Mr. Darcy, Vampyre
By Amanda Grange
Paperback, 308 pages
2009, Amanda Grange
From the very day of her wedding to Darcy, Elizabeth suspects something is wrong. As the two travel across Europe meeting Darcy’s mysterious friends and family, staying in dark castles and fleeing from angry mobs, Elizabeth struggles with her new surroundings. Darcy is cold and unloving and Elizabeth must find out what caused his sudden change in demeanor.
I’ll come right out and say it – this book was BORING. I was expecting it to be 100% cheesy and hopefully entertaining (you know…bad in a good way?) and instead it was snorefest. I’m glad it wasn’t an incredibly long book – it took so little time to read it that at least I don’t feel like I wasted too much of my time.
Of course, from the title, readers will infer that Darcy is a vampire – oh, sorry, vampyre – and our dear Elizabeth is the only one who seems to be unaware of this fact. Darcy suddenly changes their honeymoon from a tour of the Lake District to a tour of Paris, Austria (I think? Or maybe it was the Swiss Alps…) and Venice so Elizabeth can meet a hoard of family and friends she’s never heard of. The vampiric – oh, sorry, vampyryc – undertones in the character’s behavior are obvious, and you know the reveal is coming, yet the other shoe doesn’t drop until about two thirds of the way through the book.
The majority of the book is details Darcy and Elizabeth traveling, “making arrangements” to travel more, unpacking/making themselves comfortable at various inns, meeting with cardboard cutouts of “eccentric” European gentry (read: obviously vampi—vampyres), and bland conversations between Elizabeth and Darcy, wherein Elizabeth doesn’t ask the right questions about what’s wrong with their marriage.
Elizabeth spends most of her time convincing herself that Darcy doesn’t love her because their marriage remains unconsummated. But rather than be her usual outspoken self, she spends all her time silently fretting and failing to talk to Darcy about anything even remotely important. Darcy is just silent and disappeary (yes, I made that up.) I didn’t think their personalities were properly captured.
When we finally do get to the vampire – ugh, vampyre – bits, there’s nothing standout there either. Darcy’s excuse for not coming to Elizabeth at night is because there’s a small chance that sexing her up could cause her to change into a vampire. What??? I mean…what??? That’s a new one for me. He has no problem with crosses, or daylight, etc. and explains to Elizabeth that each “family” (no clue how these are actually defined) has its own weakness and his is that he’ll eventually fade to nothingness if he’s outside during too many sunrises or sunsets. Another new vampire –vaaaammmpppyyyyrrreeee – trait for me and not a very thrilling one.
There is a pseudo-villain for about two pages, but there was no real tension created with his appearance and he didn’t pose much of a threat, despite being “old when Jesus Christ was young” and one of the most powerful vampires –vampyres! – ever. I won’t “spoil” the scene, but his defeat is laughably stupid. Darcy’s backstory on how he was turned is also cliché and tropetastic. He and his sister survived a plague, lost their parents and became homeless. His sister fell ill and they were found by a kindly vampyre who turned Georgiana to save her life and turned Darcy so they’d never be apart. –snoring–
Elizabeth also suffers from the “immediate acceptance of the unusual and fantastic” trope. She barely bats an eye at Darcy’s vampyrysm and explains it away with her having “heard stories” about them. Okay, girl, I know your love for him is strong and all, but you wouldn’t be the least bit disgusted, upset or afraid, even if he says he doesn’t drink human blood? PLEASE.
The ending was the most convenient plot twist ever and I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised, considering how weak the vampyre plot line was to begin with, despite the title having the word vampyre – oh, sorry, vampire – in it!
I didn’t expect to fall in love with this book, but I thought I’d at least find something to enjoy. The only positive I can think of is that it’s an incredibly quick read, but overall this book was a huge disappointment and I wouldn’t recommend it for Austen or supernatural fantasy fans.