Quirk’s Dreadfuls Return!

22 03 2011

Hey all!  As promised I have a review of a new book!  Quirk Classics is releasing a new book and it’s  a sequel to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls.  Written by Steve Hockensmith (the writer of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls), Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dreadfully Ever After hits shelves and online sellers today, March 22, 2011.

The blurb off the back of the book reads:

When we last saw Elizabeth Bennett and Fitzwilliam Darcy –at the end of New York Times bestseller 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.
Complete with romance, heartbreak, martial arts, cannibalism, and an army of shambling corpses, Dreadfully Ever After brings the story of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies to a thrilling conclusion.

Now, personally, I found the book enjoyable.  I still find Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (the original) to be the best of the ‘trilogy’ and honestly, the best of the Quirk line of books.  The original Austen characters stay fairly true to themselves even in this sequel written nearly two centuries later.  Elizabeth Bennet is still strong and opinionated, Mr. Bennet still finds his wife and most of his daughters immensely silly, and Kitty is a carbon of Lydia trying to find herself underneath.

Critically, the only way to enjoy Dreadfully Ever After is to read Dawn of the Dreadfuls.  I don’t think much of the story would make sense without the set up from the prequel.  Many things from their training days and their relationship with Lady Catherine take precedence in Dreadfully Ever After.  Also, small things seem fairly predictable.  Who wouldn’t guess that seconds after a conversation about children that a child would bite Darcy?  (Seriously, I didn’t give anything away since you know he got bitten by reading the back of the book and you hit the fact that it’s a kid in ten pages or less.)  If I hadn’t been given the book courtesy of Quirk Classics and Goodreads I probably would have bought it, which is more than I can say for many of the other Quirk books (many of which I did actually buy).

So, what’s an advance review copy from Quirk without some sort of awesome giveaway?  Right, it has to happen!  So head over to the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dreadfully Ever After Facebook page and “Like” it.  Eight random winners will get an “Antidote Necklace” which looks pretty cute.  Watch for other things, because Quirk is known to do a random giveaway with very little announcement outside the Facebook pages.  Go ahead and “Like” Quirk’s Facebook page too!
As for my own little giveaway, I’ll give away my copy of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dreadfully Ever After on Saturday the 26th!  Leave a comment here and I’ll choose a winner with a random number generator Saturday and in the mail no later than Monday.

*I did receive this copy of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dreadfully Ever After free of charge thanks to the kind people at Quirk Classics and Goodreads.


Back in the Saddle!

14 03 2011

After a super long hiatus, I’m back and ready to expand your minds with some awesome book reviews.   Look forward to more frequent posting (I hope) as well as a blog name change and move! 

In the coming week expect a 2010 recap of the 103 books I managed to read and at least 2 reviews from 2011 books that I got free of charge in exchange for a review (including the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies sequel out March 22!). 

Right now I’m reading an advance review copy of Minding Ben by Victoria Brown (out April 22 and available for preorder).

What is everyone else reading?

Quirk Fail Plus a Giveaway

20 06 2010

I was sent an advance release copy of Android Karenina from Quirk back in late May.  I was to read it and post a blog about it June 8th and there would be links and drawings and such just like last time with PPZ:DOD.  I failed to make that deadline due to moving, however it was really Quirk’s fault on many levels.

Issue #1:  I was given around 2 weeks to read and blog.  Usually that timeframe would be sufficient for me as I read through things fast, but AK was LONG! (Also it was based on Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina— a book I have yet to make it more that 40% of the way through!)

Issue #2: I moved during the last week of May/first week of June.  Moving, reading, and blogging do not go together (especially when they shut off the internet a full week early and have yet to give a sufficient deal to reinstate service at the new address).

Issue #3:  Android Karenina is based on Anna Karenina.  That should be proof enough of the impossibility of the deadline.  Quite honestly, I made it through nearly half of Anna Karenina before putting it on indefinite hold–Android Karenina made it through chapter 3 before I gave up. 

Conclusion: I love Quirk, but this was a fail on many levels.  If anyone wants to give it a go, I’ll send them my copy as I don’t think I’ll ever get to it.  Reply/comment with a name and email address and I’ll use a random number generator to “draw a name out of a hat” on the 4th of July (low traffic on the site due to recent hiatus makes me think I should have a nice long window for entries) and email and post the winner on the 5th.

Dawn of the Boredom

3 03 2010

I was super excited to receive my advance copy of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls.  I started reading it right away and was at once amused to see the Bennet girls younger and first learning of the zombie plague.  There was quite a bit of humor throughout the story and I thought that perhaps this would be a great prequel experience. 

I was disappointed.  Not only did the plot leave something to be desired, the characters themselves were so poorly fleshed out as to have been mistaken for the undead themselves.  Jane was simply a shy, demure, insipid character with no admirable qualities.  She was so far from the Jane we love in Pride and Prejudice she could have been a completely different character.  Kitty and Lydia were nowhere near as giggly and vapid as they became throughout the original story.  The biggest disappointment was in Elizabeth Bennet and that whereas she should have had some of the spark of her future self, she had none.  Elizabeth is portrayed to be the most adept pupil, however the growth of her quick tongue in completely overlooked.   

I expected PPZ:DOD to take me to the beginning and show me how the Bennet girls became the women that they were.  I wanted to see the beginnings of the zombie plague in regency England and understand how that impacted society (or did not impact society).  I wanted the book to hold true to the basics of Austen’s literature.  I did not get any of those things.

The most fun I got out of the book was explaining the cover to my coworkers as they were unschooled in Quirk Classics. 


