Steampunk Darcy: A Pride and Prejudice-inspired Comedy Adventure
by Monica Fairview
Review by Gayle Surrette
White Soup Press Kindle Edition ISBN/ITEM#: B00F6GWWJK
Date: 11 January 2014
I'm a big fan of Jane Austen's works, including the follow ons, variations, and modernizations. With Steampunk Darcy, Monica Fairview has done something totally different in that it doesn't really fit in any of these categories. In fact, it is a wild steampunk adventure story with pirates, industrial espionage, rebellious teenage sisters, scheming relatives, romance, and misdirections set in a post-ecological apocalyptic world. There's also clandestine research into the past. There's some witty and snappy dialogue as well as an intriguing cast of characters and some interesting world-building.
William Darcy is the head of Longbourn Laboratories and he wants to hire Seraphene Grant to research the original Pemberley and his ancestors Fitzwilliam and Lizzie Darcy. He tells Seraphene that he wants to recreate it as a theme hotel. She's not buy it and thinks he wants her to give up what she learned when she worked at another laboratory.
It seems that just showing up for the job interview puts Seraphene front and center for a cast of not very nice people, who either want to destroy Darcy or steal his secrets. Life begins to get very, very interesting in the manner of the Chinese curse of "may you live in interesting times" but, Seraphene's life is already a bit too interesting for comfort.
There's the usual names that you'd find in a Pride and Prejudice related novel, but the characters and the personalities are not what you'd expect. Fairview has taken many of the expectations of readers who are familiar with the original Austen story and given them some unexpected twists that will cause them to give up any idea that they know what's going to happen next and just go along on the adventure.
I found Steampunk Darcy to be a refreshing addition to the long list of Pride and Prejudice related literature. It's also not every day you find a madcap, full-bore, action adventure with interesting characters in a remarkably different future world.