Zombies and Seamonsters and…Jane Austen?

I asked Kim if I could do a post while she was on her well deserved break and to my great delight she said yes! The problem was I did not know what to talk about, so after a quick moment of contemplation my eye landed on an early Christmas present form my girlfriends parents. The wonderful book Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters and so I thought I would share with you’ll my thoughts on this book and its friend Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

Now these two books, from Quirk Books, are fantastic! They are mash-up works combining the classic novels of Jane Austen with zombie crunching mayhem as it he case with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and deadly sea creatures in Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters.


I’ll start with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. This book sticks very close to the original by Jane Austen but has several very important differences. The major one being that zombies, or the unmentionables in polite conversation, roam the English countryside devouring all who fall into their path. The second difference is the Elizabeth Bennet and her sisters are all highly trained zombie killers. Their mother is still trying to marry them all off to wealthy suitors and Elizabeth still does clash with Mr. Darcy who is very accomplished zombie killer. But like all good Jane Austen books it does all work out in the end.

Throw in a few ninjas, zombie brides and you have a great read. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes Jane Austen and zombies.

sense and sensibility and seamonsters

Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters is the second of Quirk Books mash-ups and it is a great read just like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. While Pride and Prejudice and Zombies sticks close to the story line of the original, Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters is very different from its original. It is a mix of a Jane Austen love story and a Jules Verne adventure, with a leviathan, undersea cities, the Devonshire Fang-Beast and a French orangutan servant you have a cracking read that is full of laughs and will bring a smile to anyone’s dial. Happy Reading!

Have an awesomesauce day!
Crumble the Elder

Chris is a high school teacher in Central Otago. He’s a little geeky, loves history, and blogs about the things he does and loves at crumbleincromwell. Check it.

The Lost Symbol – Dan Brown Review


I really loved the Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons. Many say the writing is shocking, and note major plot holes, but they were easy to read thrillers and if an author can keep me entertained I consider that a success. (Whether or not they would get full marks from their english teacher.) If you didn’t enjoy those books you’re going to hate this one!

The Lost Symbol is over filled with chapters explaining the history and science surrounding the plot, making what could have been a great fast paced read into a clunky one. There was at least one entirely unnecessary chapter and probably 100 pages of superfluous description that could have been removed. This book will make a better movie because the extras will be stripped away. A new editor could put Dan Brown’s next book back on track.

The Lost Symbol starts with a note that all places, rituals, art, and sciences in the book are real. It seems that Dan really just wants to talk about symbology and science but has been forced to weave a fictional story around it. The science in the book is very interesting, just not something I want spoon fed to me when I’m already struggling to get through the super slow brain processes of a supposedly genius professor. I found myself figuring out the codes pages, if not chapters, before Robert Langdon which means he either sucks under pressure, or just plain sucks. There was one heart racing scene in the middle of the book, and it all goes downhill from there. The biggest let down was a lame la di da ending with no real acknowledgement of what the characters had been through.

The most fascinating part was finding out that The Boy’s boss dresses up in robes, drinks red wine out of a skull, and acts out the killing and rebirth of other Masons. Apparently the Masons are quite happy with how they’re portrayed in the book. It makes them look as dated, superstitious, and patriarchal as rumours have always lead people to believe.


Secrets of an Online Empress Reviewed

Secrets of an Online Empress cover

I’ve just taken the plunge and purchase Sarah Prout’s ‘Secret of an Online Empress’, Sarah seems like a pretty cool chick. I like the design of her website and she sounds like she’s doing well for herself, so I thought this ebook could offer some insight and tips on making more of an online presence for myself.

Unfortunately it didn’t live up to the hype I’d created. I think it would be great for someone brand new to the blogging or online marketing world, but that’s not me. I’ve read a lot of stuff about online marketing from many different free websites and ebooks which provide much of the same information.

There were a couple of social networking sites that I hadn’t heard of that I’ve decided to sign up to, but there were also a couple of links that didn’t work at all.
Most disappointing were the references to the book ‘the secret’. While gratitude and positive thinking are important in order to create the right mindset to get what you need, the “law of attraction” advice is not something I want to pay for when trying to learn business secrets.

Sarah offers a full refund for anyone not happy with the book which she gave to me promptly after I emailed her. I did ask to swap it for an ebook copy of her other book Sprout the Life You Love if she had one (currently only available in hardcopy) but she didn’t answer my question. Must be doing well for herself to ignore my request to let her keep my money!

I’m still interested in getting a copy of Sprout the Life You Love if you’re reading this Sarah :D

Book Reviews – Panic and Wreck This Journal

Panic by Jeff Abbott

Never judge a book by its cover.

The cover of Panic shouts about its thriller status, “Jeff Abbott’s best novel yet”, “high suspense”, “fresh and gripping plot”. If you’ve been watching thriller movies with their multiple twists over the past 10 years you’re unlikely to be impressed by this book. It wasn’t terrible but the plot didn’t seem original at all.

Evan Casher, 24, has his life turned upside down when his mother is murdered and he finds out his family, and his girlfriend are not who he thought they were. Then just when you think you’ve figured out the story, some more information is revealed about the characters, o my!
The plot twists are predictable and slow, and this is coming from the girl who didn’t know Bruce Willis was dead. The story speeds up marginally in the last 100 pages, almost everyone dies, and then I tell you not to bother with this book. It’s no surprise it took me the full 4 week library loan to get through it.

Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith

On a very different note, I can say I am absolutely in love with Wreck This Journal! I received it today (ordered via GoodBooksNZ where delivery is free anywhere in the world, prices are in New Zealand’s weak ass dollar and all profits go to Oxfam!) and have already embraced the defacing.


The premise is that you get this journal, with instructions on how to wreck it on the pages; you follow the instructions, make some up, improvise, have fun and begin to see creative destruction everywhere. Live recklessly.

The best bit: No need to worry about it getting munted in the post or your bag.