Darcy Bites, by Amy Elizabeth Davis

Amy Elizabeth Davis's Darcy Bites: Pride and Prejudice with Fangs combines two of my favorite things: Jane Austen and vampires. And—unlike Seth Grahame-Smith's popular Pride and Prejudice and Zombies—Davis's book actually attempts to fuse her two worlds together organically, rather than injecting a few monster-fighting scenes into Austen's novel and hoping for the best.

While Darcy Bites follows the basic outline of Austen's book, Davis sets out her changes early: this is a version of England in which vampires are known to exist, but are widely believed to be ravening beasts with no human characteristics. While there hasn't been a vampire attack in their small village in years, the five Bennet sisters' typically lackadaisical father has insisted that all his daughters learn at least some self-defense. But when two eligible young men take up residence at a local estate, the Bennets are expected to set aside their training in favor of more genteel accomplishments. After all, a wealthy, handsome man like Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy—with his 10,000 per year and a reputation as an accomplished vampire-hunter—is hardly going to be impressed by Miss Elizabeth Bennet's knack for fighting with a silver dagger.

This is clearly a self-published fanfic, with the editing errors*, indulgent pacing and characterization, and overlong epilogue** that frequently comes with the format. The story needed 20% more world-building, and there was a transactional sex scene I could have lived without. But Davis gets a lot of things right. Her characters feel true to Austen's, neither worse nor better than the originals. (I dislike stories that make, say, Mrs. Bennet irredeemably evil.) The author's vampire mythology is interesting, if murky, and the attraction between Darcy and Elizabeth is just as deliciously messy and fraught as the original. In short, I have paid far more for Austen adaptations that I have enjoyed far less, and, at $3.99 for the ebook edition, I highly recommend this to any Pride and Prejudice fan looking for a quick, inexpensive, enjoyably action-packed spin on the novel.

*There was an amusing “good breading” typo, though. Like fried chicken!

**I think writers do this to tempt readers of the online story into buying the published version, and I respect that strategy, but this one could have been shorter.
Posted by: Julianka


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