Sunday, April 3, 2011

Fantasy: Dreadfully Ever After (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies #3) by Steve Hockensmith

Four years have passed since the end of the first Pride and Prejudice and Zombies novel. Jane and Bingley are happily married and already have four children; not much is heard from Lydia, still wed to Wickham; Mary and Kitty remain at home to take care of their supposedly aging mother. Lizzy and Darcy are, of course, still together and - mostly - happy. Lizzy's one regret in marriage is that she misses her warrior days and is chomping at the bit for a good fight.

Lizzy soon gets her wish to fight again, but not the way she would like: Darcy is bitten by an unmentionable. Lady Catherine de Bourgh (who still hates Lizzy) gives her an ultimatum: follow her directions and try to seduce a cure out of the king's physician, or allow her husband to die. Lizzy chooses the former, and, along with Mr. Bennet, Kitty, Mary, and one of Catherine's ninjas, Nezu, arrives in London shortly before George III's recoronation. The Bennets must pretend to be a newly wealthy family and try to insinuate themselves into London's high society, which, of course, results in many hilarious escapades (if you will remember from Pride and Prejudice, the Bennets are just soooo socially graceful).

Opening paragraph: As his beloved Elizabeth shattered the nearest zombie's skull with a perfectly placed axe kick, Fitzwilliam Darcy saw in her eyes something that had been missing for a long, long time: joie de vivre.

So this opening sentence had me laughing from the outset. But anyway, I've actually never read the first Pride and Prejudice and Zombies book, though I have read the second. The second book is easier to understand without having read the first than Dreadfully Ever After is, but I still enjoyed this third installment as it wasn't hard to catch up with the alternate historical world in which the series is placed. Hockensmith is good at maintaining each character's unique qualities and personality from Pride and Prejudice, though little else is similar to the classic novel. And while Hockensmith could've done a hack job just to create a bestseller, his writing is good, not to mention often hilarious. Dreadfully Ever After is worth reading by itself, without the added bonus of being a knock-off of Austen's perennially popular novel. There were few places where I was disappointed with the book. I would have probably enjoyed it more if it had been about eighty pages shorter, because I somehow managed to get a bit bored around page 300 and was ready for the story to get wrapped up and end. Other than that, there was more gore than I remember being in Dawn of the Dreadfuls, which, for me, was a bit of a turn-off, but to be expected from a novel populated by brain-eating zombies.

I received my ARC of Dreadfully Ever After from the publisher, Quirk Books. This novel was published on March 22, 2011.

No comments:

Post a Comment