Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
TYPE OF AUSTENESQUE NOVEL: Pride and Prejudice Sequel, Paranormal
TIME FRAME: Begins the morning of Elizabeth and Darcy’s wedding in October 1802
MAIN CHARACTERS: Elizabeth Darcy and Mr. Darcy
WHY I WANTED TO READ THIS NOVEL:
- I’m much more into vampires and paranormal novels than I was in 2009 when this novel came out (never read any vampire novels until Dracula, My Love by Syrie James)
- It is the only Austenesque novel by Amanda Grange I haven’t read.
- It is October! I’m in the mood for something gothic and dark.
WHAT I LOVED:
- Kept in Suspense: Because we are not privy to Darcy’s thoughts (story is completely from Elizabeth’s POV) we do not know the reasons behind his actions and decisions. And he is maddeningly reticent! Why did Darcy change their travel plans at the last minute and take Elizabeth to France, Switzerland, and Italy instead of the Lake District? Why does Darcy never visit Elizabeth in her rooms? Why does he look at her with longing passion but not consummate their marriage? Even after two months!?! I bet you are dying to know!
- Vampyrisms: I liked the supernatural traits Darcy possessed as a vampire, it felt the right amount and was not too stereotypical. I enjoyed how Darcy vampyric traits weren’t too obvious, it made the story more believable as well as congruent as a sequel to Pride and Prejudice.
- Darcy: Enigmatic, brooding, full pent-up passion and tension, battling his self-control, resisting all temptation. *swoon* Darcy is definitely a Byronic hero in this novel! The story is heartrending because he is so in love with Elizabeth but denies himself her love. I loved the sweet moments when he gazes at her adoringly (and the heated moments where he almost gives in to his desires…)
WHAT I WASN’T TOO FOND OF:
- Elizabeth: I guess I found Elizabeth a little too accepting of all that was happening to her. Her new husband is all of sudden impulsive, secretive, and physically distant with her – I’d like to think our girl would not stand for such treatment and demand answers from Darcy! Also, when the big reveal does finally take place Elizabeth doesn’t seem that shocked and doesn’t have a million questions like one would expect her to.
- Balance: Darcy and Elizabeth travel to various beautiful and historic destinations on their tour. While I do love a good travelogue and Amanda Grange is adept at providing detailed and vivid descriptions, it sort of felt like the multi-day journeys and scenery got a little too much page time. Maybe a little less travel and a little more plot and conflict would make this story feel more balanced.
- Resolution: After so much build up, I must admit that the conclusion of this story was a little bit of a let down. The conflicts and dangers seemed to conveniently disappear in a way that felt unrealistic and hurried. There were so many questions left unanswered and so many events that seemed unconnected, that it didn’t feel like enough resolution took place. And…when Darcy and Elizabeth finally come together, after such a long period of denial, repression, and forced separation…it was summed up in one sentence. (Gah! so anticlimactic.)
I found Mr. Darcy, Vampyre to be a gripping and gothic read – perfect for Halloween! Amanda Grange did a fabulous job adhering to Jane Austen’s original novel and the norms of the Regency Era, and Darcy is quite mesmerizing as a vampire! I just wished parts of the plot and resolution were better executed. Definitely still worth reading, though.