Of all the Pride and Prejudice variations that exist, I’ve had mixed success with those dealing with the paranormal. So far, I’ve read and reviewed Mr. Darcy, Vampyre (which was ok), Vampire Darcy’s Desire (which I liked), and Mr. Darcy’s Bite (which I loved). All of these turn our beloved Darcy into a paranormal individual, whether it be a werewolf or a vampire. Upon starting Pulse and Prejudice by Colette Saucier, I wasn’t sure where it would fall along my scale of “paranormal P&P” works. I’m happy to report that it was a great read which has renewed my faith in the sub-genre.
In this dark and sensual take on Pride and Prejudice, Saucier introduces us to a seemingly typical Fitzwilliam Darcy: arrogant, brooding, and most of all, dismissive of Elizabeth. His reasons for doing so, however, have nothing to do with any of these haughty traits. Instead, Darcy repels Elizabeth due to the fact that she awakes an inner hunger in him, a hunger that he fights long and hard to repress for fear that it will rear its ugly head. In short, Darcy is a vampire! Saucier takes us through the friendship and eventual courtship between the two, remaining faithful to Austen’s original style but adding a flair for the undead. Additionally, we get to see more of Darcy’s backstory, which takes us into the less glamorous part of Regency England, all the while introducing Elizabeth to a part of society she never knew existed!
I’m always nervous to read a paranormal adaptation of one of Austen’s works. Sometimes the blending of the paranormal aspects are difficult to make work in a Regency-era world. I’m happy to report that Saucier does a wonderful job blending the two elements seamlessly. Rather then make the paranormal the focus of every scene, she weaves it in little by little with dark sensual undertones. She uses Darcy’s emotions as a most effective way of expressing his vampire side. His dark desire mixed with his haughty personality and shortening temper make him an extremely exciting character to follow. Once he is rebuffed for his demeanor to Elizabeth and reveals his true self, his demise and subsequent “rebirth” are written to perfection.
I really enjoyed this retelling of Pride and Prejudice. It’s a testament to Saucier’s abilities as an author when I say that even with the addition of the vampire elements, the true Elizabeth and Darcy are ever-present. Their constant misunderstandings of the other’s actions etc are all there. The new paranormal elements just add to the already deeply complex characters. For those of you that aren’t frightened to experience a darker version of Pride and Prejudice then I recommend adding Pulse and Prejudice to your to-read piles!
4 out of 5 Stars
This is my thirty-seventh completed review for the Historical Fiction Challenge
Pulse and Prejudice by Colette L. Saucier
Secret Cravings Publishing (2012)
eBook: 316 pages
Special thanks to Ms. Saucier for my review copy.