Monday, May 30, 2011

Review: Dreadfully Ever After

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dreadfully Ever After (Book 3) by Steve Hockensmith

Publication Date: March 2011
Publisher: Quirk Publishing
Genre: Jane Austen Mash-Up
Pages: Paperback, 320pp
ISBN-13: 9781594745027

(Received for review from LibraryThing Early Reviewers)

Purchase: Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound

Steve Hockensmith on the WEB: website, blog, facebook, twitter

Book Trailer:
Please be advised that the trailer is somewhat graphic and may not be appropriate for younger readers to view. (Nightmares and the like!)

Synopsis (Book Blurb):


When we last saw Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy - at the end of the
New York Times best seller Pride and Prejudice and Zombies - they were preparing for a lifetime of wedded bliss. Yet the honeymoon has barely begun when poor Mr. Darcy is nipped by a rampaging dreadful. Elizabeth knows the only acceptable course of action is to promptly behead her husband (and burn the corpse, just to be safe). But when she learns of a miracle antidote being developed in London, she realizes there may be one last chance to save her true love - and for everyone to live happily ever after.

Complete with romance, heartbreak, martial arts, cannibalism, and an army of shambling corpses.
Dreadfully Ever After brings the story of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies to a thrilling conclusion.


The third book in the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies trilogy,
Dreadfully Ever After, picks up after Elizabeth and Darcy have been wed for some time. Author Steve Hockensmith takes the reader on another whirlwind adventure with Jane Austen's characters and a few zombies. Using Austen's book as the framework for this mash-up, Hockensmith shows his versatile writing style along with a knack for allowing the reader to see the humor in the living dead. Fans of the first two books in the series will be love the ending!

Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy had a love story for the ages.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies ended with their happy ending, but that wasn't the end of the story. Elizabeth and Darcy have been married for four years and living happily at Pemberley, when Darcy is unexpectedly bitten by a dreadful. Elizabeth knows what she has to do, behead him before he turns, but can she do that to the love of her life? Seeking the help of Darcy's Aunt, Lady Catherine, Elizabeth helps to slow Darcy's turning in order to go to London in search of an antidote that may save his life. Will she find the cure in time? What is Lady Catherine up to in her absence?

Apparently I've been on a zombie roll lately! Though zombies are generally not my favorite paranormal or horror characters, I know they are very popular with several of my readers. That being said, I am a huge Jane Austen fan and could not turn down the opportunity to review a mash-up using Austen's beloved
Pride and Prejudice characters. Hockensmith has written both the prequel and the sequel to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies written by Seth Grahame-Smith.

The Pride and Prejudice and Zombie series has been a huge hit with readers from all walks of life and ages. The third book in the series,
Dreadfully Ever After provides readers with an action packed ending to a great series. Author Steve Hockensmith once again uses wit and humor to diffuse some of the gory details that usually accompany books about zombies. Hockensmith's zombies are referred to in this series as 'dreadfuls', a name I thought was appropriate and meaningful. The dreadfuls are what most readers have come to expect from the undead. They are somewhat slow and shambling. Not too intelligent and definitely not a creature you would want to meet in a dark alley. Hockensmith does an excellent job of making these characters believable which is kind of scary if you think about it... LOL!

One of the things that I found interesting was Hockensmith's ability to stay true to Jane Austen's vision for Elizabeth and Darcy while creating a totally different set of circumstances in which to place them. Elizabeth is still the same intelligent and headstrong character that readers love from Austen's version, yet she has definitely acquired some skills in this novel. But her love for Darcy has not changed. It is still as strong an abiding as ever. Darcy is still the loyal and stalwart man we met from
Pride and Prejudice, but Hockensmith has instilled his character with more grit and determination. Darcy hangs on to his life with a tenuous grip, and fights the turning. I thought the author did a remarkable job of putting characters you certainly wouldn't expect into a series about the living dead.

Though this is a book about zombies, it still posed some interesting questions. What would a person be willing to sacrifice or do for someone they loved? Could you take the life of the love of your life, if you knew they would become something horrific or dangerous to others? Can true love survive even death? Not your average fare for the typical zombie tale that's for sure. It just goes to show that a good writer can take any set of characters and still find a way to give the story a deeper meaning. I liked this book a lot, in spite of my zombie prejudice, LOL!

I recommend this one for fans of Austen inspired fiction and fans of classic mash-ups. The Austen fiction fans should not pass up a chance to see Elizabeth and Darcy in a new and interesting way. Classic mash-up readers will love it. It's a great ending to a very popular series.

Dreadfully Ever After is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

Steve Hockensmith is the author of the
New York Times best seller Pride and Prjudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls and several other novels, including the Edgar Award nominee Holmes on the Range. Critics have hailed his books as "hilarious" (Entertainment Weekly), "dazzling" (The Boston Globe), "uproarious" (Publishers Weekly), "wonderfully entertaining" (Booklist), and "quirky and original" (The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette). He lives in Alameda, California, with his wife and two children.