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Monday, July 9, 2012

Review: Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard

Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard
Expected Publication Date: July 24th, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Page Count: 400 pages
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Goodreads | IndieBound | Amazon
* I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review *
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 haven't had a lot of luck with zombie books in the past, but I've always been a huge fan of historical fiction which really drew me to Something Strange and Deadly in the first place. The inclusion of steampunk elements also had me highly intrigue. I have to say, Something Strange and Deadly is not your average zombie book at all. The way the zombies are brought to life is an awesome idea and something I haven't really read about before. While the zombies are completely disgusting, the people the people who fight them are just amazing. I loved the horrifying world that Susan Dennard created, combining the living dead with ghosts and steampunk elements, Something Strange and Deadly is one you do not want to miss!

The characters are all really fantasti and I just wanted to be part of their zombie fighting team. Eleanor is a high society girl who's lost her brother to evil forces and enlists the spirit-hunters to help her find him Not only is Eleanor strong-willed, independent, fierce, and incredibly smart. I loved Eleanor because she's such a great female protagonist who can take care of herself and doesn't need the help of men around her! Daniel, the challenging, brave, and pasisonate boy who builds machines for the spirit hunters is such a great love interest. I really fell for him, and the romance between him and Eleanor develops so slowly and realistically, I definitely swooned more than once! I also loved Eleanor's propriety! She wears a corset!! It's really not something you see in contemporary YA and the idea of having a chaperone while you're on a walk with a man is just so old school! All of the side characters are also great in their own way, whether I hated them or loved them!

The writing in Something, Strange, and Deadly really blew me away. It's so elegant and accurate! I really felt like I was stuck in 1876 Philadelphia with not only the language, but the descriptions as well. The character's voices are all incredibly unique and I could easily tell each person apart from another. Each character also had a separate "accent" which was very distinct and easy to identify. Joseph is from New Orleans and has a creole accent, and occasionally he will use creole words which really helped me see him in my mind. The story itself is really fast-paced and gory so if you're not into the blood and guts thing you probably shouldn't pick this one up. Or any zombie book.... Although some plot lines did seem overly predictable by the time I had finished reading, I actually didn't figure out anything until it was revealed right in front of my face! So thumbs up to you Dennard!

Overall, I absolutely enjoyed Something Strange and Deadly! It was a fast-paced, horrifying tale of survival in the time of a zombie apocalypse. This is definitely a different take on the zombie horrors, combing steampunk elements as well as witches and ghosts! Fans of zombie stories will definitely love the gore of this one, and paranormal addicts will enjoy all of the different creatures rolled into one. If you haven't added Something Strange and Deadly to your TBR yet, you definitely need to get on it!!


  1. I heart this review, Anna! I am DYING to get my hands on this copy now! the 24th needs to get here asap.

  2. I generally don't like zombie books but I think I'll like this one! Eleanor sounds like such a great character and I'm so intrigued about her relationship with Daniel. Yay for swooning! I love that the writing of this book sucked you in so much. Lovely review!

  3. Ohhh so excited for this one!! I can't wait to read it. Your review has me even more pumped up!! Fantastic review chick!!

  4. Yaaay! I'm soo glad you liked this! The synopsis really reminds me of Dearly, Departed (which I loved!) so I was hoping that this one would be amazing as well. The characters sound really interesting, especially Daniel ;) Seriously, mention swoon-worthy anywhere and I'm definitely in haha! <3 Fantastic review!

  5. I am impatiently waiting for this book. I want it now!

    Great review!

    Teresa @ Readers Live A Thousand Lives

  6. Yep, yep, yep - you touched on EVERYTHING I loved so much about SS&D! I'm tickled pink that you loved this one, too. I'm with you on Daniel...we'll have to share him though. He's too swoon-worthy, and I loved all the steampunk elements the author brought into the novel!

  7. Yay! I'm so glad you loved SS&D too! It's a great book. Terrific review!

    Amber @ Fall Into Books

  8. Definitely excited for this one :) Wonderful review as always, Anna.

  9. The girl on the cover looks like a member of the Dixie Chicks!

  10. Yay I'm so glad you loved it! I'm definitley pre-rdering this! I hope I'll get to read it soon!!

  11. I have this book on my TBR, and now im really excited to start it!! I'm really glad that the zombie team sounds awesome, and lol at the disgusting zombies xD and i really enjoy it when authors write in an elegant way, sounds like a book i'll love! thanks for sharing anna!
    - Farah @MajiBookshelf

  12. Something Strange and Deadly was my first official zombie book and everything about it blew me away. The writing, the characters, the plot, everything was perfect and definitely needs to get pre ordered now.

  13. I want to read this one really bad, though I am not a fan of historical fiction so I am so torn about it. You're review does make it sound like something I would really enjoy though. I love a fierce female MA!

  14. Good writing and characters? I'm in!
    Thanks for the review.
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog


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