joining a second. To commence Austenprose's Sense and Sensibility Bicentenary Challenge I chose Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters (I will refer to it as S&S&S for brevity's sake) and picked it up from my library. I had been curious about this book ever since I finished Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I loved P&P&Z; it was clever, funny, and liked how it incorporated Jane's story in a zombie apocolypse context. I wasn't the only one. The popularity of the book paved the way for books such as S&S&S, and boy did that show when I was reading! When I think of S&S&S, the word, "hasty" comes to mind. This was a product created on the coat-tails of the first Austen/Monster mashup's success and for me, it failed.
Firstly, I think P&P&Z's success was that the book was reconfigured in a familiar sci-fi situation; an epidemic which turns people into the walking dead and therefore turns the world, and likewise, society upside down. S&S&S took the same concept but replaced zombies with all sorts of blood-thirsty fish. The Dashwood sisters lived in this environment and therefore are accomplished in the arts of fish-defense, as well as driftwood carving, and sailor songs. I must confess, I was hoping for the Dashwoods to be ignorant of sea monsters until their move to Devonshire which would introduce them to the monster-slaying expert Colonel Brandon. That would have been more creative, and separated the book from P&P&Z more. Brandon may have been skilled in slaying but he also happened to be half sea monster himself, sporting a beard of tentacles from an affliction brought on by a sea witch, which explains Marianne's disinterest in him.
I think what really made Ben H. Winter's mash-up unsuccessful for me was the haste in producing it. The author didn't seem to know Austen (he actually used "indifferent" erroneously, in the modern term, rather than early 19th century meaning) and I caught two typos, which also implied a haste in producing the work. I know many will disagree with me, but I feel Seth Grahame-Smith's heart was in the right place when he made P&P&Z and I can't say I feel the same about S&S&S. My advice is to skip over this mash-up and move try another. When is Persuasion...In Space! supposed to hit shelves?