Jane Austen

Book Review: Dawn of the Dreadfuls

In honor of Father’s Day, I want to talk about what a good father does in times of crisis.

Does he throw caution to the wind and protect his children above all else? Yes.

Does he deny society standards to give his children the tools to defend themselves in case he is devoured by zombies? Yes.

And finally, does he take pride in a brood of his own progeny that can defeat flesh hungry adversaries at every pass? Absolutely.

Mr. Bennet was such a man and I’d like to suggest Dawn of the Dreadfuls as an example, nay, an instruction manual for the fathers of today. For the modern father faces many of the challenges that Mr. Bennet did.

In Dawn of the Dreadfuls, you will learn how to coach your offspring to greatness.

Mr. Bennett assumed the Spread Eagle Stance, scowled, and bellowed, “HAA-IEEEEEEEEEEE!” ….he asked Jane to try a cry of her own. “Haiee,” she said. “Did you hear that, girls?” Mr. Bennett cupped a hand to his right ear. “I do believe a mouse just coughed... Your battle cry does more than announce your presence… it unchains the tiger within.”

You will learn the proper thing to say when society questions your motives.

“…You mean to have her---? ...She’s but a child!” “Childhood is a luxury we can no longer afford.”

And, you will learn how to show your children the proper way to dispatch unmentionables to the fiery pits of hell.

“Run out to the tool shed and fetch along the biggest pair of shears you can.”

Dawn of the Dreadfuls is an exciting, entertaining romp through Jane Austen’s England where zombies have infected the masses. Author Steve Hockensmith has a way of making zombie attacks funny and the combat training funnier! For Austenites, you will love to see your favorite characters in a new light, before the famed Pride and Prejudice story commenced. Did you know that Jane was once courted by a plump, arrogant, coward? Have you read of Elizabeth’s infatuation with the most highly regarded martial arts master? All of this and more awaits you in the pages of Dawn of the Dreadfuls, the prequel to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains, must be in want of more brains.

Both Dawn of the Dreadfuls and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies are available now at Amazon.com.

*Author’s note: I have not reviewed Pride and Prejudice and Zombies because although I enjoyed it, I think readers will like this book better. P&P&Z is no doubt revolutionary and entertaining, but if you are a passionate JA fan, you may become bored with the retelling, despite the gooey zombie center. If you are not a JA reader, I recommend both books, but begin with Dawn of the Dreadfuls first.

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Book Review: Jane Bites Back by Michael Thomas Ford

"It is a truth universally acknowledged that Jane Austen is still alive today … as a vampire."

With a tagline like that, I could hardly leave my copy collecting dust at the bookstore. Jane Bites Back is an awesome read for any Jane Austen lover. Though set in a world where Jane is still alive, and a vampire, this book sways more towards chick lit than horror. The gore in this novel is supremely tame and safe for all ages.

Jane is a bookstore owner who boils about not being able to collect royalties from her books. From the author finger puppets to the JA massage books, Jane is rather sick of it all! But Jane has a plan. She will attempt to publish her last great novel, the one that no one has seen yet, and she’ll try to do it without her secret getting out.

Perhaps my favorite part is the first chapter in which she has to entertain a Jane Austen wannabe author after a reading. You can just feel the steam rise as Jane hears her put down JA fans as if they are mindless zombies and even slight her own work.

“I don’t get the big deal about Austen myself... I could barely get through them... Talk about boring.”

Even Mr. Darcy wouldn’t expect Jane to control her blood thirst after a proclamation such as that! The author spins this tale so masterfully that I was still guessing at the end. Which beau would she finally get together with, what well-known literature queen was behind her attacks and would anyone find out about her true identity?

Michael Thomas Ford has successfully transitioned into the big time with this awesome paperback and I applaud it. Mostly known for his gay-themed novels and instruction books, he has shown that he too belongs on the bestsellers list. It is about time he gets some main stream recognition for his talented writing style.

I am pleased to hear that Jane Bites Back is only one of a trilogy. After reading you will see, Ford left it pretty wide open – anything can happen!

Manga Gift Ideas For The Whole Family!

Why can’t Grandpa or Aunt Suzi enjoy manga? Well, because you haven’t found the right thing for them to read yet. Now manga can be for the whole family. Check out these titles for manga holiday gift ideas. Not only will it open up the old geezers to a fun new way to enjoy stories, but it will bridge the generational gaps and give you something to talk about at those long family gatherings coming up.

emmZFor grandma:

EMMA tells the story of a young Victorian maid and her forbidden love. If grandma likes Austen, Eliot, or Dickens, she’ll love this.

For grandpa:

THE MANGA BIBLE is an adaptation of the Christian holy book. If grandpa says he never reads anything but the bible, this is the perfect gift!

For mom:

THE MANGA COOKBOOK Filled with all those cute little meals you see in your mangas. Even if mom doesn’t read your books, maybe she can take pride in making fun foods and learning about Japanese culture.wolv

For dad:

Try one of the WOLVERINE mangas. These have been getting mixed reviews. Not all comic lovers can switch over, but what a better time to broaden dad’s horizons than the Holidays?

