Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Mr Darcy, Vampyre by Amanda Grange- Review by Carlyn

Mr Darcy, Vampyre by Amanda Grange is a fantasy novel based on Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. It begins where Pride and Prejudice left off with Elizabeth Bennett and Fitzwilliam Darcy newly married except that Darcy is a vampire. Elizabeth and Darcy set off on their honeymoon in Europe where strange happenings occur. Elizabeth doesn’t know that Darcy is a vampire and he remains aloof as ever.

I love Jane Austen books and my favourite couple is Elizabeth and Darcy. I also love spin off fan fiction type books because they add a new dimension to the books. It’s best to not take spin offs seriously as it will only lead to indignation. Some spin off books are better than others and I think this one is a good one.

While Grange doesn’t write in the same style as Jane Austen, she still has made attempts to keeping within the 18th century time period. For instance, Elizabeth and Darcy sleep in separate rooms which was common for wealthy people in the 18th century. Couples slept in different rooms as sex was taboo. Wealthy people often had maids and valets to help them dress in the morning and they didn’t want their servants to see them in bed together. Also, some couples married for convenience and didn’t get along so they lead a separate life which was why they had their own bedrooms.  Divorce was considered scandalous and it was rare for people to get divorced.

Elizabeth wonders why Darcy hasn’t come to her in the night but doesn’t know how to broach the subject. Ladies don’t talk about those things. She also fears that he doesn’t love her. Darcy loves Elizabeth but wants to protect her from his true nature. There is so much angst in this book that could be solved by a frank discussion between the couple. However, their sensibilities would never allow it. Fortunately, there are some breaking points where Elizabeth demands answers but they are always interrupted by some dramatic happening that is more important.

 I wish that Darcy being a vampire was a mystery to the reader as well. It would have made things more interesting. Darcy’s reluctance to tell Elizabeth that he was a vampire was exasperating rather than heroic. Elizabeth is a strong woman and she would have coped well with the news. Eventually, Elizabeth does find out and she carries on bravely.

While all this vampire mystery is going on, the young couple explores the wonders of Europe. They are on a grand tour to France and Italy. It was nice to read about Elizabeth travelling as she is an intelligent woman who could benefit from seeing new places and meeting new people.

I wish there was more on Darcy being a vampire but the story is told from Elizabeth’s perspective. The vampire lore was vague in the book and I think it would have been more exciting if there were more detail.  The ending was very convenient in both the solution and setting. It was like something that would happen to Indiana Jones. I was expecting an epic battle or at least some monster at the end but that didn’t happen. Readers don’t need to have read Pride and Prejudice to enjoy this book. Although knowing the gist of the Pride and Prejudice story would help a bit. It’s an entertaining read but there’s not a lot of vampire in this book. 

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