Written by Amanda Grange
Published by Sourcebooks Landmark
Review by Paula Day
Reimaginings of Jane Austen’s novels have become as popular as Austen’s classic novels themselves. Now, with paranormal fiction all the rage, authors have begun reimagining Austen’s beloved characters among the supernatural, including zombies, sea monsters, and most popular of all—vampires. In the hilarious Jane Bites Back by Michael Thomas Ford, the author herself is the vampire in question. In the fanciful tale Mr. Darcy, Vampyre it is Elizabeth Bennett’s beloved husband who bites, a secret he struggles to keep from his new wife.
The story begins where Pride and Prejudice leaves off, on Elizabeth’s wedding day to Mr. Darcy. Elizabeth and her new husband travel the world, though all is not well for the Darcys. Mr. Darcy is not as loving or attentive as a new husband should be, and though Elizabeth senses that something is wrong she cannot guess why her husband keeps such a distance from her. Finally, after some suspenseful interludes, Mr. Darcy confesses his true nature, that he is a vampire, and Elizabeth accepts him as he is. In the end, Mr. Darcy may be able to overcome his curse and live happily after all.
This supernatural tale was written by Amanda Grange, whose look into Darcy’s inner world in Mr. Darcy’s Diary I enjoyed very much. I was fascinated reading through this curious premise, that one of Austen’s most beloved characters is a vampire, and seeing what that might look like as played out between Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett. Grange has an old-fashioned style of writing that does not seem outdated, but rather harkens back to the era of Austen herself, when the way words were written mattered. Mr. Darcy, Vampyre can be recommended simply for Grange’s prose alone. Grange does a fine job weaving the original plot of Pride and Prejudice into this paranormal story, and the aloofness we saw in Darcy in the original novel is now understood as his way of keeping his vampire nature from the woman he loves.
Readers who are not paranormal fans may have a hard time with the plot, but paranormal fans will devour this novel and find it a mysterious, intriguing blend of the popular vampire story with two of Austen’s most beloved characters.
Paula Day is the Review Editor for The Copperfield Review and the Managing Editor of Copperfield Press. She lives in Los Angeles, California.