Sea Monsters and Austen, revisited

So a while back I mentioned that I had gone and picked up Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, but never got around to actually talking about it. I suppose that, in itself, is pretty telling.

The adaptation’s delights present quite interestingly: a steampunk era mixed with dark and brooding elements: The Alteration has resulted in the emergence of aggressive sea-monsters of every kind, and London is transformed into Sub-Marine Station Beta, an underwater, massive iron-and-glass Dome that requires submarines to get to.

While your mileage may definitely vary, I found this adaptation falling rather flat, and trying too hard. It was clearly meant to be a steampunk adaptation–while I’m no steampunk expert, I felt it tried to inject the genre too harshly in the story, ending with an experience that felt quite jarring. I’m all for preposterousness (ahem!) but it didn’t gel as well as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

When I started feeling disappointed with the book, I quickly assessed myself if I was expecting too much from it, given that I thoroughly enjoyed Pride and Prejudice and Zombies; but the sad fact is, I wasn’t. Is it the harshness of poor Colonel Brandon’s facial tentacles? Too much foreboding horror in Margaret’s actions? Maybe I need to read more horror fiction to fully appreciate the humor in the story?

Most of my friends who have also read the book think the same, so I wonder if it’s really just bad writing. I’ve yet to hear of someone who liked the book. Maybe they can tell me if the last eighth of the book is worth it?