Now, I will admit when I heard that there was a Pride and Prejudice sequel coming out where my beloved Mr. Darcy was a vampire, I was skeptical. In fact, I went as far as "tweeting" about it, "Would be more open to Mr. Darcy, Vampyre if this massive vampire (cough cough Twilight) craze wasn't going around." That is when the publishers said give it a chance, so I did.
So I attempted to be in a neutral frame of mind when I opened Amanda Grange's book, but the silly concept was still in the back of my mind. Now, I'm quite the fan of vampire films and literature as well as Jane Austen film and literature but combining the two was not what I had in mind. I find vampire stories need three essential elements 1) A sexy vampire 2) Amounting sexual tension 3) A healthy dose of cheese (you can't avoid camp in vampire romances). Luckily for me Grange's book contained all three aspects.
Mr. Darcy, Vampyre begins on the day of Jane and Lizzy's wedding when the two blooming brides are bubbling over with excitement. But as soon as Lizzy is in the carriage after the reception that things begin to get weird. Instead of heading for Pemberley the carriage takes a sudden turn for a honeymoon on the continent, much to Lizzy's surprise. So begins a strange series of events for the Darcys in which Mr. Darcy's mixed signals confuse the new Mrs. Darcy. She begins to think Mr. Darcy has grown indifferent to her. But could it be something else?
I was surprised at how quickly I became engrossed in this novel. Amanda Grange has a nice flow of words which I like. She also knows her settings and (very importantly, I might add) her period clothing. She made a gripping story that sucks you in; although I found it is not the same Lizzy and Darcy we came to know in Austen's work. Still, Grange's talent lies in her ability to tell a very entertaining vampire tale and for that she should be commended.
There was only a few things that bothered me. Darcy and Lizzy would constantly reflect and tease each other about their past which would consist of directly quoting Pride and Prejudice. Whenever this would happen it seemed forced, unnatural, and didn't seem to harmoniously work with the characters. It seemed as if it was inserted to remind readers that this book was, in fact, a Pride and Prejudice sequel. There was also a Je ne sais quoi at the end of the book where it seemed that Grange lost her momentum in the story in hopes to be able to neatly wrap up the ending.
My final consensus on Mr. Darcy, Vampire is that it is a good book and deserves a chance. The book is highly entertaining and well written. I tend to avoid historical novels like the plague because of confusions over what is true and what isn't, but Grange shows her knowledge in the many subjects she covers and harmoniously blends them with her storytelling.