Book Review: Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard

Something Strange and Deadly
Something Strange and Deadly #1
Author: Susan Dennard
Reading Level: YA
Genre: Horror/Zombie
Released: July 24th 2012
Review Source: Harper Teen
Available: Amazon

Summary: (from goodreads) 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.

Beginning with the dark and elegant cover of Something Strange and Deadly, I was drawn in and interested to start reading. The story starts with a telegram being delivered to our heroine, Eleanor. The twist being that it is delivered by one of the Dead. It’s not immediately revealed how the Dead came to deliver this telegram from her brother, Elijah, but Eleanor wastes no time in trying to find out the meaning behind it. Upon receiving that telegram, the norms of society just don’t matter to her. She goes straight to the Spirit-Hunters and begs their help in finding her brother.

I loved that the story took place in a classic Victorian setting and of course, Eleanor’s feisty, stubborn and inappropriate demeanor. She was beyond her times in this setting, being a young lady who doesn’t go with the flow of society or what she “should” and “should not” do. She is convinced her brother is being held by the necromancer that has set the Dead loose in Philadelphia. His safe return home is all that matters to her. The description of the Dead and the battles Eleanor and the Spirit-Hunters experience were very detailed and easily envisioned. I definitely took one piece of advice away from the story – In the event of a zombie/dead attack, aim for the knees! Eleanor was fabulous at holding her own and I thoroughly enjoyed her because of it.

The slowly budding, discreet romance that develops between Eleanor and one of the Spirit-Hunters, Daniel, was one of my favorite parts of the story. It may seem strange that from a book about the Dead, I cling to the romance. But the fact that they “should not” be together, according to the standards of the era, just had me hooked. And of course, the anticipation of wondering what would happen between them. The ending gives a glimpse of what’s to come in the sequel and I can’t wait to see what’s next.

As well written as the action and romance was, I did expect more of a zombie-fest than a necromancer that controlled the Dead. My only peeve was that a few parts were a bit predictable. However, the twists and turns of the story made up for it. I am a huge fan of these walking-dead-type stories and would recommend Something Strange and Deadly to anyone that enjoys them.

1 comment:

  1. I thought this book was super predictable but I did enjoy the romance and I hope for a more exciting story in the next outing.


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