From Publishers Weekly
In this prequel to Seth Grahame-Smith's Jane Austen revamp Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, the town of Meryton has grown quiet and complacent while the long-lived zombie menace lays dormant. Taking place five years before Bingley moves into Netherfield, and sightings of "unmentionables" have become routine, this story kicks off with a certain Mr. Ford sitting up in the middle of his own funeral. In response, the Bennet sisters begin intensive training in the deadly arts with their warrior father and a new Master. Their neighbors, much slower on the uptake, are variously dismembered, disillusioned, and eventually convinced to prepare for a terrifying final confrontation. With a sure grasp of Austen's characters and the social structures of the times, Hockensmith is loyal to the material's roots but, divorced from any particular text, he's able to take Grahame-Smith's silly, raunchy, violent tone much farther than in the first volume. Mixing taught horror-movie action with neo-Austen meditation on identity, society, and romance, this happy sacrilege is sure to please fans of Grahame-Smith's original mash-up. 15 b&w illustrations.
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Edgar winner Hockensmith turns to zombie lit in this prequel to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2009). Ever wondered how the Bennett sisters got to be such great zombie killers? Hockensmith explains all in the story of the return of the zombie plague and Mr. Bennett’s secret history. When a neighbor rises up out of his coffin in the middle of a funeral, Mr. Bennett shrugs off the lifestyle of a Regency England gentleman and returns to his old calling as a warrior dedicated to eradicating the Unentionables. Turning the greenhouse into a dojo, he trains all five Bennett girls, with the help of fellow warrior Master Hawksworth, to take up his quest—just in time, too, as a deadly incursion is under way. Hockensmith does not abandon Austen’s original characters. Mrs. Bennett is the most true to the original, and even silly Kitty and Lydia are the same, only they fight instead of fuss over men. Elizabeth, from whose point of view significant elements of the story are told, is the most fully developed, and while she departs a little from the original, it’s not so far as to make Austen fans cringe (given that they’re OK with zombies, of course). This is a must-read for the growing legion of alternate-Austen fans (including, naturally, everyone who has read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies). --Jessica Moyer