by Steve Hockensmith
Quirk Classics has decided to take a new approach to getting the word out to readers that their new book Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls is hitting the market. Bloggers from all over the world were given advanced copies of the novel, asked to review it, and add some great prize links via Quirk. It is a massive blogger storm of zombies. Woohoo!
There is an online contest going on for a chance to win one of fifty Quirk Classics Prize Packs. I want one of my readers to win so I am posting the link first http://quirkclassics.com/index.php?q=QuirkClassicsContest_DOD_Reviews . The prizes are really cool:
- An Advanced copy of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls.
- Audiobooks of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters.
- A Dawn of the Dreadfuls poster.
- A Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Journal.
- A box set of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies postcards.
This is some really fun stuff of you are a zombie fan like me.
Let's get on with the review, which is probably not going to win me any brownie points, but it is my honest opinion. Note - there are some spoilers below.
This, I'm am sure, started off as a really great idea that everyone jumped onto, but in the end the product is not as good as the original.
Hockensmith had a very hard job going into this project. He had to learn how to write in the style of Jane Austin herself and that is no easy task. Capturing the tone and style of the iconic author was achieved in bits and pieces by him, but not with any consistencey.
Another problem was the research and/or the lack there of. If the book was researched, it was not fully comprehended as to what would have been accessable to the Bennet girl's at the time. Example, without giving too much away, country girls did not play with make-up, even those of some standing and money did not play with make-up, nor would they have had the means to buy it. Emphasis at that time in England was on natural beauty. This is but one small example, but there were enough that it was distracting. I can suspend disbelief, but if specific references are going to be used make sure that they are used in proper historical context. This should also be the case with the artwork involved, but due to oversite they are equally distracting if not more so at times.
The biggest problem of all was the addition of the character of Captain Cannon and his Limbs. It was preestablished in the first book that if you are bitten by a zombie, you are infected, and therefore must die. Now reader's are introduced to Captain Cannon and his Limbs. How did he lose his original limbs? That's right zombie bites! His limbs were subsequently cut off to save the rest of him. Why would a writer set a new precedent when in the original, and technically sequal establish that this action was of no use?! Hostile about this? You betcha. I threw the book accross the room several times over this ridiculous issue.
Was there anything I liked about this book? Actually yes, the zombies themselves. They moaned. They groaned. The walked, ran, slithered, and crawled. The age old question of do zombies poop in the woods was answered. The dramatic tention that was written when they were present was quite well written.
There are other characters that are in the novel that I liked as well and thought were quite interesting and plausible.
What does all this boil down to though:
What I liked:
- The basic concept of going back and seeing how the Bennet girl's began their training.
- The zombies themselves. Hockensmith writes a good zombie.
- The fact that Quirk is willing to take chances on outside the box ideas.
What I disliked:
- The lack and understand of reseach.
- The creation of certain characters and situations that go far beyond the ridiculous and ludicrous.
- The lack of any editorial influence. A good editor would not have left half of the errors found happen.
To Buy or Not to Buy, That is the Question: If you are zombie fan/collector then absolutely buy. If you are reading it simly because it is the sequal, go to the library and borrow it, or borrow from a friend.
Check out other titles from Quirk Classics.