Naturally. But instead of going the traditional sequel route, Quirk Classics went in the other direction and has given us a prequel: Dawn of the Dreadfuls. Set several years prior to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Dawn of the Dreadfuls takes the reader on a journey through the dawn of the zombie plague and Elizabeth’s tentative first steps toward becoming the ultimate zombie killing warrior. Along the way we encounter, among other things, a scientific attempt to interact with a dreadful… through music and dancing (just go with it), a creative use of croquet balls and mallets, and the timely arrival of ninjas.
Obviously Jane Austen did not actually write a prequel to Pride and Prejudice, so author Steve Hockensmith had a freer hand than his Pride and Prejudice and Zombies predecessor to create his tale without being tied to source material. But what made Pride and Prejudice and Zombies a true phenomenon was its creative mashup of classic literate with classic horror, and that hook worked precisely because the reader already knew the story being (lovingly) spoofed. Once the story isn’t tied to an actual classic work, it’s really just another zombie story in an odd setting.
Don’t get me wrong, Dawn of the Dreadfuls is a very entertaining read. It just didn’t have quite the same sense of discovery and mischief that was present in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, that “Look at us poking fun at the ‘great work of literature’… by adding zombies!” Of course that could actually work in Dawn of the Dreadfuls favor from a marketing perspective, as those who were wary of reading classic literature, even with a healthy dose of zombies thrown in, may be more receptive to what is, essentially, a completely original zombie tale. And a wickedly funny one at that.