Pride & Prejudice & Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls hits bookstores on March 23, one week before Dweller, which should make author Steve Hockensmith my mortal enemy. Which he is, even though we don’t know each other…but rather than trying to use this blog entry to sabotage his success, I’ve decided to take the higher road and settle for flinging a molotov cocktail into his automobile.
As you probably already know, Pride & Prejudice & Zombies–which took Jane Austen’s classic novel and added the living dead–was the single greatest idea in the entire history of literature. I mean, yeah, Gutenberg’s press was a pretty big deal, but if we limit this discussion to storytelling devices, then Pride & Prejudice & Zombies is the greatest idea ever. It sold a million copies. (By way of comparison, my last novel did not sell a million copies.)
Now we’ve got Dawn of the Dreadfuls, an all-new prequel. As far as shameless cash-ins go, this is a pretty darn awesome one. The characters we all hated because we had to write term papers about them in school are back, and the central joke is the idea that for young women to become highly trained zombie killers just isn’t proper. What will the other people in town think? Will the Bennett girls’ invitation to the all-important ball be withdrawn, causing their mother to nearly die of shame? (SPOILER: Yes.)
Author Hockensmith is smart enough to realize that just doing splatter scenes written in a classy style would get old, and ultimately the book is far more Jane Austen than George Romero. The book is more “frequently amusing” than “laugh out loud funny,” but the sleazy/lazy Baron of Lumpley provides some big laughs, and the efforts to “cure” a captured zombie by treating it as a human (“He isn’t just a dead man. He’s a dead Englishman.”) are hilarious.
There’s romance. Training sequences. Heads going splat. Limbs being removed from their body of origin. And if my previous paragraph caused a brief feeling of worry that the book might not have enough zombie carnage, rest assured that the last few chapters are an all-out zombie army rampage (while matters of love and decorum still remain crucial), and your needs will be met.
If nothing else, Dawn of the Dreadfuls contains one brilliant idea that I’ve never seen: zombie droppings.
Does this book provide $12.95 worth of entertainment value? Hell yeah! Should you buy it? Hell yeah!
But you can also win one of 50 Quirk Classics Prize Packs, including such stuff as a free advance copy of the book (saving you the aforementioned $12.95), free audio books, a Dawn of the Dreadfuls poster, a Pride & Prejudice & Zombies journal, and even a box set of Pride & Prejudice & Zombies postcards, which you know darn well you want BAD.
To be entered to win, visit the contest page right here…
…and leave a comment saying where you read about the awesomeness of Dawn of the Dreadfuls. That gives YOU the chance to win free books and stuff, and ME the chance to leech off of the popularity of zombies in Regency England. (Remember: Dweller. Monster bromance. March 30 at your local bookstore.)
The official Pride & Prejudice & Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls page is right here:
Got your assignment? Cool. Now scroll down and read my interview with Canadian novelty music superstar Trevor Strong of the Arrogant Worms…