Dawn of the Dreadfuls by Steve Hockensmith Review

Dawn of the Dreadfuls
By Steve Hockensmith

Some of you may know that Dawn of the Dreadfuls is the prequel to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Considering this, I decided I would read this first and try not to compare it to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.  The story opens during a funeral where, suddenly, the guest of honor, or the dearly departed, sits up straight up in his casket.  We really have no idea why the dead do not remain that way nor why this epidemic arose roughly 20 years ago shortly followed by  “the troubles;” a war fought against the zombie hordes.

In this book we watch as the five Bennet daughters are schooled in the “Shaolin style.”  This story predominantly centers on Elizabeth Bennet, the second oldest daughter, and her transformation from a teenager to warrior, two men vying for her affections, her master, Hawksworth, who instructing her in the deadly arts, and an eccentric scientist Dr. Keckilpenny, who is preoccupied with the study of zombies in his personal quest to better understand how to best handle them.                                               

“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!”  -from the Goodreads.com description.

I usually don’t quote other synopsis. Normally I draw upon my own opinion and skills to phrase everything into my own words and thoughts. Although I do read other reviews prior to undertaking the experience, I attempt not be swayed or influenced.  However, when I read this line I just had to include it.  It was too enjoyable and I felt the need to share it.  This book is definitely unlike anything I have read to date. Firstly, this is only my second zombie novel, if you happen to count “The Stupidest Angel” by Christopher Moore.  Secondly, I’ve never attempted a “quirk classic” before. This is by no stretch of the imagination to be considered one of the most action packed books.  There are times were the story seems to really slow for me and my opinion is the entire thing is just a build up for “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.”  It can be funny and I especially enjoyed the cartoon style pictures and scenes that captivate you so much that you and cannot fathom what happens next.  I have to admit that I am not a huge fan of the zombie horror genre.  My husband loves anything about them, and I tolerate it for the most part. (and accept his poor taste. – added by my husband during edit process) But I’ve discovered that reading of them is more my style versus the myriad of movies and games available.  To me, my
mind and imagination are far more inventive and the fear factor of this classic movie monster is significantly magnified.

I am conflicted in my review of this novel.  I think one may need to read “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” first to thoroughly enjoy the way this book is laid out for us. As I stated earlier, it just seems like one long build up to the next book.  It is a fun and easy read though, but sometimes tends to drag on.  If, somehow, you persevere the ending is a fairly good cliff hanger.

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3 Comments

Filed under Action/Adventure, Book Reviews, Fiction, Horror, Romance, Suspense, Thriller, Young Adult

3 responses to “Dawn of the Dreadfuls by Steve Hockensmith Review

  1. I like the term ‘quirk classic’ – i’m gunna have to start using that! In terms of this genre I’m pretty torn – on the one hand I’ve been trying to train myself not to be too judgemental of books before I read them, because there’s really no way of knowing what I will or won’t enjoy if I never crack the cover. On the other hand, a classic is a classic is a classic, and it drives me absolutely NUTS to see amazing stories like Pride and Prejudice dressed up in such a comical way and passed off as something different. Obviously the author’s intentions are playful and I can tell they aren’t intended to rip off or ruin the reputation of the original, but a unique take on an established author like Austen does not a good writer make. to be honest, i can’t picture my reaction being anything other than annoyance and incredulity if i were to read it, but thanks for sharing your review! Maybe someday I’ll get around to reading it for myself and making a more informed decision on my feelings about quirk classics.

    • I definitely did have that problem as well bcause let’s face it pride and prejudice is amazing! lol But the other night as I was talking about the book with my husband something dawned on me, this is a great way to get the younger generation more involved in read the classics so I try to give them a little slack, and if I start to compare them too much I tend to take a break and come back to it as it’s own book again. Saves me from wanting to pull my hair out lol

  2. ya i guess that’s kind of the key – approaching it as a stand alone novel rather than comparing it to the original. And you make a good point about connecting with the younger generation – maybe people who never would have encountered Austen will be curious enough to do some background reading after they finish with the zombies lol.

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