Holy cow, where to begin? So Emma and the Vampires is a mash-up of Jane Austen’s Emma with a contribution by Wayne Josephson who re-creates the tale but when supernatural undertones (ie. vamps). Have you ever read a mash-up before? It’s weird. You have this literary greatness before and it’s tangled in a modern-day fixation on vampires…so if you can wrap your head around that … you’ll be ok. Emma is a young woman in high society in London and is surrounded by “gentleman vampires” who are either integrated into high society or as vagrants that continually try to attack Emma and her associates. The true story follows Emma as she foolishly tries to play match maker for several people within her circle, only to have it backfire a few times and to almost miss her chance at love as well.
This version of the tale follows the same lines but some of the main characters, like her beloved Mr. Knightly, are vampires. I struggled through the book because it wasn’t really clear if Emma knew if some of the men in the story were vampires or not. It did mention that she was aware that Mr. Knightly was but other men (like Mr. Knightly’s brother) who obviously had the same traits (pale, cold skin and dark, dark eyes) as known vampires were not pointed out as vampires themselves. How could she not tell?? Also, there are children in the tale that are born vampires … so humans can have vampires? Was Mr. Knightly born a vampire or was bitten? And the only female vampire in the tale is Mrs. Elton who becomes a vampire after marrying the local vicar.
There’s zero back story on how any of the vampires came to be, what their culture is like (except for sly off-hand thoughts in the tale) or the “rules” of their culture as they integrate into society. I actually read an amazing review that pretty much hit it all on the head in terms of the tale. You can find it here. Apparently the writer decided on a mash-up because his daughter wanted to read a story with vampires in it…my problem … why do it half-@$$ then? I’ve heard other good reviews on different mash-ups like Mr. Darcey-Vampyre that I may dabble in in the future but for now I’m going to pass on any mash-ups and get my vampire fix from The Vampire Diaries, which is an amazing show that I’m ultra obsessed with (did I sound like a crazed 16 year old just then because I definitely felt like one!).
The book is nothing to write home about … so I wouldn’t really recommend it. But if you’re in the mood to see what a mash-up is about, it’s pretty much an easy read and even easier if you’re familiar with the tale.