Monday, April 11, 2011

Review: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dreadfully Ever After

Steve Hockensmith, 2011, Quirk Books

When Fitzwilliam Darcy is nipped by a rampaging Dreadful, his bride, Elizabeth Bennet, knows that the only proper course of action is to behead him. But when she learns of a miracle cure being developed in London, she will stop at nothing for one last chance to save the man she loves - even if it means playing into the hands of Darcy's hateful and calculating aunt, Lady Catherine!

If you've enjoyed the first two books in the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies series, you'll certainly enjoy this third (and supposedly final) installment, penned by the author of the second book, Dawn of the Dreadfuls. As with Dawn, Dreadfully Ever After recounts the continuing adventures of the zombie-killing Bennet sisters in a manner that perfectly captures the tone of Austen's original text, albeit with an at-times OTT satirical edge (which isn't a criticism, by the way). Hockensmith goes all-out to give the series a worthy send-off, delivering a fast-paced plot filled with intrigue, action, gore, and masses of zombie- and ninja-related action. The familiar themes of class and social expectations are revisited, with additional issues of race, feminism and politics examined in rather more detail than in the previous books. The characters, as always, are pure Austen - zombie-killing aside - with much of the humour derived from setting such folk against the backdrop of a zombie-infested England. In short, Dreadfully Ever After is an extremely fun read, and one I'd recommend to anyone who doesn't take their zomfic too seriously.

It's safe to say that, in the literary mash-up subgenere created by the original Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, this trilogy stands head-and-brains above all other such titles, and is well worth reading, regardless of how one may feel about mash-ups in general.

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