Saturday, 9 February 2013

What I've Been Reading:
'Dawn of the Dreadfuls' by Steve Hockensmith

I read the Quirk Classics novel 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies' early last year and absolutely loved it. I've been wanting to get my hands on the prequel 'Dawn of the Dreadfuls' since then, in the hopes that it would live up to the standards already set. It seriously did not disappoint.

For those of you who haven't read 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies', just imagine Jane Austen's story set against the backdrop of a Britain ravaged by the walking dead. See in your mind an Elizabeth Bennett who is happier wielding a Katana than a sewing needle and you might just be there. It's a wonderful romp through a world of zombie-slaying English gentlemen and a band of sisters who can give any man a run for his money, including the infamous Mr Darcy.

'Dawn of the Dreadfuls' takes us back four years to a time of tranquillity at Longbourne. 'The Troubles' have been over for years, the deceased have been buried with their heads still attached to their shoulders. And Mr Bennett, zombie-slayer has allowed his wife to turn his dojo into a greenhouse. But things are about to change. When a funeral goes dramatically wrong and the corpse fights his way out of his coffin, it becomes apparent that 'The Troubles' are far from over. Zombies are once again roaming the English countryside. And it is down to Mr Bennett to teach his daughters the wisdom of zombie-slaying.

We watch Elizabeth Bennett grow from naive young woman to warrior extraordinaire, dealing with the rotting forms of people she once knew and cared for and fighting off the affections of two potential suitors, the Chinese-trained warrior teacher Master Hawksworth and the zombie-obsessed Dr Keckilpenny. Who will win Elizabeth's heart? And can the undead hordes be held back long enough for us to find out?

'Dawn of the Dreadfuls' is an imaginative and compelling look at the years preceding 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies' and I would definitely recommend it to those who like their zombie gore with a side dish of humour.

Rating: 4/5

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