Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy have gotten married. Instead of heading to the lake district as planned, their wedding tour takes them to the continent – first to France, then over the Alps, and on to Italy. And among all the new things for Elizabeth to see (as it turns out that Darcy has already been there numerous times, and actually owns real estate in all places), Elizabeth finds that there is danger at every turn. Not only do Darcy’s friends and family not completely approve of their marriage, but she soon finds that there is something dark and sinister out there – a being so evil and so ancient, one that she had laughed at the tales of when she was younger. Along with this evil threat, Elizabeth also learns that Darcy is not exactly who he has always said he was – he is, in fact, a vampyre.
I don’t like doing bad reviews for books that I get sent by the publishers… but in all honesty I was very indifferent to this book while reading it. I had heard that there were going to be about a half dozen vampire books set in the P&P universe coming out within a year’s time, so I was curious. Wanted to see what the appeal was, and I’m still not entirely sure what it is. P&P&Z was fabulous because it was hilarious and unexpected, but vampires…. well, vampires are just so overdone in general now, and we’ve already seen a P&P book with monsters of some sort in it. So the concept feels a little tired for me.
But I understand that the premise of something like this happening in the P&P universe would draw a whole bunch of readers. A plethora of readers, even. But… this book would’ve worked A LOT better for me if it wasn’t Elizabeth and Darcy in it. I found that the characters didn’t seem very true to themselves. Not just because half of them are vampires, but, well, some of the characteristics weren’t consistent with the original book. It would’ve come across so much better if I didn’t already have these specific images of the characters in my head. So maybe people who aren’t huge Jane Austen fans would love this. Maybe it’ll bring vampire lovers to get to know Austen… But I would’ve enjoyed this book much more if it had not been about Lizzy and Darcy.
So I spent the majority of the time reading it pretending that it wasn’t about those characters, that they just had the same names. And that made it more enjoyable for the most part. As said above, vampires are overdone. But this wasn’t the worst of vampire novels that I’ve read in the past few years – nothing really to make it stand out, but not horrible. There were some parts that were exciting, and it was cool to see Venice, Paris and other areas through the eyes of an era of elegance character. But it wasn’t enough to make it a must-read in my eyes.
The Bottom Line: It was alright, if you don’t mind the fact that it is so not the Elizabeth and Darcy that you love. Personally not one of my favourite books based on P&P. It’s not something I will read again, and I think I’ll be safe avoiding other vampire novels in the P&P ‘verse.