Dawn of the Dreadfuls by Steven Hockensmith

‘Dawn of the Dreadfuls’ is the prequel (as mentioned above) to ‘Pride and Prejudice and Zombies’, which I read last year and I enjoyed immensely, it was funny and a very different take on Jane Austen’s world, who can’t resist all fighting, and still dancing Bennet Sisters.

Dawn of the Dreadfuls begin with a funeral five years before ‘Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, the ‘unmentionables’ at this point are part of history after being disposed of by warriors (including Oscar Bennet, the sisters father and Lady Catherine de Bourgh) during ‘The Troubles’ as it was known then. At the funeral the corpse, Mr Ford rises from his coffin looking for brains to feed on much to the horror of the congregation, Mr Bennet surprises his daughters Elizabeth and Mary by disposing of the corpse (by removing his head from shoulders). Mr Bennett quickly returns home to Longbourn with his wife and daughters and much to Mrs Bennet’s shock begins clearing out her garden shed of flowers, tools, etc and returns it to its former glory of Mr Bennet’s dojo, Mr Bennet must fullfill a promise he made to his old master but did not stay true to and now he can fullfill his promise by turning his daughters into warriors .

I enjoyed ‘Dawn of the Dreadfuls’, all of the characters new and old were fun to read and they was a few surprises along the way, it was nice to see all of the sisters working together, they were all very different in their fighting styles and I loved how despite how much they at first did not want to become warriors (for the sake of propriety) they embraced the lifestyle and fought well. The younger sisters, Kitty and Lydia definitely make their mark in the story, as does Mary, who is showed as a much more stronger character, you find that what they learn is changing them as individuals and they begin to grow up. I would have liked to have seen Charlotte Lucas, Elizabeth’s best friend fighting zombies but it was not to be, as she is not mentioned in the story. ¬†Elizabeth and Jane are shown well, Elizabeth is still as headstrong and Jane, as always is very demur, and both of them are excellent with katana swords.

The two men that come in Elizabeth’s new warrior life are Master Geoffrey Hawksworth, a master of martial arts who comes to assist Mr Bennet with the training of the girls, his character is based on Elizabeth’s thoughts of love in the future and Dr Bertram Keckilpenny, the forgetful scientist who wants to understand the unmentionables better.

Steven Hockensmith writes the story differently from ‘Pride and Prejudice and Zombies’, unlike Seth Grahame-Smith (author of ‘Pride and Prejudice and Zombies’) he does not have to work with the language of Jane Austen, ‘Dawn of the Dreadfuls’ is very much a story on its own merit, Jane Austen has provided the characters and Steven Hockensmith turns them into warriors. A very different take of Regency England, if you like the zombie genre, a great sense of humour, this book is for you ~ enjoy.

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