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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Review: Jayna Incarnate

Jayna Incarnate
by Jane Shoup

During an experimental procedure to treat Samantha Bennett’s clinical depression, her heart stops momentarily and her soul travels 250 years back in time, to 1745, to the last moments of her former incarnation, Jayna Conroy’s, life. The influx of Samantha’s energy allows Jayna to survive and continue her escape from captivity with the infamous ‘pirate’ Shoale.

Jayna finds her way to the MacAndrews clan in the Highlands and into the heart of Mackenzie MacAndrews, but Mac has a full-time struggle to keep his clan out of civil conflict as bonnie Prince Charlie tries to reclaim the throne of Scotland. The darkly compelling Shoale continues his search for Jayna, and there is another, unseen threat—-medical technology of the future, where Samantha has been languishing in a coma since the surgery. Love, a home and happiness are finally within Jayna’s reach, but will she find a way to keep them against all odds?

Jayna Incarnate has all the best elements of a historical romance, entwined within the paradox of time travel. Shoup's novel comprises many threads; the many sub-plots and myriad of character create an intriguing background to this romance. The complex contemporary thread leaves us with many questions, and we are all to quickly (and willingly) swept into the world of - well, from the world of Brooks, to the world of Jayna Conroy. The complexity can be a little confusing, but the adventure carries the reader forward. In fact, once you start, you won't want to stop. Shoup knows how to create characters you admire, root for, and sympathize with.

Her complex storylines weaves themselves together very cleverly, too. The scenes on the beach, struggling heavily up, from sand or table, could simply not have been done better. Shoup will make you believe you have stepped back, back to a world of clipper ships, domaneering men... and men of heroic courage as well.

Would a seer of the olden days be considered medically insane in our world? This intriguing tale will leave you wondering, wondering about possibilities. I enjoyed this work as much for the questions it posed, as the story it told. Do give it a read.

Reviewed by Snapdragon