Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dreadfully Ever After Review
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With the release of Seth Grahame-Smith’s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Quirk Classics forever changed the way readers look at those classic Jane Austen novels. Then, with Steve Hockensmith’s prequel, Dawn of the Dreadfuls, they continued the zombie-fighting story. And now I’ve gotten my wish: Hockensmith and his sorry stricken have returned with a sequel to the story that started it all.

As Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dreadfully Ever After opens, the Bennet family is settling quite nicely into their Happily Ever After. Jane, Lydia, and Elizabeth are all happily married, and Mrs. Bennet has been able to keep Kitty and Mary close (and single), to care for her every last need. But when Mr. Darcy is brutally attacked by an unmentionable child, the family springs to action.

Remembering the serum that once fought the strange plague’s hold over her dear friend, Charlotte, Elizabeth looks to her arch nemesis, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, for help. Lady Catherine agrees to care for her beloved nephew while Elizabeth goes to London to search for an antidote that’s rumored to be somewhere within the walls of Bethlem Royal Hospital. Elizabeth will have to stoop to great depths to get what Mr. Darcy so desperately needs, but she’s willing to do anything in her power to save her beloved husband.

Like both of the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies novels that came before it, Dreadfully Ever After is yet another wickedly entertaining mash-up of prim and proper Regency romance and blood-spattered, head-rolling undead action.

Once again, Hockensmith was given the difficult task of taking a well-known cast of characters and trying to write them into a story that’s completely new—keeping the tone of Austen’s novels while adding plenty of zombie mayhem to the mix. And, once again, he succeeds. Though he does tend to stray a bit from Austen’s traditional tone, the overall feel is nearly the same. And while the characters are forced to head off on an unexpected journey, Hockensmith knows the Bennet family well enough that he makes their actions seem believable.

This time, though, the actual zombie fighting takes a backseat to the story. The battle scenes are surprisingly few and far between, and the Bennets focus less on their training and more on fitting into London society and acting on Lady Catherine’s conniving but entirely peaceful plan.

If you’re looking for a thrilling adventure that’s filled with over-the-top action, you’ll probably be disappointed by this third book in the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies series. But if you prefer your zombie mash-ups to tell a story (and a dreadfully amusing one at that), you won’t want to miss the light-hearted, zombie-filled romance of Dreadfully Ever After.

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