Mr. Darcy, Vampyre: 09/04/10
If you're a diehard Jane Austen fan or an avid reader of vampire novels, step away from this blog. Ignore this review. If you're like me and not really a fan of either, stick around.
Let me say upfront, I loved this book.
Mr. Darcy Vampyre by Amanda Grange begins with the wedding day of the two Bennet sisters. Elizabeth begins her new life as Mrs. Darcy and will be going on a surprise wedding tour our Europe even though things are still unsettled in France. In their journey Elizabeth begins to fear that Darcy isn't the man she thought he was.
Half of the negative reviews I've read focus on Grange's depiction of Austen's most famous couple. Frankly, I've never managed to understand either of them or their supposed mutual attraction at the end. Elizabeth doesn't strike me as all that head strong and Darcy comes off as an arrogant son of a bitch. Nonetheless, they are a literary perfect couple full of "twu wuv."
The other half of the negative reviews comes from the vampire camp. Vampires have evolved (mutated?) since I was in college into moody, moralistic, drop dead gorgeous, angsty, sex gods. Vampires further get divided into those who use humans as their playthings: eat them, bang them, torture them and very rarely turn them; and those who are too tormented by their inner demons to dare touch a human. Think of the Angelus / Angel divide. Mr. Darcy seems to be a hybrid of Angel and Edward (minus the sparkling). I include Edward into the mix only because Mr. Darcy can go out in broad daylight. The hows and whys behind this unusual ability are explained in the book.
The only problem I had with the book was Darcy's ability to go out of doors in daylight. I will put up with this one bit of hand-waving as the book was otherwise for me, a nice modern rendition of a Gothic novel. See the only vampire novel I really like is Dracula and there's a lot homage to it in how Mr. Darcy Vampyre is told even if the vampire himself borrows from more recent tropes.
The best way to describe Mr. Darcy Vampire is to say it's a paranormal sequel written in the style of Bram Stoker but with a happy ending (since it is a romance, after all). Since it's an old style book the vampires do most of their deeds off screen, leaving Elizabeth to comment on odd behavior, or other strange things (like missing mirrors).
I recommend this book wholeheartedly to people who like Jane Austen adaptations (but not necessarily the originals) and people who like Dracula but aren't necessarily into the current vampire craze.
Comment #1: Sunday, September, 5, 2010 at 02:48:56
I'm going to read this book and I hope soon. I bought it while I was in Singapore. There are just too many good books on my shelves right now. Very hard to pick. LOL!
Comment #2: Monday, September 6, 2010 at 20:53:24
I hope you enjoy it. Happy reading.
Comment #3: Sunday, September, 5, 2010 at 02:55:42
I haven't picked up any of the Austen adaptations yet because I'm afraid that the original story might be ruined. But I am also curious. I'm not sure I'd like the idea of Darcy being a vampire :-)
Comment #4: Monday, September 6, 2010 at 20:56:25
If you are a diehard Austen fan, don't read the book. I'm not a fan but I love the adaptations.
Comment #5: Friday, September, 10, 2010 at 07:46:43
I really like the cover and your analogies of Darcy being a hybrid Angel / Edward. The fang craze is everywhere and I do have to say I do like your cover.
Going to look this book up next and loved the review. PS Stoker is still the best by far.
Comment #6: Sunday, September 12, 2010 at 15:41:47
I agree about Stoker being the best. I don't read many of the vampire books but this one tickled my fancy.
Comment #7: Friday, September, 10, 2010 at 14:04:35
You know, I love Jane Austen, and I like vampires (though the angsty ones are starting to get on my nerves), but I'm also a lover of the Gothic atmosphere presented in Stoker's Dracula. I guess I have a wide-ranging taste. I might have to give this one a shot. If nothing else, it sounds interesting!
Comment #8: Sunday, September 12, 2010 at 19:11:40
I certainly liked the book but from the reviews I've read, it's a "your mileage may vary" book.
Comment #9: Friday, September, 10, 2010 at 19:13:31
HAHAHA! This book sounds ridiculously awesome. Wow, this is great.
Comment #10: Sunday, September 12, 2010 at 19:12:19
Have fun reading it.
Comment #11: Friday, September, 10, 2010 at 19:13:45
Thanks for stopping by and becoming a follower! We aren't into these vampire books but will poke around your blog.
Comment #12: Sunday, September 12, 2010 at 19:18:18
Neither am I but this particular one just caught my eye.
Comment #13: Saturday, September, 11, 2010 at 19:01:50
Wow, this sounds interesting! I love the cover and the idea behind it.
Comment #14: Sunday, September 12, 2010 at 19:21:09
It certainly kept my attention.
Comment #15: Saturday, September, 11, 2010 at 22:37:25
I just can't get interested in vampires. Especially vampires that are really, really old.
Comment #16: Sunday, September 12, 2010 at 19:22:23
I don't normally read vampire books. This one though just appealed to me.
Comment #17: Sunday, September, 12, 2010 at 02:06:02
I haven't even read 'Pride and Prejudice' yet, so I cannot judge. But the book does sound interesting enough for me to give it a go.
I like how you said "twu wuv" Haha!
Comment #18: Sunday, September 12, 2010 at 19:24:29
I've tried and failed a few times with Pride and Prejudice and I don't like Darcy so having him be a vampire just seemed like a good idea.
Comment #19: Sunday, September, 19, 2010 at 02:48:03
I thought the book was okay. For me, I would have rather not known from the beginning, the title actually, that Darcy was a vampire, since much of the book is about Elizabeth not knowing what's going on. It was tiring because I already knew what was going on and she didn't. Still, it was a fun read.
Comment #20: Monday, September 27, 2010 at 21:00:24
I thought about the spoilery title when I started the book too. But then I realized it was no more of a spoiler than Dracula was for me. Maybe when it was a brand new book it was a surprise to readers that the title character is a vampire. Now though, most everyone reading the book probably knows he's a vampire. That fact hasn't put the book out of print or stopped new readers from becoming fans of it. So keeping in mind that knowing the spoiler behind Dracula I decided I didn't care that I knew Mr. Darcy's secret either.