Northanger Abbey

9 CDs. 10 hrs. Recorded Books. 2014. ISBN 9781490630656. $102.75. 1 MP3-CD, digital download. F
Crime writer McDermid (A Place of Execution) here updates Jane Austen's early novel with smartphones, tweeting, and vampire fantasies. Naïve and highly imaginative 17-year-old Cat Morland is offered the exciting opportunity to go to the monthlong Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, where she is exposed to theater and literature. There she meets two friends who compete for her attention, Bella Thorpe and Eleanor Tilney, and the requisite handsome young man who steals her heart. This rendition references Twilight and its ilk, and while this allows McDermid to write a lighter novel, it definitely is not as engaging as her mysteries. Narrator Liz Pearce gives a solid performance as the young adults in the story.
VERDICT Recommended for Austen fans who enjoy vampire-centric YA. ["The marriage-mindedness of the teenage characters is harder to believe, and the black-and-white characterization of some heroes and villains is overdone. Still, McDermid's descriptions of scenery and settings are excellent, and overall this Austen experiment is a success," read the review of the Grove hc, LJ 4/1/14.]

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