As those familiar with Shakespeare can tell from the description, this book is spun around the comedic play, Twelfth Night. However, it is not a retelAs those familiar with Shakespeare can tell from the description, this book is spun around the comedic play, Twelfth Night. However, it is not a retelling (though a little is included) but an original account of what after the couples are wed. It is told mainly from the viewpoint of Violetta, Viola and the Duke’s daughter. She, and the fool Feste, fled from Illyria to England when their beloved homeland was under a horrific siege from Sebastian and Antonio. They came to London in search for the holy relic of Illyria which has been stolen by Malvolio (who seeks to rule Illyria as Duke). Without this relic, Violetta will not be able to reunite her country’s people and take the rightful place, by birth, as Duchess.
Shakespeare himself enters the story when Violetta seeks out his assistance. After telling him the story of her homeland, William feels compelled to aid her. Together they travel from London to Oxford to Stratford-upon-Avon in search of Malvolio and the relic. In their travels, Violetta meets friends from Illyria, falls in love and finds the courage to fight for her native land, while Shakespeare finds the inspiration that will become one of his greatest plays.
Ah, April in Meryton. The flowers are blooming, the sun is shining, the temperature is rising … and so is the undead body co(As posted on RAO Reviews)
Ah, April in Meryton. The flowers are blooming, the sun is shining, the temperature is rising … and so is the undead body count. PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES: DAWN OF THE DREADFULS tells us the origin of how the Bennett girls of Longbourn became masters of the art of zombie-killing seen in the first book.
As the novel dawns, we are introduced to the first 'dreadful'. Mr. Bennett quickly takes the reign of this tense situation and instructs Elizabeth and Mary on dealing with the 'unmentionable'—and with that they witness their first killing. From here on out, the girls begin intense training in the Shaolin tradition of martial arts, first from their father and then from Master Hawksworth. From here …
"We watch Elizabeth Bennet evolve from a naïve young teenager into a savage slayer of the undead. We laugh as she begins her first clumsy training with nunchucks and katana swords and cry when her first blush with romance goes tragically awry." (back cover)
I very much enjoyed this book, a great deal more than its predecessor to be completely candid. Where Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is pretty much Austen's own words interwoven with zombified mayhem courtesy of author Seth Grahame-Smith, Dawn of the Dreadfuls borrows only her characters and setting, leaving the storyline and plot to be completely original, refreshing and thoroughly pleasurable. Steve Hockensmith is true to the spirit of Austen's characters and writes them extremely well.
My only compliant in this hilarious book, is that we never really learn why and how the zombie plague is brought to Meryton, or even England for that matter. We see references to a major war between the mortals and the unmentionables, deemed "The Troubles", but that's as far as the origin story of the Dreadfuls themselves is explained. Despite that little niggle, this is still an uproarious romp and is very, very well done.