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Dawn of the Dreadfuls (Quirk Classics) Library Binding – 23 Mar 2010


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Product details

  • Library Binding: 287 pages
  • Publisher: Turtleback Books; Reprint edition (23 Mar. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 060617107X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0606171076
  • Product Dimensions: 20.4 x 13.5 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Review

It retains the quirkiness of the original, and most of Austen's characters and settings, but it blasts the whole genre out of the water most efficiently, and it's wonderful. All the work that Grahame-Smith did with Pride And Prejudice And Zombies is carried further forward here, in the all-new prequel. --austen world dot com, Feb, 2009---Dawn of the Dreadfuls by Steve Hockensmith is a prequel to the hugely successful zombie/Jane Austen mash-up novel Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Set five years before the first novel, it follows the five Bennet sisters as they are trained in the deadly arts of the warrior, in order to combat the undead menace that plagues England. The reader learns of Oscar Bennet s part in The Troubles and how, as a younger man, he made a promise to raise all his children as warriors, irrespective of their gender. It is a definite plus point that the reader gets to learn more about the character of Mr Bennet. In Pride and Prejudice and Zombies he is very much a secondary character but in the prequel his story is brought to the fore. He is head of the family and still, just about, in control of his wayward daughters. Once again Elizabeth is the main female protagonist but in this case she is only eighteen and much less sure of herself. Mr Darcy is not yet on the scene so she finds herself torn between the enigmatic Master Hawksworth, and a man of science, Dr Keckilpenny. Both men offer Elizabeth a glimpse of something different and what is missing from her staid country life. Hawksworth is Elizabeth s training master while Dr Keckilpenny is attempting to study the strange plague and its resulting offspring. Dawn of the Dreadfuls is distinctly different in tone than its predecessor. There has been a change of author for the prequel and the attempts to emulate Austen s writing style feels somewhat lacking. This had been one of the highlights of the previous novel and I felt a little disappointed by this change. Austen s voice is not as loud as it was before. On a more positive note, there is a definite ramping up in the action stakes. There are more zombie encounters than before. Each of the Bennet girls need to find it within themselves to embrace their training as they learn how to dispatch the undead. There are some very inventive methods used to dispatch the zombies and these became more and more outlandish as the novel progressed. From a horror standpoint, I felt that this novel was actually an improvement over Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. The author has revisited some traditional zombie narrative staples and these work well. The novel s climax has a marvelously claustrophobic feeling as the Bennet family and their neighbors are trapped in the local manor house awaiting an incoming zombie attack. Dawn of the Dreadfuls is a fun read and, if anything, it is more accessible than Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. There is valuable insight into the history of the Bennet family as well as the zombie hordes. Overall, I continue to be entertained by the juxtaposition of regency manners versus the ravaging undead. -- --The Eloquent Page, March, 2011

a wonderful zombie novel, funny, action packed, well written, and a warm nod to the books of old --Therottingzombie, Feb, 2013

