In a leap of faith, I opened up Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls by Steve Hockensmith, a completely new prequel to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which is scheduled for release March 23, 2010.
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 naïve young teenager into a savage slayer of the undead. We laugh as she begins her first clumsy training with nunchucks 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!
When I read PPZ, I was pleased to see women in Austen's 19th Century England respected for something other than their ability to marry well. Alas, it was not always so. With the onslaught of zombies, Mr. Bennet ignored his wife's wishes and brought in a Master in the deadly arts to train his daughters in the Shaolin way. Wielding swords and performing countless push-ups were not very ladylike, and with only a rumor of unmentionables, none of their neighbors saw the need for such undesirable behavior. The Bennet girls were uninvited to balls, and no respectable family would look them in the eye, no less offer their hands in marriage. You can only imagine the fainting spells Mrs. Bennet suffered!
The dreadfuls had returned, and there was more to be done about it than scream. More her father intended to do.
What she couldn't have guessed - couldn't possibly dreamed - was that she herself would be part of the doing.
"Elizabeth," Mr. Bennet said. "Mary. If you would come with us please."
And he turned away and started toward the altar.
Toward the zombie.
I think I may have enjoyed this book slightly less than PPZ, simply because I can't get too much of Pride and Prejudice itself, no matter what form; but I most definitely enjoyed it more than Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters (my review here). PPZ: Dawn of the Dreadfuls is its own story, and author Steve Hockensmith masterfully uses Austen's language and characters in a delightfully different way.
I have always loved the relationship between Elizabeth and Mr. Bennet, and PPZ: DD focuses on this relationship more than any other. It was also fun to see this zombie-killing Elizabeth coming into her own. As one of my favorite literary characters, I was afraid that Hockensmith would mutilate Elizabeth, but he only took her quick wit and strength of character we already know and love, and put her into this absurd alternate universe. I especially cheered her on while she performed a move her father taught her: The Axis of Calamity. (Hysterical!)
In a word, this book was fun. It was original and entertaining, slimy and smelly, stupid and silly in all the right ways.
For more go to the Dawn of the Dreadfuls book page on Quirkclassics.com
CONTEST: BLOG EXPLOSION!If you click on THIS LINK, you will be directed to a public message board post on QuirkClassics.com. If you mention Alison's Book Marks, participants will be automatically entered 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
About The Book:
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
*FTC Statement: A review copy of this book was provided by the publicist.