Zombie of the Week: Dawn of the Dreadfuls’ Unmentionable Takes Axe In The Skull

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Welcome to ‘Zombie of the Week,’ folks, where each week we’ll present you with a different brain-eating member of the undead that has captured our fancy. There is no methodology to our Zombie Awesomeness meter, just our own piqued interests. Got a zombie we should see? Comment below. No zombie is too small, too short-lived, or too gross

Boy, those Bennet girls can really kick some some prose-infused ass.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls, the prequel to last year’s Jane Austen mash-up Pride and Prejudice and Zombies hit bookstores today, dripping with more slays and better word gore than you might expect from a girlish Austen-themed zombie fic. (Read the first two chapters free on your e-reader.)

The story explores the battle training of the Bennet girls as they become defenders of their home against the army of undead that’s plaguing the English country side. The first installment in the PPZ franchise was a literal reworking of Jane Austen’s original text done by Seth Grahame-Smith – the two shared a byline – but a prequel required an entirely new storyline. Steve Hockensmith (Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters) captures the sweeping beauty of Austen’s world with a bit more zing and a hell of a lot of zombies.

(See the book trailer: I Just Watched Elizabeth Bennet Chop Off A Zombie’s Head)

There are some great kills in this book, and don’t fear, the classic Elizabeth Bennet wit is just as sharp as her battle-axe. One of my favorite moments, however, comes courtesy of Elizabeth’s older sister Jane, a much more reserved, but just as fearsome slayer of the ‘unmentionables.’

Keep reading for an excerpt of the brand new book in which Jane gets a surprise visit and a zombie takes an axe in the skull.

…Was he really in love with her?

Even sitting alone in bed, Jane looked down and blushed.

A thump on the door roused her from her reverie. The chamber-maid was already back with a new decanter of brandy, it seemed, and Jane, feeling guilty about the mess she’d made for the girl, hopped out of bed to let her in.

The girl Jane found standing outside wasn’t the servant she’d expected, though. She wasn’t a servant at all, in fact.

Nor was she alive.

It was a dreadful, long dead but fresh from the grave to judge by the black earth still caked to its dress and withered flesh and patchy blond hair. In spots – the tips of the fingers, on and around the teeth no longer covered by lips or gumes – the dirt had been smeared away with something new: a paste of jellied brain.

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