Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Zombies in Britain

I am not the biggest Austen fan, although I do love zombies, so I dithered over whether to read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, the Austen/Romero mashup that got a lot of press last year. Then FSB Associates was kind enough to send me a copy of the newest book, Dawn of the Dreadfuls, a prequel to the first book.

This book focused on the Bennett family and in particular Elizabeth who is a natural born warrior. She only learns this when her father dispatches a zombie, or as polite society prefers, a dreadful, and then begins to teach his daughters the art of monster slaying. His training is superseded by a young master who seeks to hone their skills further, and eventually, to win Elizabeth's heart.

Part of the greatness of the book is that it isn't just a zombie story transposed to the early 19th century. It is a Austenian comedy of manners set during a zombie holocaust. We have various bizarre suitors trying to win the girls' hands. The girls' mother frets about her daughters chances of matrimony as they take up the use of various Eastern weapons.

What makes the book great is just how giddy it is. The writing is funny, thanks to attention to period detail and tone and to pacing and story telling. What should be ridiculous is actually hilarious. The drawings of bloodthirsty zombies in understated black and white are nice touch as well. You can learn more at the publisher's site.

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