Good news for readers, if you want to win some free Quirk stuff, click HERE and mention my blog (with URL please!) and get entered in the drawing.  Please don’t think that Quirk stuff stinks just because I didn’t like this book.  I had great reviews for their other books. This one just didn’t do it for me.

If, despite my warnings, you’d like to get a copy of PPZ:DOD, most bookstores and Quirk themselves are taking pre-orders.

Happy reading!

Advance Review Copy!

11 02 2010

I just received my advance review copy of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls.  I am very excited to read this as it’s to be the prequel to P&P&Z.  I’m taking a break from my current book (Anna Karenina) to read PPZ:DOD since Quirk really wants a review posted on March 3rd.  Look for my post then because it will contain links to win great prizes from Quirk!

Free book!

29 01 2010

I’m very stoked right now hear back from Quirk Classics.  They had posted on Facebook that they were looking for bloggers to review their newest book and post a review on their blog.  There would be prizes and stuff offered too later.  It helps promote their book and increase traffic at both sites.  So I received a reply email saying that they’ll be sending my book out Monday! You really can’t beat a free book.  It’s also a reviewer copy, so not many people have read it yet.  It’s like those people who get to watch movies before they hit the theater but this is for book geeks like me. 

If anyone else is interested in this, check out Quirk Classic’s Facebook page and follow the directions that were posted around 10am today.

A Year In Review

6 01 2010

So, I have been a terrible blogger this year. I started the blog with the best intentions and then life got in the way. I spent January though July taking classes in addition to my full-time job. Then I focused on work and a new relationship letting everything else take a back seat to love and money. I’ve read plenty of books. I’ve thought about blogging most of them. 2009 had me reading 30+ books and re-reading at least 4.

Quick list of 2009 reads:

Enemies and Allies by Kevin J. Anderson–Novel about Superman and Batman set during the 1950s. The two begrudgingly team up to stop the world from total destruction. 4 stars

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen–Classic chick lit. 5 stars

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith–The classic regency romance with added zombie mayhem. 4.5 stars

Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters by Jane Austen and Ben H. Winters–More classic literary romance with some slimy, tentacled or clawed disaster. 4 stars

Persuasion by Jane Austen–Classic tale of a girl letting herself get talked out of love based on a mistaken emphasis on wealth and status. To my knowledge there are no plans to add vampires or ghosts. 5 stars

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen–More classic chick lit. Poor girl lives with rich relatives and finds herself between the two worlds trying to find love and happiness. Also no plans to add any strange apparitions as far as I know. 5 stars

The Teahouse Fire by Ellis Avery–French-American girl goes off to Japan and become separated from her family through fire and choice. Passes herself off as a Japanese lady’s maid in a respectable teahouse. 3 stars

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte–More classic lit about two selfish people and their love for themselves and each other and their inability to function in their worlds apart. 2 stars

The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown–Intrigue with a art history geek trying to solve the mystery, murder, and win the pretty girl. 3.5 stars

Angels and Demons by Dan Brown–Same hero as The DaVinci Code with a new mystery, murder, and pretty girl. 3.5 stars

White Oleander by Janet Fitch–Dysfunctional family at its finest. Plus a look into the foster care system through the eyes of a teen. 3 stars

Mary Called Magdalene by Margaret George–Novel of the possible and probably life of Mary Magdalene. Rich with history and a little possible blasphemy. 3.5 stars

Death of a Darklord by Laurel K. Hamilton–Weird novel filled with magic, zombies, and a witch hunter. 4 stars

Why Mermaids Sing by C.S. Harris–Murder mystery set in England. Part of a series. 3.5 stars

Chocolat by Joanne Harris–French lady opens a chocolate shop in a rural village and turns the town upside down. I believe I actually reviewed this one. 4 stars

The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster by Bobby Henderson–Hilarious blasphemy. No way to really explain this. You just have to read it. 3 stars

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini–By the author of The Kite Runner. About 3 separate females and how their lives intersect in Afghanistan. 5 stars

A Widow for One Year by John Irving–Reviewed last January. About a family and how their actions impacted them and those around them. 4 stars

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd–Reviewed already. About a girl looking for her roots and finding them in unexpected ways. 4 stars

Bright Lights, Big Ass by Jen Lancaster–Snarktacular chick lit. 4.5 stars
Such a Pretty Fat by Jen Lancaster–More Snarktacular chick lit. 4.5 stars
Pretty In Plaid by Jen Lancaster –Less snarktacular but totally hilarious chick lit. 4.5 stars

The Host by Stephenie Meyer–Alien being inhabiting human bodies and a band of refugees trying to survive without detection. 3 stars

Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer (re-read)–Sparkly vampired and teen love. If you haven’t already heard about Twilight; you’re probably hiding under a rock. 4.5 stars

Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison–Can’t even really describe it. 3.5 stars

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton–Mystery about a lost child with amnesia trying to find the truth and her granddaughter who finally figures it out. 4 stars

The Dangerous Days of Daniel X by James Patterson–Non-traditional Patterson safe for the whole family to read. Daniel is an alien hunter with a few advantages trying to get revenge for the death of his family by killing the most dangerous aliens in the U.S. 3.5 stars

Swimsuit by James Patterson–Killer on the loose ravaging models. Sort of standard for Patterson. 2.5 stars

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath–Whiny, depressed, suburban girl. 0 stars

The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks–Love story spanning a few decades about reconnecting with first love. 4 stars

The Guy Not Taken by Jennifer Weiner–Short stories about everyday women finding their Prince Charming. 2 stars

I also failed two books (Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert and Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift). I may try them again later but I have plenty to keep me busy right now.

All in all it really wasn’t a bad year for reading. Despite a lot of happenings I truly read 2-3 books each month with a full time job and classes.

Here’s hoping 2010 is even better!