Author: Susan Dennard (@stdennard)
Release Date: July 24, 2012
Series: Something Strange and Deadly #1
The Other Books: A Darkness Strange and Lovely
Challenge: Debut Reads of 2012
Seek: Amazon, 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.
I sighed and hauled myself off the bed. Life still needed living even if there was something strange and deadly going on in Philadelphia.
Susan Dennard's writing caught my attention from the first page. Something Strange and Deadly is about a girl named Eleanor Fitt, who recently finds out that her brother was taken from the Dead. She attends to find her brother and searches for help from the Spirit-Hunters. In this book, there is mystery surrounding the necromancer, the Spirit-Hunters, and even people, Eleanor thought she knew.
You go in circles with this book because the main character, Eleanor is trying to figure out who she can trust and the secrets behind everything. You think you can trust one person, then someone comes in and tells you they’re bad. Ah, it was so frustrating but in a good way. I figured most of it out before Eleanor but it was still fun and shocking when she finds things out.
Eleanor was such a strong, likable character. Everything she did, she did to help her family. I was surprised how much she could keep away from her mother without breaking down. So many horrible secrets. This being a historical novel, you expect Eleanor to be a respectful lady, listening to her mother, and trying to find a suitable, wealthy man. While she is some of those things, I really liked it when she didn’t act like composed lady. I loved her little outbursts and how she surprises the men around her. She does make a few dangerous choices that could have end up killing her, but in the end, you knew she did the right thing.
As for the love interest, ah I wish there was more. Daniel, you stubborn man. You can see the chemistry between the two of them. I especially loved it when Daniel teased Eleanor.
You really get hooked into the story because of all the twists that Susan throws at you. And the ending was a killer. As for the zombies being part of history, I really think Susan did excellent job writing it. I only read a few other undead/historical fiction novels, and this one made it on my top 3 list.
I recommend this novel to anyone who has read Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel or The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges. Those are a few I have read. If you like historical fiction with a dark twist, then you will like this book.