Evan’s ESS = 8 out of 10
Erin’s ESS = out of 10
Content = PG-13 (Adult Content, Violence, Zombies, Violence, Swordplay, Mad Ninja Skills)
Why: With Halloween right around the corner, we decided to venture into a place we rarely go... Zombies. As it turns out, the inclusion of Zombies can have quite a profound impact on one of literature’s most beloved love stories. A world of idleness and dancing functions are replaced with Paranoia and training dōjōs. Ninja skills hold far more weight than beauty. And, of course, the constant threat of an uprising from the cast from Michael Jackson’s Thriller video tends to damper any long term planning.
There’s no sense in rehashing the plot, because in our opinion Pride and Prejudice is an absolute prerequisite. That being said, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is nothing more than a retelling of Jane Austen’s masterpiece if, and this is a big IF, armies of death had infiltrated her work. All the key scenes remain intact and all the key characters remain intact (at least in principle). Elizabeth is as prideful as ever, Darcy is as prejudiced (or was it the other way around?), and Wickham is still a complete arse.
Seth Grahame Smith does a masterful job retaining the key scenes from within the original text while removing some of the lesser events and of course, throwing in a fair number of unmentionables and the armies of death. We especially enjoyed the marriage proposal scene with Mr. Collins. The personalities remained intact from the original and the story line stayed as focused as possible considering the frequent zombie attacks. Plus, the fate of a certain unnamed villain is much, much more satisfying...
Honestly, we were a bit squeamish about taking on this book and while Elisabeth’s thirst for blood was a little unsettling, the gore felt more like cartoon violence than anything else. In fact, the whole concept was quite laughable. For that reason we were able to have fun with the narrative and learned that Darcy’s fighting skills are quite proficient. We also need to highlight a few really great societies: League of Gentlemen for the Encouragement of Continued Hostilities Against Our Most Unwelcome Enemy and Society of Gentlemen for a Peaceful Solution to Our Present Difficulties. We’d sign up for the later in a heartbeat!