Fortunately, Steve Hockensmith's prequel is freed from that requirement to be Austen-y and is worlds better for it. It retains the quirkiness of the original, and most of Austen's characters and settings, but it blasts the whole genre out of the water most efficiently, and it's wonderful. All the work that Grahame-Smith did with Pride And Prejudice And Zombies is carried further forward here, in the all-new prequel.The various Bennet sisters are still themselves, but the readership witnesses how they progress from the delicate flowers of womanhood they are in the original book to the combination of meek womanhood and warrior steel they are in the mash-up version. While it doesn't quite patch over the unevenness of the first, it helps quite a bit on rereading the original mash-up.Although, to be honest, the book needs no background in Austen to be enjoyable. It might be better without the Austen, actually. Jane and Elizabeth Bennet, as characters, are strong enough to stand on their own no matter where you might place them. The same goes for fussy Prudence and pragmatic Oscar Bennet. The new characters, from Dr. Keckilpenny and Master Hawksworth on down to Baron Lumpley himself, serve both as romantic foils for the more mannerly portions, but also as zombie movie archetypes recast for the 19th Century. (The Bennets serve as archetypes as well, of a more timeless and less zombie-centric sort.)Hockensmith's blending of aristocracy and hungry hordes is more even than the original book, because Hockensmith has no Austen to be faithful to. He's free to simply write a book and the end result flows better than the precursor and is much more consistent. Also, it's wickedly funny in several parts, while staying mostly true to the concepts of womanhood and a place in the world that Austen explored.The 287 pages of the book flew by. When I picked it up and started reading, I didn't want to put it down. I went from the title page to halfway through the book in one sitting at the coffee shop, stifling chuckles with my cup the entire time. The fun Hockensmith is having with Austen is second only to the fun he seems to be having with the unmentionables. The innate comedy of the concept of regency period zombies soars once unshackled from the rotting corpse of Jane Austen....Den of Geek, Feb, 2010...Set four years before Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Dawn of the Dreadfuls finds the Bennet siblings four years younger though already set in their ways: Jane is naively willing to see the best in everyone, Mary is sententious, Kitty a tagalong, and Lydia more lustily flirtatious than any eleven-year-old has a right to be. Elizabeth, however, finds herself at a crossroads when the long dormant undead choose to rise again only weeks before her coming out. Should she trade in her katana for an invitation to Mrs. Goswick s ball? Should she content herself as the disciple of the handsome Master Hawksworth, her instructor in the deadly arts? Should she exercise her intellect by joining the Dr. Keckilpenny on his quest to re-educate the undead?The Austen fan will be able to guess Lizzie s decision long before the gathering zombies (that is to say, the unfortunate encroachments of certain unmentionables) make its outcome a matter of life and death.Though Steve Hockensmith s novel boasts only a dozen illustrations (illuminating such heartwarming scenes as an unmentionable 'hump[ing] its way toward Mary like a massive, rabid inchworm'), the book is in many ways a cartoon. There s a bumbling villain in the person of the portly and lascivious Lord Lumpley, who owns Netherfield Hall and fancies himself Hertfordshire s version of the Prince Regent. (He also fancies Jane Bennet.) There s a plenitude of martial arts as Mr. Bennet shares his past as a student of Shaolin and reveals that Mrs. Bennet s flower shed was alwayas intended to be the dojo... --austen world dot com, FeB 2009 --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Steve Hockensmith is the author of the Holmes on the Range mystery series for St. Martin's Minotaur. The books star cowboy brothers Big Red and Old Red Amlingmeyer, detective wannabees who solve mysteries using the methods of their hero, Sherlock Holmes. Several of Hockensmith's short stories have been nominated for awards in the mystery field. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Pablo Cheesecake (The Eloquent Page) TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 28 Feb. 2011
Format: Paperback
Journey back to Regency England - Land of the Undead

Dawn of the Dreadfuls by Steve Hockensmith is a prequel to the hugely successful zombie/Jane Austen mash-up novel Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Set five years before the first novel, it follows the five Bennet sisters as they are trained in the deadly arts of the warrior, in order to combat the undead menace that plagues England.

The reader learns of Oscar Bennet's part in 'The Troubles' and how, as a younger man, he made a promise to raise all his children as warriors, irrespective of their gender. It is a definite plus point that the reader gets to learn more about the character of Mr Bennet. In Pride and Prejudice and Zombies he is very much a secondary character but in the prequel his story is brought to the fore. He is head of the family and still, just about, in control of his wayward daughters.

Once again Elizabeth is the main female protagonist but in this case she is only eighteen and much less sure of herself. Mr Darcy is not yet on the scene so she finds herself torn between the enigmatic Master Hawksworth, and a man of science, Dr Keckilpenny. Both men offer Elizabeth a glimpse of something different and what is missing from her staid country life. Hawksworth is Elizabeth's training master while Dr Keckilpenny is attempting to study the `strange plague' and its resulting offspring.

Dawn of the Dreadfuls is distinctly different in tone than its predecessor. There has been a change of author for the prequel and the attempts to emulate Austen's writing style feels somewhat lacking. This had been one of the highlights of the previous novel and I felt a little disappointed by this change. Austen's voice is not as loud as it was before.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Ursula K. Raphael TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 3 April 2010
Format: Paperback
This prequel immediately opens with zombie action at a funeral. The late Mr. Ford reanimates; while Mrs. Ford believes he must have been alive all along, most of the congregation flees the church in absolute hysteria. Luckily, Mr. Bennett has prior experience dispatching zombies. This time, however, he decides to test his daughters' reactions to the "dreadful" (use of the Zed word is not appropriate behavior back then). He is disappointed when he realizes that the five sisters are not at all prepared for the inevitable outbreak.

