It’s not a review, because I’m bad at those. But I can do recommendations.
The main worry that I had with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was that it seemed to be tailor-made for Snakes on a Plane Syndrome: which would be a situation where the concept was a lot more interesting than the end result. Fortunately, that didn’t occur here. Having read and actually liked the original Jane Austen novel back in college – perils of being an English major – I would say that Seth Grahame-Smith’s updated material was inserted into the original text quite well.
By all accounts – which seem to jibe with my remembrance – most of the book remains unchanged from the original; it is Grahame-Smith’s argument that the original was almost designed to be updated with zombie attacks, and it’s hard to argue with him. Austen’s characters translate almost startlingly easily into a world where the dead walk, people are routinely waylaid and eaten, and ninjas are an essential part of any society lady’s retinue. The violence, which is in the finest traditions of the zombie genre, are not actually jarring. In fact, the combat scenes are, if anything, less vicious than the drawing room witticisms and snubs that they generally replace. What makes it all function is that Grahame-Smith actually has a basic respect for the original work, and took some pains to demonstrate that respect; and he succeeded in actually writing something above the level of ‘gimmick’, no doubt to his surprise.
I have an affection for this book, in other words: and I suspect that Jane Austen, once she had the conceit explained to her (and recovered from the somewhat crude ongoing joke), probably would have, too. If you like either zombies or Jane Austen, I think that you’ll like this one.