July 25, 2012

Review of Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard


The year is 1876, and there’s something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia…

Eleanor Fitt has a lot to worry about. Her brother has gone missing, her family has fallen on hard times, and her mother is determined to marry her off to any rich young man who walks by. But this is nothing compared to what she’s just read in the newspaper—

The Dead are rising in Philadelphia.

And then, in a frightening attack, a zombie delivers a letter to Eleanor…from her brother.

Whoever is controlling the Dead army has taken her brother as well. If Eleanor is going to find him, she’ll have to venture into the lab of the notorious Spirit-Hunters, who protect the city from supernatural forces. But as Eleanor spends more time with the Spirit-Hunters, including their maddeningly stubborn yet handsome inventor, Daniel, the situation becomes dire. And now, not only is her reputation on the line, but her very life may hang in the balance.

Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Denard

Publish Date:  July 24, 2012

Publisher:  HarperTeen

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** This book was provided to us by the publisher for an honest review.
We were in no way paid for our opinion**

Zombies and the Victorian era.  *sigh* A time when chivalry isn’t dead, but the dead walk the earth.

The story opens up with excitement and an encounter with the walking dead!  Awesome! *high voice*  Main character, Eleanor Fitt, is at the telegraph office hoping to have received some sort of notice from her brother, Elijah, whom she hasn’t seen in years.  But instead of being greeted with a telegram, she comes face to face with a zombie!  But wait!  What is this?  The zombie has personally come to deliver a letter to Eleanor from her brother!  Eeeep!

The dead are walking and invading the lives of the citizens of Philadelphia!  A Necromancer is on the loose causing chaos and fear in the hearts of everyone.  Eleanor fears her brother has been taken by the Necromancer and fears that the same fate of other young men will befall him…decapitation.

Eleanor’s mother decides to host a séance at their home in hopes of contacting her deceased husband, Eleanor’s father, and to also strengthen the courtship between Eleanor and Clarence, a cocky, good looking, eligible bachelor.  Something goes terribly wrong during the séance, and rather than having contacted the ones they love, a dark and sinister spirit is released and out for vengeance.  What vengeance and towards whom?  You’ll have to read the book and find out.

Eleanor decides to take action and start searching for her brother and get some answers.  She decides to call on the assistance of the Spirit-Hunters who have been asked by the city council to help in eradicating the walking dead.  It is at this encounter that Eleanor meets Joseph, Jie, and Daniel (*sigh Daniel*) and the four of them work together in trying to save everyone and find out who is responsible for all of this.

Something Strange And Deadly was a fun and engrossing read!  The world created by Susan Dennard was beautifully done.  Corsets, poofy dresses, horse drawn carriages…I could picture it all in my mind.  Then to throw in magic, spirits, and zombies in to the mix, and you’ve got yourself a sure thing!

It was entertaining to read the interactions between all the characters.  I loved the back and forth banter between Eleanor and Clarence, as well as the pent up aggression between Eleanor and Daniel.  I found the conversations between Eleanor and Clarence’s sister, Allison, so hilarious at times and I wish there was more back and forth between these two in the book.

Eleanor is such a brave and strong character, though there were times in the book where, if I could, I would’ve smacked her silly and told her to chill for a minute.  At times, the bravado she portrayed simply annoyed the crap outta me.  With that being said, it is obvious that author, Susan Dennard, is a fantastic writer!  To be able to draw out different emotions from the readers shows how much personality she has given her characters.

The ending was bittersweet, and was not how I expected it to end…which is a good thing!  There were various points throughout the book where I thought I had the mystery solved, only to have a major plot twist thrown in my face.  Whoop! Whoop!  I was thwarted time and time again, and with each turn I smiled and had to read on to see what was going to happen next.  I did find that things started to slow down for me in the middle of the book, and wondered when the excitement would start up again.  Luckily, the story exploded at the right moment and my attention was hooked until the end.

I recommend Something Strange and Deadly to fans of mystery, Lia Habel’s Dearly Departed, and lovers of all things zombies.  I personally can’t wait to see if there will be a sequel so that I can see more of Daniel.

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1 Comment

  1. kimbacaffeinate

    Yay..i loved this one too, so glad you liked it!

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