Hitting the Reader with the Obvious Stick

Hitting the Reader with the Obvious StickZombies, the Bennet Sisters, and wonderfully inspired writing shone through Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. The exquisite attention to the original Jane Austen text provided allowed the unmentionables to play a secondary role in the story’s overarching plot trajectory. This is one of the reasons I thought Dawn of Dreadfuls would follow suit. Despite being written by another author, I hoped it would contain the same perfect blend of Victorian propriety and Ninja grace.

 But Dawn of the Dreadfuls has as much subtlety as a zombie emerging from its temporary earth home. Or perhaps, a more accurate description is a zombie munching on the brains of an unsuspecting reader—blood spattered, spinal cord dangling out still wiggling. Get the picture? While Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is as proper as afternoon tea, Dawn of the Dreadfuls is more akin to the grace and tact of a fraternity party complete with unnecessary bodily functions, grossly obvious allusions, and complete departure from the established characters of the Bennet sisters.

 I must speak plainly—I have not been so disappointed in a book as I was with this one.

 Dear reader, I wanted to love it. To savor the younger versions of my favorite female characters, Jane and Elizabeth Bennet. While I believe in creative license, the author still has some responsibility to stay true to the essence of the characters, right? Would Jane Bennet really place herself in a situation that would compromise her honor? Certainly, Darcy would have pointed this out to Bingley in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies? Darcy did try to keep his friend from marrying Jane at all costs. Worst of all, our author Captain Obvious keeps alluding to Elizabeth falling in love with men who have issues with pride. Seriously? Or perhaps, Lydia’s jokes about running off and marrying an officer.

 Hitting readers with the obvious stick doesn’t make them happy readers, it just gives us headaches.


*Photo: cricket 16 by barryskeates, obtained through Flickr.

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