Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Book Review: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Quick Review: Best Regency-era book to contain the elitist phrase "No ninjas?! How is that possible? Five daughters brought up at home without any ninjas, I've never heard of such a thing!"

Not-as-Quick Review: The title of this book is one of the most accurate and descriptive titles I've read. This is the story of "Pride and Prejudice", yet it also includes zombies. The characters follow the same plot points as in the original book but do so under the constant threat of attack by plague-created zombies . As odd as the premise sounds, it works quite well and is highly entertaining. And in a few cases, the characters' actions actually make more sense in regards to this premise than their actions did in the original (more on that later).

The basic formula of the book is this: Introduce characters and give them a backstory with vigorous training in martial arts to defend against zombies (fighting and defending against zombies is the noblest art of all in this England). Proceed with Pride and Prejudice plot points and famous dialogue, occasionally adding a "zombie attack" action scene as characters travel to different locales. Kill off unnecessary characters in gruesome fashions. Add ninja bodyguards and kill them for extra fun. Repeat as needed.

Pride and Prejudice's primary story and dialog is renowned for a reason, and this book does not stray from it. The addition of zombies actually gives a few plot points more believability (slight Pride and Prejudice spoilers, but if you haven't already read the book/seen a movie, shame on you): In his letter, Mr. Darcy explains he separated Bingley from Jane because he believed Jane was stricken with the plague and would soon become a zombie since she was sick and bedridden at Bingley's house; Unbeknownst to Mr. Collins, Charlotte quickly marries him since she is stricken with the plague; Darcy falls in love with Elizabeth since she is the only person in England nearly his equal in zombie-killing skills (in addition to her other lovely qualities); Mr Bingley and Mr. Collins' antagonistic actions lead to satisfactory zombie-related conclusions (and not the endings you expect); Lady Catherine doesn't just demand that Elizabeth refuse Mr Darcy's forthcoming proposal, she sends an army of ninjas and then personally duels her "to the death" (maybe).

Conclusion: If you are a guy and have never read Pride and Prejudice you now have no excuse to miss out on this story, there is plenty of action, gore, and ninjas to keep you entertained. If you are a woman and love Pride and Prejudice as well as strong heroines, powerful and chivalrous men, and a healthy dose of action, then this is your new favorite book. If you are a purist and loathe change, then go stare at your wet-shirt poster of Colin Firth (oer Lawrence Olivier) and leave us to enjoy this wonderful book. Or go read Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters. I hear it is good.

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