This has been a sad year for paranormal fantasy. On the heels of Charlaine Harris ending her Southern Vampire sequence, Nicole Peeler’s beloved and hugely popular Jane True series is now complete. Two iconic heroines—Jane and Sookie—have walked off into the sunset.
But you’ve got to hand it to Peeler: she ended the Jane True saga in grand style, and it couldn’t have been more satisfying—or more fitting. The recently released Tempest Reborn, the sixth and concluding installment, is nothing short of epic, a fusion of urban fantasy, steamy romance, and apocalyptic fiction. In it, the saga’s unlikely heroine, Jane True—a lovable and libidinous selkie-halfling with a thing for Converse sneakers—must save the world from an ancient evil. But in order to defeat her enemies, she may have to kill her furry love interest, Anyan, a barghest.
I don’t want to ruin anything for readers, so I’m not going to get into the specifics of the storyline, but what I will do is reminisce a bit about why this series was so wildly enjoyable and why, in my opinion, it will go down as one of the best paranormal fantasy sagas ever. The unique cover art is indicative of what’s inside; readers will never again experience a saga quite like this one.
Two aspects of the Jane True novels are undeniably extraordinary: first, the relatability of Jane True. She is in many ways the antithesis of the stereotypical paranormal fantasy heroine. She’s a short, not exactly athletic, socially awkward bookstore employee, and instead of wearing stiletto heels and leather pants, she rocks comfortable jeans and old Chuck Taylors. She’s spunky, a bit naïve, idealistic, courageous, funny, and incredibly sexy in her own way. Female and male readers alike identify with her irreverent attitude and her vulnerability.
Second is Peeler’s brilliant ability to infuse humor into Jane’s sexuality. Her writing style is simultaneously knotty and naughty, and the way she describes Jane’s carnality is simply priceless. Here are some of my all-time favorite lines:
• “She has seaweed pubes.” (Tempest Rising)
• “He had this domineering way about him that totally ketchuped my tater tots—it was like he knew what I wanted more than I did.” (Tempest’s Fury)
• “If I pee my pants I am going to be so pissed.” (Tempest’s Legacy)
• “Amazing sex, beautiful clothes, and a grilled cheese whenever I ask—I could get used to this life.” (Tempest Rising)
• “It was when he was so casually clever, however, that I wanted to pickle his gherkin.” – (Tempest’s Fury)
• “We’d be boning in a field of Oreos or something, cut through by a river of cold milk. The Oreos could dunk themselves first in the river, then feed themselves to me as I came.” (Tempest Reborn)
• “That hair-pulling thing he did really peeled my bananas.” (Eye of the Tempest)
• “That’s not a police baton!” (Eye of the Tempest)
• “My cake-and-sex fantasies were foiled, however, for neither lurked in my kitchen.” (Tracking the Tempest)
• “I’m pretty sure I’d just had a nerdgasm.” (Tempest’s Fury)
• “’Ohmigod,’ I said, groaning and burying my face in Anyan’s biceps, ‘the only thing bigger than my hips are my eyes. It’s like a manga character came to life and discovered fried chicken.” (Tempest’s Fury)
Which blockbuster paranormal fantasy saga in waiting will take the place vacated by these series? I can’t even speculate right now—I’m still mourning the loss of Jane and company. I think I’ll go off somewhere to dunk some Oreos.