Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dreadfully Ever After
by Steve Hockensmith
From the back cover:
When we last saw Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy—at the end of the New York Times best seller Pride and Prejudice and Zombies—they were preparing for a lifetime of wedded bliss. Yet the honeymoon has barely begun when poor Mr. Darcy is nipped by a rampaging dreadful. Elizabeth knows the only acceptable course of action is to promptly behead her husband (and then burn the corpse, just to be safe). But when she learns of a miracle antidote being developed in London, she realizes there may be one last chance to save her true love—and for everyone to live happily ever after.
The last book in the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies series is definitely the strongest. Two Bennet daughters remain unmarried – Mary and Kitty – while Lizzy is temporarily separated from her husband. It was nice to see these two “background” sisters elevated to main characters. Kitty finally steps out of Lydia’s shadow and Mary’s shrewish behavior swept aside to reveal her great capacity to forgive. As in any good Austen novel, by the end of the book the two girls have found husbands perfectly suited to their personalities. I did miss Jane and Lydia, who barely appear in the story, but I’m willing to sacrifice time with them if it means fully developing the other two.
Hockensmith retains Austen’s comedy of manners as the Bennets are thrust into the heart of London society. They walk amongst the best of Society at the Ascot races and wearily comb the slums on their quest to find Darcy’s cure. The prejudices against foreigners and distinctions in class are present throughout
We finally learn a bit more about the zombie infestation and how it spreads, as well as a potential cure. I thought the cure was quite interesting, in fact; I don’t know if it’s been used in other zombie stories, but Hockensmith creates an explanation that shows why the zombies appeared to England, but haven’t spread beyond the island while giving hope that the English people aren’t doomed to succumb to them. I almost wish a final chapter was written, set fifty or seventy-five years in the future, so that readers could see how everything played out in the long run.
This is one trilogy that got consistently better with each new book. I’m so glad Steve Hockensmith was brought in to write the prequel and sequel to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. He really made the trilogy stand out in the sea of monster/classics mash-ups which the first book created.
4.5 out of 5 stars