Well, I finished “Mr Darcy, Vampyre” a few days ago, and I have to say, my initial impressions of it didn’t improve much.
I’m no writer myself, or book critic, but I really didn’t think much of this. It seemed a bit of an awkward attempt to shoehorn in phrases that would have suited at the time when Pride and Prejudice was written, but don’t quite sit properly in with the rest of the writing.
There are a LOT of sections where everything’s rushed through with very basic description, eg. they unexpectedly have to cross the Alps, by mule, after an escape from a mob, wearing only what they had on. This would take a fair chunk of time, and be difficult, but what you get is a page and a half of “we went past glaciers…in a valley..up steep slopes, oh, it’s really pretty’ etc, with no information on timescale or how they made it over.
When they get to the other side there’s a bit about Elizabeth looking so wild and dirty that if Darcy hadn’t been known there they’d have been driven away from the Inn as vagrants. So she didn’t wash? Were they months crossing these mountains? Weeks? Days? It’s frustrating that this bit (which in itself should have been a massive adventure)
is skipped merrily over.
Time is totally odd…they start their wedding tour, and seem to spend months either travelling to locations, or living there, but it’s an eternal summer…even in Italy in November things are flowering and the weather is lovely. I have no idea what timescale this book is supposed to cover: 6 months, 9 months a year? More? We get ‘time passed in a swirl of soirees’ etc sort of statements, but never anything more detailed.
I was also driven nuts by all the brooding expressions, flickers of ‘darkness’ and tortured moments Darcy seemed to go through. Look – your book says he’s a vampire / vampyre in the title…we KNOW what he is, only Elizabeth doesn’t, and I’m pretty sure that by the time Darcy’s 150 years old he’s well able to control his facial expressions.
Elizabeth acts strangely – she randomly decides on complete strangers to ‘confide’ in, at points where the author must have decided that she needed to have Elizabeth ‘reassured’, so she won’t blow the plot too early, before she can be taken through some more nice stereotypes – the isolated, scary castle, the attack of the baying mob…
There is of course a looming menace in the form of the Old One, who is apparently the oldest vampire, and nobody knows where he came from or anything more about him. As expected, Darcy must fight him to save Elizabeth…and guess what? He doesn’t win, but the Old One is injured, enough that they can escape. And what gave Darcy the strength to battle this hugely powerful fiend? Oh yes: love. *yawn*. And that’s the last we hear of the Old One – the threat that’s been following them around Europe, trying to steal Elizabeth, is bested in a small fight in the forest and they escaped easily. Oh. That was it then?
And ageing. Darcy and his sister (and, it would appear, most of the world) are vampires. Darcy was 14 when turned, his sister much younger. Yet they’re both now either adult or thereabouts. Did they just decide to age to a certain point that they liked the feel of, then stop. But they state that part of the vampire curse is that they don’t age, so they couldn’t do that.
And the finale? Oh. Dear. God. We’ve entered cliché-ville: a ruined monastery / hidden Roman temple at an unknown location, marked by a distinctive tree and view (of course unknown to the aged and fragile teller of this tale (on his own a whole special cliché), but it just so happens Darcy fell into it while playing there as a child…dear God, did Darcy live everywhere in the world as a child?!? And was this as a vampire child, or a human child? Cos as a human child he lived in London, not Italy…oh, I give in), the chance to lift the curse Darcy’s under, an ancient cave, a fight with unseen monsters (which Darcy and another do, off screen as it were, and arrive back dishevelled but won’t speak about it..so WHY even put that in!!), petrified forests, unearthly glows, earthquakes, separation from the faithful guide / helper, a split second choice to be made, and in the end, of course, love triumphing over all.