Sunday, November 22, 2009

Mr. Darcy, Vampyre by Amanda Grange (2.5/5 stars)

This is a book that tells the story of what happens between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy after "Pride and Prejudice" ends. It was an okay book. I was a bit disappointed in the simple dialogue and the lagging plot.

Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy get married and are embarking on their wedding tour. Elizabeth is surprised by Mr. Darcy's quickly changing moods. Then he tells her that they are not going on a tour of the Lakes but instead to Paris. As Elizabeth grows increasingly depressed over Mr. Darcy's lack of attention and fickle nature; she wonders if maybe they should have married at all. What she doesn't know is that there may be more to Mr. Darcy's moods than she could have ever imagined.

First let's talk about what was good in this book. Grange did a wonderful job of seamlessly tying this story in with "Pride and Prejudice". Grange recalls scenes from the original book that support her evidence for Mr. Darcy's strange behavior. She does this very well. She makes Mr. Darcy being a vampire seem like a credible thing. Grange also does an excellent job of integrating vampires into normal European society in a very believable way.

Unfortunately there was a lot about this book that I didn't like. The fact that it is called "Mr. Darcy, Vampyre" takes much of the tension in the plot away from the reader. Elizabeth spends the majority of the book figuring out that Mr. Darcy is a vampire. The reader knows this from the beginning, so it takes a lot of the mystery away from the story. Additionally I found that Elizabeth had been dumbed down as a character. Much of the sharpness and wit she showed in "Pride and Prejudice" is mellowed; for much of the book I was frustrated by how she blindly followed Mr. Darcy's lead. It took her forever to question him about his actions; the original Elizabeth as portrayed by Austen would never have taken that long.

I also found the dialogue in general to be disappointing. At points the dialogue was very witty; but much of the time it sounded more awkward and forced than free-flowing and snappy. There were a number of times, especially early in the story, where I thought the dialogue was very immature and couldn't imagine any of the original characters speaking that way. "Pride and Prejudice" was all about the witty banter; and this book missed that mark for me.

Lastly the pacing was a bit off. The beginning of the book starts to drag on as Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy go from one location to another; then suddenly there is a ton of action packed into the last chapter. I wish that the action had been spread out more; it would have been nice to see more of how Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth dealt with him being a vampire and it would have been nice to have the end quest take up some more page space.

In summary, the book was an okay read. It is a nice fluffy diversion if you are really into vampires and "Pride and Prejudice". Personally though, if you are in interested into taking "Pride and Prejudice" into a paranormal realm I would read "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" instead; this zombie version retains much of the original story's wit and adds to it a little. I probably won't be checking out any other of Grange's books; I just wasn't that impressed with her writing style.

No comments:

Post a Comment