Friday, November 6, 2015

Ms. Hen reviews MR. DARCY, VAMPYRE and rants about mediocre writing

Ms. Hen enjoys drinking coffee from her Jane Austen mug

Amanda Grange
Sourcebooks Landmark

Ms. Hen is not done with Halloween yet. She had read PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES years ago, and she wanted to read SENSE AND SENSIBILITY AND SEA MONSTERS, but she looked it up and it was not available at the library, and she didn’t want to pay for it, but when she tried to find it, she discovered this novel.

She was intrigued by the title, and it made her wonder what it was about. Mr. Darcy, a vampire? What could be more delicious? She was dying to find out about Mr. Darcy as a vampire and how Elizabeth Bennett survived that situation.

When Ms. Hen started to read the novel, she had questions. How did Elizabeth find out Darcy was a vampire? What did she do when she found out? And does he turn her into a vampire?

The novel starts at the wedding of Elizabeth and Darcy. After the wedding, he tells her that instead of going to the Lakes District, he wants them to travel to the Continent for their wedding tour.  The trip takes them to the salons of Paris, to a castle where a Count lives, Venice, and outside of Rome.

The fact that Elizabeth Bennett travels to Paris and across the Alps, and to Venice made Ms. Hen happy. She knows that Jane Austen never left England, and would not have been able to write about those places with authority. She thinks that Austen might be happy that Elizabeth Bennett got to travel more than she did, even if it had to be in a book as badly written as this.

Ms. Hen thought this novel reminded her of other vampire novels. The part about the Count reminded her a lot of DRACULA. The sections about Paris and Venice made her think of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. Ms. Hen has not read every vampire novel, but she’s sure that there are more that inspire this one.

The main problem Ms. Hen had with this novel was that the writing was bland. She is used to reading great books by exceptional writers, and this one did not measure up to her usual standards. And there were mistakes in the text! Ms. Hen can’t stand when a publisher doesn’t take the time to double check to make sure every word is spelled correctly and there are no typos. Ms. Hen thinks that is the problem with publishing today – that there are people willing to publish this kind of mediocre work while thousands of high-quality novels don’t get published. All the publishers are interested in is making money, and they don’t care about art! They don’t care about good writing!

This makes Ms. Hen sad. She wishes she lived in a world where people cared more about art than making a lot of money publishing dumb books.

But the point of a plot driven novel is to discover what happens in the end. Ms. Hen was dying to know if Elizabeth Bennett became a vampire. She will save you the trouble of going to your library and taking this book out, or even, heaven forbid, buying this book. Mr. Darcy does not turn Elizabeth into a vampire; he becomes human again. They find a Roman temple where he could convert back into a human again, through a process that reminded Ms. Hen of the scene in RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK in which the huge boulder rolled out of the temple and Harrison Ford runs away.

Even though Ms. Hen thought the writing in MR. DARCY, VAMPYRE was pure drivel, she thought the book was fun. It was a nice escape from the serious books she has been reading lately. Ms. Hen gives this novel two feathers up, because she couldn’t stand to give it more than that.

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