For many years now the fanfiction phenomenon has been sweeping the globe in a massive way. More than ever, young writers are encouraged to express themselves on websites like Archive of Our Own and fanfiction.net. Just about every single book, musical, film, an internet personality have fanfiction about them floating around somewhere on the internet. As a recreational activity, first created for the Star Trek fans of the world, fanfiction writing tends to be a taboo subject to most people. No one ever thought (until recently, that is) to put fanfiction into print!
In an age where the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy is best-selling, fanfiction has been pushed to the forefront of our culture in a big way. 50 Shades, as we all know, we Twilight fanfiction before it was ever a multi-million dollar franchise. Now, even the One Direction fanfic entitled After has managed to earn itself a book and movie deal!
Within all of this mayhem, you may have thought that some books would be safe from the recreations and continuations. Unfortunately this is not the case, as now, even Jane Austen’s beautifully crafted novels now have countless fanfictional stories (or continuations) written using characters such as Elizabeth, Mr. Darcy, and Charlotte for what could only be considered literary evils.
When I picked up the novel The Darcys of Pemberley, I was hoping against hope for (if nothing else) a bit of enjoyable light reading. What I got, though, was no more than a sad attempt at old English and an image of the now-18-year-old Georgiana lusting after an engage, middle-aged man.
From start to finish, the book was a lot of fluff with very little substance. Really, the only character that was written in-character was Mrs. Bennett, and I believe that’s because she really only had one defining character trait in the first place! The rest of the characters seemed to not even be the same characters, simply another person’s characters with the original names slapped across them in an attempt to sell copies.
I think that’s really the thing that bothers me most of all about The Darcys of Pemberley. It’s one thing to write fanfiction on a site specifically tailored to that sort of thing, but it’s something else entirely when the author posts it on Amazon and makes a profit from it. I realize entirely that Pride and Prejudice is in the public domain at this point, but I still don’t think that should mean that people should take that classic (or any other for that matter) and twist it into something that’s barely recognizable.
To say I was disappointed with The Darcys of Pemberley would be an understatement. The book was barely readable. The few interesting or cute scenes I did managed to find were soon squandered by misplaced flirting and obvious lack of world-building. It was a frustrating read, but for some reason, one I couldn’t seem to stop. I couldn’t put the book down until the very last page, because in my head I was thinking the whole time, “There’s got to be something redeeming about this. It’s got to pick up the pace at some point.” To my complete and utter shock, it did not.
I would rate this book 1/5 stars, simply because it was so bad. Usually, I can find at least a couple of redeeming qualities about whatever I’m reading, but I really just couldn’t find anything too enjoy about this book. I’ve honestly read better continuations on fanfiction.net, which is not something that I admit with any level of dignity.
If your opinion differs from mine, please let me know in the comments. I would love to hear from some fellow readers! Coming up soon, I’ll be doing a review of Eve: The Awakening by Jenna Moreci, a book that I’m actually enjoying!