A little over two years ago Seth Grahame-Smith took a piece of literary history and put his own spin on it by taking the common themes of the original and the story and adding a healthy dose of ninjas, guns and of course zombies. It was a smash hit, to put it lightly, with releases worldwide. Grahame-Smith did Pride and Prejudice proper justice with the inclusion of the things listed above. It was a great book that only had the downfall of conserving a lot of the old English that is sometimes off-putting to the casual reader.
A year later Steve Hockensmith took over the reins with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls, a prequel to the smash hit that looked at the upbringing of the sisters and the origins of many events and characters. Hockensmith has a bigger sense of freedom, but was still confined by the story arcs that he had to write into for the proper story arcs to be maintained. Now one year later, Hockensmith is back with a sequel to the original Pride and Prejudice and Zombies in the form of Dreadfully Ever After.
Dreadfully Ever After picks once again with our main characters Elizabeth Darcy and Fitzwilliam Darcy. Elizabeth is markedly reserved and quite docile in married life as she is no longer allowed to carry a weapon openly or fight zombies. With a marriage that seems to have fallen into a state of settling, Darcy asks Elizabeth to take a stroll so they can reclaim the old feelings they once shared. On the stroll however, Darcy is bitten by a dreadful and infected. This is where our story begins.
From here the story reintroduces Darcy’s Aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, who holds a serum that will help slow the infection slowly spreading within Darcy. The serum will give Elizabeth valuable time to find a rumored cure in London as per Lady Catherine’s instructions. On her journey, Elizabeth is joined by her father and sister Kitty, along with another sister Mary Bennet.
Our story revolves around the concept of stories within stories as we switch between the views of Darcy as he struggles to survive at his Aunt’s estate and Elizabeth as she makes her journey into and through London. The backdrop of Regency England continues to preserve an interesting backdrop for a surprising quick read. The book as stated earlier switches between two views that are seemingly different in their style. The Darcy scenes seem a bit slow paced while the Elizabeth scenes in London seem much livelier. The best part about a lot of this, especially in the London scenes is that we don’t just focus on one character. In many parts we are also focusing on Darcy’s cousin Anne and Elizabeth’s sisters Kitty and Mary.
The book maintains a great deal of humor and romance along with a nice touch of action to help move the story along. Along with all of this, there are some interesting new characters that you will find being introduced. As stated before, nothing ever feels too slow as the pacing in this book is surprising fact. There are even some loose ends that are wrapped up from the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies series. If you are a fan of the original books then by all means pick this book up, as it is an interesting swan song for the series. If you are looking for a fun read and haven’t read the other books I would still recommend this as Hockensmith does a great job helping this story stand out on its own by providing enough back information.
If you are still on the fence then Quirk Books has created a great trailer for the book. Do yourself a favor and make sure you go to the Dreadfully Ever After Facebook page as well for more information and some very special contests and giveaways that are open to you if you like the page.