Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Review: Pride & Prejudice & Zombies: Dreadfully Ever After by Steve Hockensmith

Pride & Prejudice & Zombies: Dreadfully Ever After
: Steve Hockensmith
Release Date: 3-22-11
Author Website

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and its prequel, Dawn of the Dreadfuls, were both New York Times best sellers, with a combined 1.3 million copies in print. Now the PPZ trilogy comes to a thrilling conclusion with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dreadfully Ever After.

The story opens with our newly married protagonists, Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy, defending their village from an army of flesh-eating “unmentionables.” But the honeymoon has barely begun when poor Mr. Darcy is nipped by a rampaging dreadful. Elizabeth knows the proper course of action is to promptly behead her husband (and then burn the corpse, just to be safe). But when she learns of a miracle antidote under development in London, she realizes there may be one last chance to save her true love—and for everyone to live happily ever after.
(from goodreads.com)

To be honest, I've long struggled with the mash-up. I've liked a few, but I've also felt like they were hard to read because I was constantly comparing to the original and was unable to really get into the book at hand. So I was very excited to read Dreadfully Ever After because I knew that there would be no reference point for me to look back to. This book would be all it's own, taking characters I love and transporting them somewhere new. I was excited and nervous, and really hoping it would work out. I have to say, I enjoyed this book much more then any other mash-up I've read.

In this book we find Elizabeth and Darcy living near the Bingley's and still adjusting to their new life. One in which Elizabeth is no longer allowed to be the warrior she was trained to be (and who Darcy fell in love with). It simply isn't proper for a gentleman's wife to be out and about with weapons. So their relatonship is already strained when Darcy is bitten. From there the story becomes a race to save his life, with Catherine angling to get Darcy back for herself and daughter Anne and Lizzy and her family working to get the cure- while being manipulated by Catherine.

I'd love to say that the love story between Darcy and Lizzy continues in this book, but it doesn't. They are together for only a small part of the story and beyond that we see them dealing with circumstances seperately. That's okay. They need this time apart to realize what it is about eachother that they love and how to get that back. The story is not without romance. I was surprised and delighted to see Kitty step up to the plate as she ventures to London with her father and Lizzy to try and retrieve the cure. While there she has a role to play, seduce the doctor's son, the hilariously silly Bunny (who coincidently has a pet bunny who he dresses up in clothes). Add in the exotic and stoic ninja Nezu and we begin to see Kitty emerge from the shadow of her warrior siters and her "silly" sister Lydia to come into her own. The confusing and turbulent relationships we saw not only in the previous mash-ups, but in the original Pride & Prejudice, are continued her with Kitty and Nezu and even with Mary and the mysterious Man in the Box.

This is a fun, easy read and if you are a fan of mash-up or Austen then I'd say to give it a try. It far exceeded my expectations!


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