Dreadfully fun

The Bennet girls of Jane Austen’s classic novel, Pride and Prejudice, quickly adopt the motto “Ladylike be damned” as they’re forced to abandon etiquette in this alternate universe, a prequel to last year’s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith. In Dawn of the Dreadfuls, Mr. Bennet transforms his wife’s potting shed into a dojo for zombie-fighting martial-arts training. It begins with the transformation of the late Mr. Ford into a zombie—or dreadful—and then leads to the discovery that Mr. Bennet was once an Asian-trained merciless zombie slayer. He teaches Elizabeth and Mary that hacking off zombie heads with gardening shears should be “as easy as pruning a rose.” Mrs. Bennet still longs for wealthy suitors for her daughters, but these Buffy-like Bennet sisters don’t bat an eye if they get a bit of blood spatter on their dresses, as long as the “dreadfuls” are promptly returned to death’s door.