Following the marriage of Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet, there’s a secret being kept, there is danger ahead, and there’s a honeymoon journey completely different from Lizzy’s expectations! Based on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, let Amanda take you on a journey of inner turmoil and outer beauty.
Starting with the marriage of Mr Darcy and Elizabeth, now Mrs Darcy, and a change of plans as soon as they have joined in holy matrimony when Mr Darcy announces that he doesn’t want to take Lizzy to Pemberley, but to Paris instead. What follows is a journey through different lands in Europe. But this journey unfortunately does not help to settle the worry our new Mrs Darcy is experiencing. Rather, her worry increases.
Why does Mr Darcy look pained when he is around her? And why doesn’t he wish to consummate their marriage? Has this all been a mistake?
Don’t let the title fool you. This novel is a travel journal, a travelling story, before anything else. In neat detail Amanda describes the new countries that the newly wed couple experience, as well as all the people and sceneries they meet along the way.
One of the main themes is that of suspense created by personal conflict. This starts as early as in chapter one, when Mr Darcy tells Elizabeth they will deviate from their original plans, which were to journey the Lake District for their honeymoon, and to go to Paris instead. Elizabeth is left to ponder her husband’s true motives for the change as well as his intentions behind them. To make matters worse, Paris turns out to be a place where she learns that those around them think she’s beneath them. Their social background is amplified, the differences between them pointed out once again, and Elizabeth is left to wonder if it might be the cause for her husband’s distant behaviour. On top of that, Mr Darcy is seeking advice on a problem he won’t share with her. The lack of trust between them and the secret that is kept from her weigh heavier upon them each day. If anything, the journey through Europe only manages to strengthen Elizabeth’s fears. Was their marriage a mistake? Does Mr Darcy regret his choices?
This story caries a feeling of suspense. The feeling that something’s amiss has embedded itself throughout the story arc. Rather than an action-packed tale – which many people expected upon reading the title – the adventures of Mr and Mrs Darcy are rather timid. All the while, the characters continue onward with a sense of dread filling them. The journey goes from scenery to scenery, new sights are described with meticulous detail, and the reader should therefore be prepared to enjoy a lot of travelling throughout the first 200 pages or so.
But, as this book counts only about 300 pages, when will the vampires arrive? Let me inform you that the title of this book, as well as the blurb on the back, are somewhat misleading. In the midst of the vampire and zombie hype, one would expect a story packed with action, blood and gore. The type of vampire we expect is either a dangerous all-eating Dracula or a glittering to-swoon-over Twilight Edward Cullen. This story doesn’t offer any of the expectations mentioned above in this paragraph. In fact, read back this review and keep your focus and mind on the travelling and suspense.
Once you do get to the vampires, you might interpret the first part of the story in a different light. But it is not action-filled. The vampires might be dangerous but they are not out for throats or to gain as much blood as possible. In fact, this tale caries a sense of timid exploration, both in surroundings as well as in character, that somehow happens to involve vampires.
As this is a book I have in my personal collection of Jane Austen inspired novels, I will add a small section with more specific thoughts and opinions. When I bought this book I had a limited budget and an option between Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and this one.The choice I made was the best. I choose Mr Darcy, Vampyre, which disappointed me in the absence of vampires for most of the tale, but satisfied me in so many more. The characters don’t feel forced, they feel true to nature. I can imagine them in this situation. I enjoyed the beautiful places to which Amanda took me – a journey at a pace slow enough to visualize the countries she took me to. I realise the pace of the story might put some people off, but in a reality filled with deadlines (at the time) and obligations this tale felt like an escape, a way to relax.
If you enjoy travel literature then this will be a delightful surprise among the Austen inspired novels. It is sweet, it is light, despite the underlying sense of wrongness, and it takes one back to a time when travelling around the world was exotic and not as common or as easy as it is today. It’s in the spirit of 18th century travel books, think of Mary Wollstonecraft, Henry Fielding and Samuel Johnson.
Now I can imagine the disappointment of those who aren’t seeking a travel journal. But out of my collection I still think Mr Darcy, Vampyre is one of the dearer ones to me. It’s not too difficult plot-wise and it is filled with those little pleasures that make it, to me, a book to enjoy. Writing-style wise, it’s more modern than other Austen inspired books in my collection, but to me that only makes it an easier and more relaxing read. This book is definitely not everyone’s cup of tea, but to those that could possibly enjoy it, I would certainly recommend it.
[ Mr Darcy, Vampyre, is a (mostly) calm travel book, describing the honeymoon of Mr and Mrs Darcy, with a sense of underlying suspense and dread and vampires appearing near the end of the tale.
Amanda Grange is one of the authors I enjoy reading stories from. She has written more Pride and Prejudice and Austen inspired tales that I would heavily recommend. To visit her website, click here. ]