Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Mr. Darcy, Vampyre by Amanda Grange

In Mr. Darcy, Vampyre, Amanda Grange offers a supernatural take on Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, providing a different reason for Mr. Darcy's moodiness.

The book opens just before the double wedding of Elizabeth and Jane Bennet to Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley. As she and Darcy are leaving for their honeymoon, Elizabeth learns they will not be traveling to the Lake District but to Europe. She's excited about seeing new places, so she doesn't complain, but the mood of the novel turns dark as the Darcys travel to Paris, Venice, and the Alps. Darcy has friends in all of these places, some creepier than others.

"She has no taste for your company," he said.

"No?" said the gentleman. "But I have a taste for her."

Hers, thought Elizabeth. He should have said hers.

"Let her go," said Darcy warningly.

"Why should I?" asked the gentleman.

"Because she is mine," said Darcy.

The gentleman turned his full attention toward Darcy and Elizabeth followed his eyes.

And then she saw something that made her heart thump against her rib cage and her mind collapse as she witnessed something so shocking and so terrifying that the ground came up to meet her as everything went black. (page 210)
Readers follow Elizabeth and Darcy on their travels, and most of the book is about Elizabeth being introduced to Darcy's friends in various locales and Elizabeth wondering why her husband doesn't come to her at night to consummate their marriage.

Grange does a wonderful job setting the scene. Her description of the cities, the clothes, and the architecture seemed realistic to the time period and made me feel as though I was there with the Darcys.

However, while there were a few action scenes, the pacing was a little slow, mainly because the book is told from Elizabeth's point of view. She doesn't know Darcy's secret, so she's wondering what's wrong with him, whether he actually loves her, and whether it was a mistake for her to marry someone from a higher social class. But we know Darcy's secret from page one, and that's my biggest problem with the book. I think the title Mr. Darcy, Vampyre does a disservice to the book. Grange includes clues about Darcy's secret, with scenes about a bat, garlic necklaces, and villagers crossing themselves, etc., but these are more for Elizabeth's benefit. I would have preferred a different title--one that would have aligned me with Elizabeth in wondering about Darcy's behavior. It all seemed a bit anticlimactic to me.

But that doesn't mean Mr. Darcy, Vampyre isn't a good book. Overall, I enjoyed it and thought it was a fun take on the beloved Austen novel. I liked seeing Darcy and Elizabeth in new settings with new characters. And the supernatural storyline doesn't feel out of place in the world Grange creates. There also were some entertaining scenes with Lady Catherine, which were among my favorites. If you enjoy Pride and Prejudice sequels and aren't an Austen purist, I think it's worth a try.


Mr. Darcy, Vampyre is my first book for the Everything Austen Challenge hosted by Stephanie's Written Word.

Disclosure:  I received a free copy of Mr. Darcy, Vampyre from Sourcebooks for review purposes.

18 comments:

Serena said...

I'm sorry this book was anticlimactic for you. At least you still enjoyed it.

Staci said...

I'm glad you enjoyed it. I have to read it regardless!!!

Blodeuedd said...

I would love to read this book :D
But yes you might have a point about the title

Jo-Jo said...

Thanks for the review Anna...I'm just not sure if I can handle thought of Mr. Darcy as a vampire.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

It sounds like fun from your review!

Sandy Nawrot said...

I have yet to take my first dive into "other Austen". I've only recently started reading Austen, and I'm afraid it would be a buzz-kill! It just cracks me up, the way P&P is it's own genre!

naida said...

Great review, I do agree with you on the title.
http://thebookworm07.blogspot.com/

bermudaonion said...

I haven't gotten into Austen sequels, but then I've only tried one. I think I'll skip this since it's slow.

carolsnotebook said...

I'm still on the fence about picking this one up. I think I might be getting tired of seeing all the P&P sequesls and knock-offs.

Dar said...

Sorry it was a bit slow for you. I totally loved it. I'm glad you still liked it though. I would have been interested to see the ending go a different way but that's about it.

S. Krishna said...

I definitely want to read this one. Thanks for the review!

hmsgofita said...

I still want to read this book, though, after all the reviews I think the book will be a bit disappointing, but I'm sure I'll still enjoy the fun! Thanks for your review!

Stephanie said...

Seems like this book is getting some so-so reviews. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it!

Anna said...

Thanks everyone! If any of you read it, please let me know your thoughts. I know there are a lot of people who've enjoyed it more than I did, but overall, it was a fun book. (Not funny, though. It's a bit dark.)

Jeanne said...

This is a funny, funny idea. But maybe it's best left there, from what you say about your reading experience.

Anna said...

~Jeanne: Given that the book is pretty dark, I would have liked not to have known Darcy was a vampire from the start. I don't think it would have bothered me, though, if the book was meant to be funny. Still, I think it's worth a read if you're into unique Austen sequels.

liz604 said...

The reason why I picked up the book in the first place was because of the title. The idea of Mr. Darcy as a vampire is fascinating! I've only read five chapters and so far I'm not dissappointed.

Anna said...

~liz604: Thanks for stopping by! I'm glad you're enjoying the book so far. I don't think the title would have been a big deal for me if the whole book wasn't about Elizabeth not knowing Darcy is a vampyre while readers and everyone else know it already.