“Sense and Sensibility and Sea-Monsters”
By Ben H. Winters & Jane Austen
Published 2010 by Quirk Books

Having read a few other “mashup” books; “Pride & Prejudice & Zombies,” “Dawn of the Dreadfuls,” and “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,”  I thought I’d give this one a try.  I’m sorry to say I found this one hard to get through.   I’m not sure what it lacked, but at times when the sea-monsters sections were introduced they seemed forced.  I admit though it did have its funny moments but I would have done better to avoid this book.

The premise of the story is the Dashwood family from the Jane Austen novel continue on as Austen wrote them but with many dangers lurking in the waters of the world.  An event known as “The Alteration” has turned the creatures of the sea against mankind, this unexplained event spawns numerous “sea monsters,” including sea serpents, giant lobsters, and man-eating jellyfish.  Those are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg, but you get the idea.

Basically, Henry Dashwood is out to find the cause of the “Alteration” and upon his return is attacked by hammerhead sharks.  Before he dies from the wounds inflicted Mr. Dashwood inscribes a message in the sand for his son to take care of his mother and sisters, since they will be females and have no legal recourse to the inheritance.  The Dashwood women are not taken care of due to the son’s wife’s greediness.

They move to Pestilent Island where the two older sisters are soon to find suitors.  One suitor, Colonel Brandon, is inflicted with a disease in which his face is sprouting tentacles.  Just picture Davy Jones from the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies.  Another suitor is Willoughby which is actually very close to the presentation in the original novel, but in this book he as a sidekick of an orangutan.  The people who were kind enough to let the Dashwoods stay in a shack on their island are the Middletons. Lady Middleton was captured in Africa and carried off against her will to become Sir John Middleton’s wife and she’s always trying to escape.

If you have read the original novel and you pick this up you can tell some of the events are forced however there are some funny moments that will cause you to chuckle.  I would say bypass this one and enjoy the other mashup novels with vampires and zombies.

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