adult" books), playing board games, Nutella, and binge-watching TV shows on Netflix with my husband.
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