Monday, August 27, 2012

Review: Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard

Title: Something Strange and Deadly
Author: Susan Dennard
Publisher: HarperTeen
Age Group: Young Adult
Category:  Paranormal/Steampunk
Release date: July 24th, 2012
Pages: 371 (ARC)
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Source: Won
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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.

Susan Dennard has created an incredibly unique book that I will fondly look back on time and time again.  With its paranormal aspects and lovely steampunk imagery, this story grabbed my attention from the start and held it until the very end.

Though the dead rising is becoming a little more common at this time and place, there's no way that our heroine, Eleanor, can ever get used to the sight and smells of a rotting being shuffling among the living.  For some reason, her brother hasn't been able to make it home again, and she has reason to believe that he's being held hostage by the necromancer that started it all.  Eleanor seeks help from a motley crew of Spirit-Hunters in order to get to the bottom of it and slowly uncovers the truth, maybe even before it's too late.

This entire story is packed with important events and information, which will keep you turning the pages.  Eleanor is one tough cookie, and the determination within her is beyond belief.  It's easy to say that she truly cares for her family, and she'll go to great lengths to make sure that they're taken care of.  Another strong and oddly charming character is Daniel, one of the Spirit-Hunters that arrive in town just days after the dead have risen.  The relationship that develops between the two is enough to satisfy my need for romance, but not enough to overpower the actual plot.

Something Strange and Deadly is full of excitement, pleasing visuals, imaginative inventions and characters that stand out from the rest.  It's even turned me onto a new genre that I was a little hesitant to jump into.  The author did an amazing job with describing the Eleanor's world.  It's so packed full of action, which makes the entire story move at the perfect pace.  Though the end of the story doesn't leave the reader hanging, I'm anticipating the release of its sequel, just because I loved these characters and the stories each of them had to tell.


  1. Great review! I can't wait to read this one!

  2. I've been meaning to get my hands on it at some point. (I'm near obsessive when it comes to zombies! XD) Awesome review!

  3. gr8 review . i loved how the era was written

  4. I was on the fence whether to read this one or not, but it sounds like I might have to now. Lovely review!

  5. Agree. I loved this book and I was never a huge fan of zombies, but there is just something about this book. Great review!

    Teresa @ Readers Live A Thousand Lives

  6. Wonderful review! I hadn't heard much about this before now, but your great review has me sold! I will be adding it to my TBR for sure. Thanks for sharing :)

    Steph @