wurdnurd, May 8, 2010 (view all comments by wurdnurd)
Less prequel than a totally new story with familiar characters, this hybrid historical/horror tale is well-written, fast-paced and sufficiently gory to earn its place in the rogues’ gallery of mash-ups.
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I just finished Quirk Classics' newest future classic Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls. DotD is the prequel to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies - Jane Austin's classic with Zombies and mayhem thrown in for good measure. This book begins four years before P&P&Z as Elizabeth is ready to come out into society, but low and behold even those long dead can't resist a good party!
Reading Steve Hockensmith's prose almost made me wonder if Jane Austin herself hasn't risen from the grave as well, because down to Mrs. Bennet's last "La" it sounds downright Austin. The book itself takes Regency to a new place with the scandalous nature of the Bennet girls becoming warriors, and shunned from society. How ever will they find a husband now? Humor is not lacking as we learn how the dreadfuls return to the English countryside, and we set the scene for P&P&Z.
I highly recommend this book. If you like Austin, and like fun - you'll enjoy this book too!
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"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"In this prequel to Seth Grahame-Smith's Jane Austen revamp Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, the town of Meryton has grown quiet and complacent while the long-lived zombie menace lays dormant. Taking place five years before Bingley moves into Netherfield, and sightings of 'unmentionables' have become routine, this story kicks off with a certain Mr. Ford sitting up in the middle of his own funeral. In response, the Bennet sisters begin intensive training in the deadly arts with their warrior father and a new Master. Their neighbors, much slower on the uptake, are variously dismembered, disillusioned, and eventually convinced to prepare for a terrifying final confrontation. With a sure grasp of Austen's characters and the social structures of the times, Hockensmith is loyal to the material's roots but, divorced from any particular text, he's able to take Grahame-Smith's silly, raunchy, violent tone much farther than in the first volume. Mixing taught horror-movie action with neo-Austen meditation on identity, society, and romance, this happy sacrilege is sure to please fans of Grahame-Smith's original mash-up. 15 b&w illustrations." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Elizabeth, from whose point of view significant elements of the story are told, is the most fully developed, and while she departs a little from the original, it's not so far as to make Austen fans cringe (given that they're OK with zombies, of course). This is a must-read for the growing legion of alternate-Austen fans..."
by The Onion A.V. Club,
"Dawn of the Dreadfuls is nothing more or less than an adventure story that happens to be set in Regency England. That should stand as both recommendation and caution; while it often succeeds on its own terms, the burden of being a part of the Quirk line sometimes hobbles Dreadfuls. (Grade: B-)"
Witness the genesis of the zombie plague in early 19th-century England in this terrifying and hilarious prequel to the bestselling Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Watch as Elizabeth Bennet evolves from a naive young teenager into a savage slayer of the undead.
Journey Back to Regency England — Land of the Undead!
Readers will witness the birth of a heroine in Dawn of the Dreadfuls a thrilling prequel set four years before the horrific events of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. As our story opens, the Bennet sisters are enjoying a peaceful life in the English country side. They idle away the days reading, gardening, and daydreaming about future husbands until a funeral at the local parish goes strangely and horribly awry.
Suddenly corpses are springing from the soft earth and only one family can stop them. As the bodies pile up, we watch Elizabeth Bennet evolve from a naive young teenager into a savage slayer of the undead. Along the way, two men vie for her affections: Master Hawksworth is a powerful warrior who trains her to kill, while thoughtful Dr. Keckilpenny seeks to conquer the walking dead using science instead of strength. Will either man win the prize of Elizabeth's heart? Or will their hearts be feasted upon by hordes of marauding zombies? Complete with romance, action, comedy, and an army of shambling corpses, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls will have Jane Austen rolling in her grave — and just might inspire her to crawl out of it.
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