Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Review: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls
By Steve Hockensmith
Published by Quirk Books
Available for purchase on March 23, 2010
Paperback, $12.95, 288 pages
ISBN: 978-1-59474-454-9

Description from Amazon:

With more than one million copies in print, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was the surprise publishing phenomenon of 2009. A best seller on three continents, PPZ has been translated into 21 languages and optioned to become a major motion picture. In this terrifying and hilarious prequel, we witness the genesis of the zombie plague in early-nineteenth-century England. We watch Elizabeth Bennet evolve from a naive young teenager into a savage slayer of the undead. We laugh as she begins her first clumsy training with nunchuks and katana swords and cry when her first blush with romance goes tragically awry. Written by acclaimed novelist (and Edgar Award nominee) Steve Hockensmith, Dawn of the Dreadfuls invites Austen fans to step back into Regency England, Land of the Undead!

I received Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls on Friday and haven't had the time yet to finish it but wanted to share some of it with my readers along with the contest being offered up by the publisher, Quirk Books. So, let me give my first impressions here:

From page one, the action starts immediately and Elizabeth Bennet learns of her father's prior experience with zombies and his intention that she, in turn, learn to deal with them. And only in a book such as this, with a setting in Regency England, will you find flesh devouring fiends being referred to as "dreadfuls", which I'd be more inclined to use to describe a bad cold. Definitely a fun playing down of the horror that's to follow, don't you think?

With this being the prequel to the massively popular Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (co-written by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith), the author of Dawn of the Dreadfuls, Steve Hockensmith, has some big shoes to fill. What he gains in this version is a freer range with the characters and storyline, having no Jane Austen mash up to contend with. The girls are younger here, so we actually get to see more of Mr and Mrs Bennet and to this end, I think Hockensmith does a fantastic job in staying true to the characters as Jane Austen originally imagined and created them. To me, the voices of these two characters will always be of those portrayed in the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice. I can clearly envision Mrs Bennet's every complaint of being set upon by the monsters or Mr Bennet's shooing of Mrs Bennet's distress, with the added zombie vernacular emphasizing the levity of the situation. (Levity for the readers, not so much for the Bennet clan.)

We also see that Jane is the only girl "out" in society, so far, but Mrs Bennet will have Lizzy out, too, in no time in order to secure their family's fate before being completely erased or eaten. It's too early for any appearance by Mr Darcy, so we see other suitors for the girls. But, as I race to the finish to see who survives, I can only hope that all of the gentlemen attempting to woo the girls are woefully eaten, dismembered or beheaded in hopes that Mr Darcy and Mr Bingley will have their opportunities in the future. (While I do own the first PPZ, I haven't read it yet, so I can't really predict either way but I'm sure Darcy and Bingley remain constant in it!)

With writing such as: "The unmentionable's unmentionables might have just been squashed flat, but the creature showed no signs of noticing. Instead, it merely took hold of the foot that had been planted in its mushy-rotten groin, pulled it up toward its mouth, and leaned in for a bite." - you know that Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls will be a properly grotesque story that will capture the hearts of maniacal, zombie-loving, English Lit. fans everywhere, lol.

For more information, please visit the publishers website at:
Dawn of the Dreadfuls at QuirkClassics.com

Click here to enter for a chance to win one of 50 Quirk Classics Prize Packs. Each Prize Pack, with a retail value of more than $100, will include:

  • An advance copy of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls

  • Audio Books of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters

  • A password redeemable online for sample audio chapters of Dawn of the Dreadfuls

  • An awesome Dawn of the Dreadfuls Poster

  • A Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Journal

  • A box set of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Postcards

  • You'll need to mention that you saw the review here at my blog :-)
    (I gain nothing from this mention but the joy of sharing fun books)


    Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

    Sounds as you are enjoying the book. Glad to hear that. Hope it keeps going for you. :)

    Jackie said...

    Thanks, Melissa! It's definitely one of those books that you can turn to for comic-relief. Funny stuff, for sure!

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