Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Review: Something Strange and Deadly

Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard
Published by Harper Teen
Genre: YA historical paranormal?
 $17.99 (US hardback)
388 pages

What it's about:
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.

My thoughts:
This was instant cover love for me. Cool, dark, somewhat steampunky background and a girl in a beautiful black dress on the front is something I always love in covers. Yet after reading this book, I feel the cover doesn't match the book that well.

Going into this book I knew it was about two things 1. a historical setting and 2. zombies. That was all that needed to be said in order for me to be interested. Then the cover blurb also said it's a lot like the Clockwork Angel and I was sold. Now I just had to read it.

There are 4 main questions in this book. 1. Where is Elijah? 2. Who and what is the spirit? 3. Who is the necromancer? and 4. What's wrong with Clarence? I thought that all of these questions were pretty obvious, all but one of them I knew pretty much from the beginning. At some points I was wondering why the characters didn't see the answers as well. Even though I thought the answers were pretty clear very early on, Dennard did a wonderful job with the layout and the turn of events. I may have guessed the answered, but I didn't see how Dennard was going to answer the questions until it happened and it left me shocked. She is most definitely not afraid to make her characters do what they have to do.

And as for her characters, I absolutely adored Eleanor. She was strong, brave, and always had a good comeback, yet she had enough girly insecurity to make her believable. There were things that Eleanor said that had me cracking up (the Grecian position and women being camels? So funny!) and she made good choices as well. I never wanted to yell at her and ask what she was doing because she wasn't stupid. She made the right choices. I love that in a character.

The only complaint I have for this book is the lack of character descriptions. It isn't until the end of the book that we find out that Eleanor has blonde hair (though you can sort of guess from the cover) and throughout the book she mentions having a little extra weight in her hips and others also mention it. She also compares the heights of other characters to Eleanor's height, but we are never told her height as well. This doesn't just go for Eleanor, but to all the characters. We never really get descriptions of any of them besides hair color. I'd really of liked to see more than that.

My rating: 9/10


  1. Looks good:) Like the cover:) Thanks for you review:)

  2. I love this cover, too! Great review- you included lots of important information and this sounds like a fantastic book. Thanks for sharing.


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