Dawn of the Dreadfuls by Steve Hockensmith

Steve Hockensmith’s Dawn of the Dreadfuls is a whimsical prequel to the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies mash-up.  But even though it is a prequel, the struggles with the zombies occurred long before this story begins and this is just a rebirth of the plague.

“Capturing a dreadful, it turned out, was the easy part.  Getting it to go where one wanted — that was nearly impossible.

Dr. Keckilpenny’s custom-built zombie net fit over the unmentionable’s head and upper torso snugly enough, pinning its arms to its sides.  But the only way to get the creature to do anything other than hurl itself, snarling, at the nearest sign of life was to push or pull it by the attached rod.”  (Page 192)

In this story, the Bennet girls are being trained in the dark arts following the rise of the undead in the English countryside.  Unlike previous mash-ups, Hockensmith stays true to Austen’s language and characterizations, as much as he can with the introduction of zombies and ninjas.  Mr. Bennet seeks to take on the tutelage of his daughters on his own, but the Order soon sends him Master Hawksworth, a young man of 26, who takes a keen interest in his daughter Elizabeth.

Along the way the Bennet sisters work hard to polish their skills, vanquish unmentionables, and reclaim their dignity in a society that finds their modern ways unappealing until it is convenient for them.  From the strong and reserved master to the single-minded Dr. Keckilpenny, the Bennets meet obstacles head on and overcome them.  Some of the same societal prejudices exist in this mash-up, but it’s also full of fun dialogue, swift action, and bungling antics.  And readers will see a different side of Mr. Bennet and learn some of Mrs. Bennet’s past in Dawn of the Dreadfuls.

And for fun, check out this cool book trailer.

Don’t forget to stop over at 32 Poems Blog and Diary of an Eccentric today as part of the National Poetry Month Blog Tour today!

This is my 22nd book for the 2010 New Authors Challenge.

This is my 4th book for the Jane Austen Challenge 2010.

FTC Disclosure: Thanks to FSB Associates and Quirk Classics for sending me a free copy of Dawn of the Dreadfuls for review.  Clicking on title and image links will lead you to my Amazon Affiliate page; No purchase necessary, though appreciated.

© 2010, Serena Agusto-Cox of Savvy Verse & Wit. All Rights Reserved. If you’re reading this on a site other than Savvy Verse & Wit or Serena’s Feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.


  1. medical assistant says

    My cousin recommended this blog and she was totally right keep up the fantastic work!

  2. I don’t know how I feel about these books, but I LOVE the cover and title. I may have to give them a try someday!

  3. Booksnyc says

    I have this to read – I will be the first of the P&P prequels for me – glad to hear you liked it!

  4. I really liked this one a lot more than the others.

  5. I'm almost done with this one. It's hilarious! Much better than PP&Z, in my opinion. Can't wait to talk more about it with you.

    Diary of an Eccentric