Thursday, December 6, 2012

Reviews From an HBN (Mr Darcy, Vampyre - Amanda Grange)

I'm nowhere close to catching up with my reading, but I can at least catch up on reviewing!

A married man in possession of a dark fortune must be in want of an eternal wife...

My hand is trembling as I write this letter. My nerves are in tatters and I am so altered that I believe you would not recognize me. The past two months have been a nightmarish whirl of strange and disturbing circumstances, and the future...

I am afraid.

If anything happens to me, remember that I love you and that my spirit will always be with you, though we may never see each other again. The world is a cold and frightening place where nothing is as it seems.


That's the summary and rating, and this is the review:

I like my chances at getting a novel of my own published by a major company, because it looks like they'll print anything these days...

I'd be really pissed off that I spent money to buy this if I hadn't gotten it dirt cheap at a thrift store. Two dollars buys a book worth only two stars, who'da thunk it? In the end, I went with two because I couldn't even muster the energy to out and out dislike this book. The most it got out of me was a "meh." As a vampire novel, it failed. The word didn't even appear until halfway through the whole thing, not counting the title. As a Pride and Prejudice sequel, it failed. Darcy was stiff and boring, and Lizzy was never this slow, insipid and needy. As a Jane Austen retelling, it really failed. Grange completely lacked the wit, humor and charm of Miss Austen and can barely stand on her own merit without trying to cash in on someone else's.

I'm not saying that a P&P-with-vamps story can't be done. As a matter of fact, I'm tempted to try it myself. I'm saying that this ain't that story. This is more like a rip-off of Twilight than P&P (and I paid for this crap?!). Darcy may not sparkle, but he turns transparent at dawn, so that's close enough for me. And hell, even Bella freaking Swan figured out about Edward Cullen before Lizzy found out about Darcy!

That's not what ticked me off the most. It was the constant, direct quotes from the original that did that. Always verbatim, and always at least three in a chapter. What was the purpose of this, exactly? To prove that Grange read the original? Not very well, it seems, as both hero and heroine are so far out of character to the point of assassination. Was she trying to separate it from Twilight by throwing as much of Jane as she could in there? Was she trying to be clever, in putting such a spin on a classic? In this, she also failed.

The atmosphere threw me off as well. P&P is bright, cheery and playful. This is not. Decent vampire stories are dark, full of mystery, and occasionally scary. This is not. I have no idea what this is, but I can only call it bad fan fiction. Not the worst, as I've read some pretty nauseating garbage, but bad enough to be getting along with. It was dull and uninteresting, and I only finished it because it was so short and I literally had nothing else to do. This thing only serves to prove that if you pander to the folks in charge at the publishing houses and give them what sells--in this case, vampires and retellings of classics--then regardless of talent or worth, you too can see your name in print!


Your humble book nerd,

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