The sequel to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and the last in the trio. By Steve Hockensmith.
I received this advance review copy from Quirk Books two days ago. It comes out soon for everyone else to rock up to the shops and buy. And I really do suggest you do, as this was my absolute favourite of the three with plot twists, romances, intrigues, ninjas and, um, brains every second of the way. I predict big things for this book (especially considering the other two were NYTimes best sellers) and have been pretty excited for it!
(Firstly, how BRILLIANT is this trailer?! Almost as good as the amazing Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls book trailer that had us all so hooked from the start! It comes from production studio ‘Dirty Robber’ who also did the prequel.)
What happens when you get a beautiful happy ending in the form of marital bliss? A huge problem in the form of zombies (and married-life troubles). Mr. Darcy gets bitten within the first chapter of the book and it is this catalyst that sends Lizzy to London in search of a cure, with select members of the Bennet family and a few new cast members, and Darcy to Rosings Park, where fear and love combine. Ass-kicking ensues. But is there a cure? And who manages to survive this time round?
One concern I had was that it may either ruin the storyline, or make me bored to death of zombies. Well, LA! Far different from the other two, this book has a sinister tone that kept my heart thumping. Insane asylums and all the most awful places you can think of are featured (including a brief mention of Berkshire, my home county… somewhat telling I think!). There’s definitely more gore and just plain cruelty and awfulness in this book, for instance: zombies are used at races as a greyhound replacement. People are experimented on. A little horrific. Loose ends are tied up from both books, and new ground is explored through Lizzy and Darcy. Sadly, most of it is spent with our most adored couple apart. Yet it isn’t without its puppy love from the rest of the family.
If you ever thought Kitty and Mary couldn’t be made likable- be prepared to be proven wrong. This book had me hanging off of their stories, and finally realising how bloody hard it would be to be a younger sister to the perfection of Lizzy and Jane. Even with Kitty’s prancing and showing off, I fell in love with her for the first time as a character. Funnily enough, Lady Catherine is as irritating and bitchy as ever. There are still plenty of characters you can hate on, don’t worry!
Dotted with beautiful illustrations from Patrick Arrasmith (is it just me or is everyone named Something Smith at Quirk Books?!) with my absolute favourite on page 218 (when you get the book in your hands check this work of art out) it’s just lovely.
Darcy’s journey as he struggles with his infection is very telling, and poignant (despite his grotesque dreams of eating different sorts of raw meat), and an explanation about the motivations of the zombies themselves is provided. It’s fascinating to see the world a little more through Hockensmith’s zombies’ eyes. You even get an “aside” chapter that follows one zombie around- it’s a little unnerving how rational and thinking these Zed words are.
Hockensmith has a tone similar to that of a modern Jane Austen, and with his amusing use of parenthesis (like this but to undercut the last statement written) it had me in stitches. His vocalising of Mr. Bennet is also spot on “You can’t be two things at once!” (Mrs Bennet) “Oh? I often find myself simultaneously amused and appalled … usually during our walks together.” (Mr Bennet). Genius!
It was good to see mentions of Mary Wollstone Craft, and Mary Shelley, as well as other fun intertextual references. I can just feel the literary world clamoring over it. On the downside, I also would’ve liked to see more from Georgiana who starts off as a fairly strong main character and then vanishes from the plot all together.
Overall a fantastic read, go and pick up a copy!