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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