Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Graham-Smith

5899779Okay, I’ve mulled this one over for a couple of days now. Initially, it was entertaining for the novelty of the whole thing. I giggled, I got out my copy of the actual novel to see if those lines were really the same, etc. The illustrations were a nice touch. But after the first few chapters, it started to get old. I mean, I know how the story ends, and I was right in assuming it would get there, just with a few zombie battles along the way. That’s not to say Grahame-Smith didn’t change anything at all, just nothing that effected the overall outcome. I did think the whole Bennet-sisters-trained-by-Chinese-martial-arts-masters-and-whipped-with-wet-bamboo thing was a really strange addition to the zombie thing, and I was actually really put off by the fact that Grahame-Smith’s version of Pemberley was Asia-influenced and featured a housekeeper with bound feet. It was just weird (like everything else).

Overall, it gets points for novelty, and for the juxtaposition of the original text with the new stuff…and for being ballsy enough to do something like this with a novel like P&P. I know a few people who were horrified by the concept, and refused to even entertain the thought of picking this up. Curiosity got the better of this P&P fan though.

The Pemberley Chronicles by Rebecca Ann Collins

51c89akk9nL._SL500_I was really hoping to enjoy this one. Seeing that it had four sequels and was marketed as being more true to the original novel, it certainly seemed promising. However, I found that I had a difficult time staying interested in this one.

I almost gave up at the beginning – most of the other reviews I’ve read have said they enjoyed the beginning, but I thought that was almost the worst part. It seemed like the first 50 pages were nothing but illustrations (and explanations) of how perfectly happy they were, how much “respect and admiration” they had for the Gardiners, and how much respect and admiration Darcy had for Mr. Bennet, and that they respected and admired each other and how happy all of this made them…and it just kept going on with nothing really happening. At first it was cute, but then it just became irritating.

The rest of the book was a bit more entertaining, but I found it hard to keep track of which children were whose (especially since they liked to name them after each other). Collins also skips huge chunks of time without much explanation (although I’m sure we can trust they were supremely happy and had respect and admiration for each other the whole time). I also found it strange that through the middle of the book, we hear more about the children of other characters – I found myself realizing that Elizabeth and Darcy’s children would be in their teens and I knew absolutely nothing about them. They came into play near the end, but for most of the book I wouldn’t have known they had children at all if I hadn’t read the pages telling of their births.

If you’re desperate for a P&P fix or want to try something with less unlikely drama and situations than other sequels have, you might want to give this a try; maybe you’ll like it more than I did. Overall though, I found it pretty forgettable. Let’s just say I have no inclination to read the other four books.

Austenland by Shannon Hale

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This is more of a three and a half star book, but one worth rounding up to four rather than down to three. Chick-lit isn’t really my thing, but I like to read a good one every now and again for a quick read that I can just enjoy without having to think too much. And of course, this one has to do with Austen, so I decided to give it a shot.

Chick-lit isn’t really my thing, but I like to read a good one every now and again for a quick read that I can just enjoy without having to think too much. And of course, this one has to do with Austen, so I decided to give it a shot.

To sum it up, it was really cute. I know that’s not a literary term, but it really says it all. The narrator was easy to relate to, especially in terms of her feelings about Pembrook Park – a little embarrassed to be playing dress up, but still wanting to get lost in the fantasy anyways. It was fairly predictable, although it did have a couple nice little twists at the end. I think I smiled all the way through the last couple of chapters, which is always a good sign. I probably looked like a grinning idiot to everyone else at the lunch table at work, oh well! If you want something fluffy and fun, I would highly recommend this one.

Mr. Darcy’s Diary by Amanda Grange

99297After reading Pamela Aiden’s “Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman” trilogy a few months ago, I found this to be merely a much simpler version. Grange doesn’t go much beyond the events we already know of from the original novel, and Darcy himself doesn’t seem to have much depth at all. He switches from being determined to stop thinking about Elizabeth to suddenly proposing without almost any explanation at all. His feelings flip flop too quickly throughout the novel with no basis. Overall, I knew exactly what was going to happen – there were no surprises. Nothing happens to Darcy that we don’t already know about to some degree.

The book was enjoyable for the story itself, and of course I found myself smiling when Elizabeth finally accepted. The glimpses of their life after marriage were cute too. If you really want an in-depth look at Darcy, I recommend the Pamela Aiden trilogy. Although it can be a little far-fetched a times, she adds a slew of new characters for Darcy to interact with, and really shows the way his mind works.