Dawn of the Dreadfuls (& Contest)

As devoted readers of FB&C will know, I've been following Quirk Classics from its very quirky beginning. Last year, Quirk Books of Philadelphia published a "mash-up" of Jane Austen's classic Pride and Prejudice called Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which became a New York Times bestseller. I interviewed the mastermind behind that book for the September 2009 issue of FB&C. It was a very cool concept, followed quickly by Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, which was about 25% less engaging its precursor, but still lots of fun. (I say 25 % because in P&P&Z, there was an ratio of 85% classic Austen to 15% "bone-crushing zombie mayhem." The follow-up had 60% real Austen and 40% bloody filler.)

The newest title in the series, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls, however, is entirely original, and has entirely failed to capture my imagination. It's meant to be a precursor to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, so most of the characters are Austen's, excepting ones like Master Hawksworth, Elizabeth's ninja instructor and love interest. For a young adult audience, this might work. Otherwise, I fear Quirk has taken a grand idea and run it aground.

Still, the jacket art is stunning. And, you've got to hand it to an indie publisher for doing something--anything--to counter the same old corporate publishing nonsense that fills superstore shelves. Their marketing campaigns are themselves worthy of awards. In the case of Dawn of the Dreadfuls, March 3--today--has been declared BlogSplosion 2010. This means that if you click here, you can enter for a chance to win one of fifty Quirk Classics prize packs. They'll also give a preview of two illustrations from the book, due out later this month. Good luck.

In the meantime, I suppose we'll have to wait until June to see if the next mash-up, Android Karenina, redeems the spirit of Quirk Classics.