Slipping into your favorite, aged T-shirt or worn-thin pair of jeans is always a welcome, comforting experience. As with wearing your most comfy clothes, returning to a familiar place can be an equally as pleasant. Third time’s the charm with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dreadfully Ever After.
Steve Hockensmith returns to Hertfordshire, four years after events occurred in the original book, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy are happily married, although Elizabeth feels unsettled, yearning to hunt Zed in order awakened her wild side. Events are put into motion when Darcy is bitten by an unmentionable and Elizabeth (with Mary, Kitty and Mr. Bennet in tow) is sent to London on a wild adventure by Lady Catherine, seeking the ultra-secret anti-zombie serum held by King George III’s personal physician, Dr. Sir Angus MacFarquhar.
Elizabeth, Kitty and Mr. Bennet pose as a family of new money in England in order to seduce Sir MacFarquhar and/or his son, Bunny, in order to save Darcy with the serum.
The book gets moving into the right direction as soon as the Bennets pose as the Shevingtons. Having hardened, trained warriors posing as seducing temptresses was an entertaining fish-out-of-water experience. And of course, nothing ever goes quite as planned. But the book takes a misstep, trying to transcendently detail Darcy’s moving toward the “light,” as the crusaders hunt for the cure. The story gets back on track as the undead attack during King George III’s recoronation and all hell breaks loose.
Hockensmith redeems himself with Dreadfully Ever After. His previous book, Dawn of the Dreadfuls, seemed to take well-established characters and mold them into something they weren’t. In Dreadfully Ever After, these same characters seem to be back to normal, however possible that can be during the rise of zombies in the Regency Era. And as and added bonus, Hockensmith neatly ties up the trilogy with an important dangling loose end from his previous book. I’m back on track; still a fan of this series.
STRENGTH: Commoners, British Nobility and ninjas make a great combination.
WEAKNESS: Pulling the timeframe of zedding out into an entire novel seems a stretch.
WTF MOMENT: The Zombie Plague never spreads beyond Great Britian.
– “Although one couldn’t say the creatures had joie de vivre, both joie and vivre being long beyond them, they were undeniably enthusiastic in their quest for succulent flesh.”
– “The ghoul-child stumbled back still chewing furiously on a stringy chunk of flesh torn from Darcy’s neck.”
– “They were a motley assortment, fresh next to rancid, rag-shrouded beside fashionably clothed, all united in the democracy of death.”
– “Lady Catherine de Bourgh was a great warrior, a national hero, a living legend, and, by all accounts, a monumentally vindictive bitch.”
– “Most had blood and blobs of poorly masticated viscera ringing their gaping mouths.”
– “A great, gooey geyser of rotting brain squirted onto the floor, and Judith was at last not merely dead, but dead.
– “I used to fear the Bennets would end up infamous, but I had no idea we would manage it so spectacularly.”