Emma and the Vampires, by Jane Austen and Wayne Josephson, is yet another work in a growing trend of “mash-up” books. This time, it seems that Emma’s world of Highbury has been infiltrated by vampires.
True to the original, our clueless heroine Emma spends her time matchmaking for her friends and neighbors. I say clueless, because despite Emma’s insistence that she knows everyone and everything, she somehow manages to misunderstand the actions and words of the residents of Highbury – as well as the fact that most of the men are vampires. Luckily for them, she’s better at wielding a stake than understanding love.
I hate to say it, but I really didn’t enjoy Emma and the Vampires. As much as I favor the original, I found the modernization of some phrases to be clunky, and longwinded. I also found many of the vampire references to be poorly added, in that even after re-reading it a few times I was still confused as to whether what was being stated was spoken or thought, or even understood or being kept secret. To that end, I was disappointed in the lack of explanation for the vampirism – some seem to be born vampires, others made vampires, some gentlemen and others wild. As far as the story goes, they just exist, end of discussion.
Also, I was disappointed in the lack of intelligence for all of the residents of Highbury (other than the vampires, of course). Emma is, by all rights, fairly clueless to begin with. However, neither she, nor any other non-vampire could see the differences between the ones she killed and the ones that walk among them. Could not one resident piece together the cold hands, black or red eyes, the lack of eating or the need for darkness to determine that others in their company were vampires as well?
Overall, to get past the lack of attention to detail and storyline, one would have to be as clueless as the characters in the novel.
Michelle recently returned to her West Virginia roots to re-invent herself. She is the principal (okay, only) web and graphic designer at Michelle My Belle Designs and uses the rest of her free time to write her own book blog 52 Self-help Books. Putting up with her madness is her husband Jason, dog Leo, and rabbit Macchiato.
This book was provided free of any obligation by Sourcebooks Landmark. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.