Here’s my theory about parodies: we like getting the joke by that I mean getting the reference that the oeuvre is referring to or making fun of. I’ll admit that I am part of the vain lot that prides himself with the books that are lining by bookshelves. And whenever I encounter a book that parodies one of my favourite childhood stories, well… I get all tingly inside because I get it.
So, when I stumbled upon the first Jane Carver book, there I was with my index in the air going: haha! I get this! It’s a parody of Edgar Rice Burrough’s A Princess of Mars. Interestingly, Nathan Long swapped the immortal Virginian Captain for a big redhaired “biker chick”, a foul mouth, no nonsense gale that has tough as with her fist as with her words, named Jane Carver. In the first book, we follow Jane working out how gravity works on the world of Waar and putting up with the macho custom of it’s purple inhabitants. Mr. Long dives in Burrough’s world, turning it upside-down and seeing it at every angle. Thought there is an obvious annoyance with Burrough’s flowery style and the lofty speeches that the Purple men of Waar have a penchant for to which Jane constantly undercuts with her narrative there is also a love for the adventures that Burrough’s created. Let’s face it, Edgard Rice Bourroughs did write some exciting adventures.
In Jane Carver Swords of Waar, we find our heroine stranded on the rock called earth. She keeps thinking about Waar and the purple lover she left behind. She finally manages to hitch a ride, with the help of a humming crystal that teleports her all the way back to Waar, wherever that is. Once on Waar, Jane manages to make enemy with the church but also manages to find her purple lover. They both spend the rest of the book on the run, narrowly escaping the church’s grip, fighting air pirates and manage to involuntarily change the status quo of Waar.
The first book, Jane Carver of Waar, was a straight up parody, put in Jane in the stead of John Carter and change Carter’s flowery narrative for Jane’s foulmouthed and hilarious narrative and voilà le tour est joué! Simple right? So, you’d expect Nathan Long to repeat the same formula, take ERB’s second John Carter book and do a copy and paste of the plot. Nope! Not even. Mr. Long, based on the groundwork in his first novel, decides to create something new. And in the mist of all this exiting adventure, the author does address some of the issues, such as the damsels in distress, human rights (or in this case purple people rights), that younger audience would have with something that was published over a hundred years ago.
Sadly, Night Shade the publishers of the two Jane Carver books have been making news about how they’ve been have financial difficulties. Does this mean that there won’t be a third novel in the Waar world? I hope not. Because Nathan Long created an interesting world with vibrant characters and an edgy heroine that I would most definitely would fallow through another adventure.
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