Mr. Bennett contacts his Order, and Master Hawksworth shows up to train the Bennett sisters, as well as put Mr. Bennett through a refresher course. In addition to the training, Mr. Bennett tries to persuade Lord Lumpley to help him convince the military to send soldiers to pre-empt the outbreak. Believing that the zombie plague was behind them, for the previous five years, the deceased were allowed to keep their heads attached to their bodies, so the plan is to remove the problem before they crawl out of the graves.

When the soldiers do arrive, Dr. Keckilpenny is among them. He believes science holds the key to solving the problem with dreadfuls. His character reminded me of the doctor in Romero's Day of the Dead. For some reason, Elizabeth Bennett finds his unique way of reasoning very interesting, and there is some attraction between the two. However, there is also some attraction between herself and Master Hawksworth, which is beginning to derail the training of the Bennett sisters.

In addition to Elizabeth's mixed emotions, Jane is facing her own dilemna with the lecherous attention from Lord Lumpley.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. L. Yeo on 31 Mar. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Just finished reading and now cannot wait for the 3rd to arrive, have pre-ordered so not long now to wait, this was as i thought a really good read, some nights two or three chapters as it keep you wanting to carry on reading, very good well worth it if your into your period dramas as the author refers to all the proper words and dress sense for the time it was written for.Great ending and i love the reference's to Mrs Bennet she is as batty in this as Pride & Prejudice, great fun
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sean T. Page on 17 Mar. 2011
Format: Paperback
A very brave attempt to follow up on the success of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, but Steve Hockensmith achieves this admirably and closes some obvious gaps in the original mash up.

The storyline is original with plenty of zombies chucked in and the Bennet family at the core of events. It follows the Bennet sisters training as warriors and their final `graduation' as protectors of their village when it is overrun by zombies. In the midst of the Zombie mayhem, Hockensmith manages to incorporate romance in the form of Master Hawksworth, a Darcy-type character who trains the sisters and Dr Keckilpenny, a man of science, both vying for the affections of the young Elizabeth Bennet.

The story flows well enough and covers the zombie defence in the 19th century and fights in good detail, unlike its predecessor. A well written book with original ideas. Highly recommended as a follow up to P & P & Z.
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Format: Paperback
I read the Quirk Classics novel 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies' early last year and absolutely loved it. I've been wanting to get my hands on the prequel 'Dawn of the Dreadfuls' since then, in the hopes that it would live up to the standards already set. It seriously did not disappoint.

For those of you who haven't read 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies', just imagine Jane Austen's story set against the backdrop of a Britain ravaged by the walking dead. See in your mind an Elizabeth Bennett who is happier wielding a Katana than a sewing needle and you might just be there. It's a wonderful romp through a world of zombie-slaying English gentlemen and a band of sisters who can give any man a run for his money, including the infamous Mr Darcy.

'Dawn of the Dreadfuls' takes us back four years to a time of tranquillity at Longbourne. 'The Troubles' have been over for years, the deceased have been buried with their heads still attached to their shoulders. And Mr Bennett, zombie-slayer has allowed his wife to turn his dojo into a greenhouse. But things are about to change. When a funeral goes dramatically wrong and the corpse fights his way out of his coffin, it becomes apparent that 'The Troubles' are far from over. Zombies are once again roaming the English countryside. And it is down to Mr Bennett to teach his daughters the wisdom of zombie-slaying.

We watch Elizabeth Bennett grow from naive young woman to warrior extraordinaire, dealing with the rotting forms of people she once knew and cared for and fighting off the affections of two potential suitors, the Chinese-trained warrior teacher Master Hawksworth and the zombie-obsessed Dr Keckilpenny. Who will win Elizabeth's heart? And can the undead hordes be held back long enough for us to find out?
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