Sunday, April 11, 2010

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the DreadfulsSteve Hockensmith, Jane Austen-

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls
Steve Hockensmith, Jane Austen
Quirk, Apr 2010, $12.95
ISBN: 9781594744549

Everyone knows that it is in bad form to leave in the middle of a funeral; it is even more distasteful when it is your funeral. However, Dreadful Mr. Ford no longer cares about the rules of Polite Society so he tries to walk out in his funeral. Thus teenager Elizabeth Bennet sees her first you know what; as saying that profane word is unacceptable.

Her father Mr. Bennet fought in the zombie war, but retired after the Dreadfuls were defeated. With their return, he trains his daughters in the use of the deadly arts. Jane is the most compassionate yet compliant while Elizabeth is the most excited, but alas not the best pupil as she prefers a direct application of force. As the new outbreak turns pandemic since the recently departed kept their heads, the Bennet brood and a hundred or so inexperienced rookies prepare for combat although Elizabeth is a bit distracted by several males including her warrior instructor, a scientist and an aristocrat. However, Elizabeth hardens her heart into that of a fighter although she and her sisters become outcasts as fighting is a man’s responsibility.

The latest over the top of Big Ben Jane Austen starring in another novel is an amusing zombie historical fantasy. The story line is fast-paced from the moment Mr. Ford decides to leave his funeral and never slows down as heads are sliced in the zombie war. Readers will enjoy the teenage escapades of Jane (and her siblings) as she learns to fight zombies and living males in Steve Hockensmith’s zany prequel (see Seth Grahame-Smith’s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies; the writer has also starred in Ben H. Winters’ Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters).

Harriet Klausner

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