For older brother:

50 MANGA BABES TO DRAW AND PAINT Whether he is an artist or just likes to sit in his room a lot playing his X-box, this book has what most teen boys like. Mix up comics, computer games, and beautiful bodies, you’ll be his best friend at least through the holiday feast.

animaFor vampire-loving sister:

VAMPIRE KNIGHT This tale explores what would happen if vampires and mortals had to attend the same school. Though the vampires go at night and the mortals at day, what is unknown and mysterious draws the students together.

For your Yaoi fans:

ANIMA is the best Yaoi I’ve read to date (review coming soon). Take a male to male love story, sprinkle in some Steampunk and a bit of robotics? This Yaoi is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Warning: This book does have explicit adult content, please don’t buy it for granny.

bsiFor your bratty pre-teen nephew:

BSI: Muhyo & Roji's Bureau of Supernatural Investigation- This is a great starter for any pre-teen who likes ghosts, but the bratty little investigator in this book will especially appeal to your irritating, know-it-all nephew! Not that any of us know anyone like that.

For your cool college-age sister who’s kind of a hippie:

THE TAROT CAFÉ A cute, eclectic coffee shop owner reads Tarot cards for her supernatural guests. Emerian's Tarot Café review.

rozenFor your best friend who’s a Goth-Loli gal:

ROZEN MAIDEN A guy orders a doll online and she comes to life. The doll then involves him in a game with her other doll sisters where the playfulness can lead to injury, missing bedtimes, and death.

For that co-worker who loves Jane Austen men:

GODCHILD An English gentleman, heir to the Hargraves fortune, is the most eligible bachelor in town. What the public does not see is that solves murders and is a poison specialist. Many volumes to this and the best part is if they get hooked, you have another series THE CAIN SAGA to buy next year! Emerian's Godchild review.

For your friend who’s still a rocker at heart:

PRINCESS AI A rock star named Ai is searches for her true origin in this music-infused tale. Emerian’s Princess Ai review.

For anyone that likes smart writing:

DEATH NOTE A magical notebook will cause the death of anyone who is written in it. Light, a student aggravated with the justice system, uses the notebook to attempt to bring criminal activity to an end. The storyline in this manga is the best thought-out, most intricate plot you will read in manga format. Emerian’s Death Note Review.

Perhaps you are looking for a gift your horror manga-lover hasn’t seen yet? Try:

Bloody Kiss 2 ( Nov 2009) Pet Shop Of Horrors: Tokyo 6 (Nov. 2009) Chibi Vampire 14 (Oct 2009) Vampire Kisses (Sept 2009)

If your manga-lover is past the lover stage and into the… “Hey, I think I could make my own manga!” stage, check out these new manga-drawing instruction books: Drawing Manga Animals, Chibis, and Other Adorable Creatures (Nov. 2009) Shojo Fashion Manga Art School: How to Draw Cool Looks and Characters (Nov. 2009)

Jane Austen VS. Supernatural Monsters?

I am a Jane Austen fan. I've read everything she wrote and have read so many JA knock-offs, they fill several shelves in my library.  I've seen every JA movie adaptation (even the bad modern ones), read JA blogs, and listen to the JA Podnovel Podcast regularly. ssA while ago, I read a mystery by a fabulous JA author named Carrie Bebris.  Suspense and Sensibility or, First Impressions Revisited: A Mr. & Mrs. Darcy Mystery, is an entertaining tale about how Lizzy and Darcy attempt to help Kitty find a husband. The story revolves around a magic mirror that Mr. Darcy emphatically refuses to believe has supernatural powers. The reason I mention this book is because it is an excellent example of Jane Austen’s characters and the supernatural world working well together in a tale.

But now, there is a new book coming in May 2009, called Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Classic Regency Romance - Now with Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem! By Seth Grahame-Smith. When I heard about this, I had to take a second look. The book cover shows potential and I am even a pzlittle excited to see if this guy can pull it off. Jane Austen seemed to be fascinated with gothic horror herself, which can be seen in her novel Northanger Abbey. I have high hopes that she would have enjoyed a good laugh about the book’s title and perhaps even applauded such an effort.

Unfortunately, the second piece of news buzzing around the net is that Elton John’s Rocket Pictures is making a movie they are affectionately calling "Pride and Predator". Whether this little film is connected with the new zombie book or if it is completely different is unknown. Some news sources are lumping them together as one entity, but from the description on Variety.com, this flick definitely sounds more alien than zombie related. Is it possible that non-SF news reporters don’t know the difference between aliens and zombies? Perhaps this is the reason for the generalization.

Whatever the case, these new JA spin-offs are strange to say the least. What I want to know is...Can they pull this off or are these going to be put down as what never to do to a classic? I guess we'll have to wait and see. If this film or book does well, I can predict what we can expect down the road, but really, “Frankenstein and Juliet” or “Oliver Twisted”, don’t seem to have the same appeal.

If you are a JA fan, or just want to find out what all the buzz is about, visit these links: Carrie Bebris, JA mystery author  http://www.carriebebris.com/ Pre-Order Pride and Prejudice and Zombies On Amazon Listen to JApodnovel for JA readings and news: http://japodnovel.mevio.com/