I don’t like Sense and Sensibility. Let me make that clear. I always felt that Maryanne was off her rocker, that Edward Ferrars was a weak sort of individual, and that Colonel Brandon needed to stop trying to rob the cradle. That being said, Austin and Winters have done it. They have written a book that makes me not utterly despise the Dashwoods.I am not sure whether to compare this novel to Jane Austin books, or to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies as it is in that similar faux Austin comedy genre. I read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies first, and was unimpressed. It was okay, an certainly all right for a laugh. But at the end of the day, all the elements of the original plot and story were the same with the addition of a zombie fight thrown in here and there. Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters was a refreshing change (and improvement) to the original, and could act as a stand alone novel.
Winters is excellent and world building. The Regency Era England that Winters has created is the type I might want to visit, where leviathans roam, the seas are treacherous, and London is a sub station under water. The aspects that so annoyed me in the original book are heightened to their most absurd in Sea Monsters and make Maryanne once again lovable, Edward once again pitiable, and Colonel Brandon, much less of an annoyance. I was actually excited as I read this book and wanted to find out exactly how it would end. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies did nothing that stood out as original content. Winters also seemed to know that, even though the words ‘sea monsters’ were thrown out there, a majority of the readers would be Jane Austin fans, so he made his narrative less crass than Zombies. I’d recommend this book both to my mother, and my youngest brother, two people who couldn’t be more different could find elements they’d enjoy, and that is the mark of a good book.