Review: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies - Dawn of the Dreadfuls, by Steve Hockensmith

Another delightfully quick read from Quick Classics and Steve Hockensmith, Dawn of the Dreadfuls serves as the introduction to the Pride & Prejudice and Zombies world. Recently, I read the end of the trilogy, and found Hockensmith's work both dedicated to the inspiration, as well as original in its execution (tee hee, execution).

I think I enjoyed this one of the three the best partly because I'd read the subsequent books and therefore knew how certain things would turn out, but also because this is really a world all Hockensmith's own. Sure, he has to make the story abut the exposition of Pride & Prejudice and Zombies but aside from that, he can pretty much do whatever he wants - create and kill whatever characters he wants, because they'll be of little consequence once the story is complete. Yet still this author retains a whimsy dedicated to the canon characters.

This, like its friends, is not a book for the faint of heart. I would also argue that, unlike its temporal successors (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and Dreadfully Ever After), this one is not necessarily for the Janeites. Staunch believers in Jane Austen's word as holy grail will find the character development in this book to somewhat eclipse the natural order of things from the original. There is affection where there wouldn't be, and there is a kinship that shouldn't be. For this series, it works. But for anyone who identifies strongly with Austen characters as-written, not so much.

But that said, it is quite funny and very enjoyable. And while some will argue that book series are meant to be read in the author's order, I would argue that the dramatic irony retained by having read the 2nd and 3rd books prior to the first is actually worth it.


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