October Releases

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Book Review: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies #0.5) by Steve Hockensmith

Author: Steve Hockensmith
Series: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
Number in Series: 0.5
Format: Audiobook
Time: 8 hrs. and 56  mins.
Narrator: Katherine Kellgren
Release Date: May 1, 2010  (Audiobook version: March 23, 2010)
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Genre: Historical Fiction, Horror, Humor, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult

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Synopsis from Goodreads

Readers will witness the birth of a heroine in Dawn of the Dreadfuls— a thrilling prequel set four years before the horrific events of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. As our story opens, the Bennet sisters are enjoying a peaceful life in the English countryside. They idle away the days reading, gardening, and daydreaming about future husbands—until a funeral at the local parish goes strangely and horribly awry. Suddenly corpses are springing from the soft earth—and only one family can stop them. As the bodies pile up, we watch Elizabeth Bennet evolve from a naive young teenager into a savage slayer of the undead. Along the way, two men vie for her affections: Master Hawksworth is the powerful warrior who trains her to kill, while thoughtful Dr. Keckilpenny seeks to conquer the walking dead using science instead of strength. Will either man win the prize of Elizabeth’s heart? Or will their hearts be feasted upon by hordes of marauding zombies? Complete with romance, action, comedy, and an army of shambling corpses, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls will have Jane Austen rolling in her grave—and just might inspire her to crawl out of it!


    Jane Austen plus zombies? What a dream come true for a girl like me. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls had me scared and laughing all at once. This is a prequel to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. This is the one and only time I have read book 2 in a series before book 1. But I was lucky this was a prequel. I absolutely love this concept. We get to see how the Bennet family handles the zombie apocalypse. And they do it all with class, a little clumsiness and a lot of laughs. What exactly happened to the production for this movie? This would look and feel amazing on the big screen.

     This book immediately jumps into the action. The Bennet family is at a funeral that turns into a "reawakening". The Bennet daughters soon find out that their father is quite the warrior and expects them to follow in his footsteps. Unfortunately, given the society, the girls battle with being outcasts or fighting the coming zombie apocalypse. I love the whole setting of this book. I got the chance to listen to the audiobook version to this and the narrator Katherine Kellgren did such an amazing job. She captured the spirit of the characters beautifully. The snooty ones, the pompous ones, the very eccentric and everything in between.

    The range of characters in this book is incredible. They will stick with you long after you are done reading it. Both for good and bad reasons. My favorite was the lead Elizabeth. She is the middle Bennet daughter and she may be scared but she takes zombie killing seriously. I can't wait to go back and read her story from book 1. And it will most likely be on audiobook as well. Kellgren has quickly become a favorite. Her take on Mrs. Bennet and Mr. Keckilpenny were just a couple of many highlights. Mrs. Bennet has to be the most wretched woman in history. Goodness, I would gladly take on zombies before I have a conversation with that woman. I imagined Mr. Keckilpenny to be a younger David Tennant. He really did remind me of the Doctor. He was a fast talker, very lively and eccentric, and a little nerdy. I was attracted to him instantly.

     I love that this book has many characters and subplots, but they blend together beautifully. I did love the little love triangle between Elizabeth, Mr. Keckilpenny, and Mr. Hawksworth. But it won't go how you want it to. So I like the unpredictability, but was a little disappointed especially given the very end. I don't even want to talk about it.

    I love that zombies weren't the only villains in this book. To be honest, the zombies were good guys compared to the character I am referring to. Mr. Lumpley. Dear Lord, Mr. Lompley! He was a super gross, creepy rich man. You know Quagmire from Family Guy? You know, he will literally do the most disturbing and obscene things for sex? Well, that is Mr. Lumpley and his sights are Jane, the oldest Bennet daughter. I really wanted to slap her throughout this book. I know she isn't stupid, but her mother coddled her to the point that she was overly trusting. There was one scene where she had to be in Lumpley's house and it was clear Mr. Lumpley had plans. You knew what was going to happen. I was truly screaming at my stereo, "No no no no no!" I was frightened out of my mind for her. All because of damn Mr. Lumpley. Seriously, thank God for zombies!

    I love that Mr. Bennet is trying to toughen up his daughters. That is what this book is really about. Following their journey from being high society ladies who go to balls to be courted by rich men, to seeing them become warriors against zombies was a very fun ride. There are scenes in this book where seeing them shed their ladyness almost had me in tears. Like one of the Bennet girls taking five minutes to sit down on the ground "properly". Just imagining that drove me nuts. I honestly didn't think any of them had any hope except for Elizabeth.

    Dawn of the Dreadfuls was a great read. It is impossible to be bored by this book. It does have a few questionable moments and characters specifically with Mr. Bennet. He does things that I wasn't sure if he was the good or bad guy. But the book is still loads fun without being silly. Hockensmith did a great job with this book. I love the Victorian era with zombies as much as I love the Victorian era with a steampunk twist. Again, these are ideas I don't understand why Hollywood isn't persuing. Ridiculous if you ask me. I can't wait for more, I am hooked.


*This book belongs to the following challenge*
BCC's 100 Books In A Year Reading Challenge 2012

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