Jun 10, 2013

Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard Review

Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard
(Something Strange and Deadly, #1)
Release Date: July 24, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen; 388 pages
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.

This is definitely another one of those books that I'm scratching my head wondering why I never read it earlier. It's something that's been on my radar but I think, because of when it came out, I wasn't that in to steampunk. Let me rephrase that . . . rather, I didn't think I'd be a fan of steampunk. Guess what? I'm totally a fan. In fact, I feel like any book that takes place in the 1800's or early 1900's is more for me. I love that era and really feel like I should've been born in to.

That being said, oh how I loved this book. Not only the fact that it takes place in Philadelphia, which is somewhere I go quite often thanks to having friends up there & my older sister. It's always awesome to recognize towns or areas knowing, hey, I've been there! Obviously a much different there when it comes to this book but that's beside the point! So the setting and the era were perfect.

Our main character, Miss Eleanor Fitt of the Philadelphia Fitts was charming. The fact that she was also a bit curvy, though her servant called her fat, really made me smile. You don't really read about a love of curvy young ladies in YA so that's refreshing. Not all girls at stick thin, y'all - even if it's something we all strive to be. The Miss Fitt we met in the beginning of this journey is certainly not the same Miss Fitt we leave at the end of book one. The growth between these 388 pages is just astonishing.

Being a lady of wealth in the 1800's or even early 1900's seemed very difficult. You had absolutely no say in your future and you had to always appear proper. It seems very tiresome and lonely but yet, fascinating at the same time. It's a weird combination but I think it's one thing that intrigues me the most of this time period. Eleanor struggles with the expectations of a lady of her status.

Clarence was a tough one to swallow at times. He's a gentleman, absolutely but there's so many times when you're suspicious of him. Then we uncover some tidbits of their families relationship making things even more unclear. He was a character who I really loved one second and the next I was giving him the stink eye; trying to figure out if what he was saying was the whole truth. Give this guy a go and let me know what you think of him!

Daniel. There are not words for you, my dear boy. If you thought trying to figure out Clarence wasn't enough to keep you occupied; I've got news for you. Figuring out Daniel is a fun adventure and one I can't wait to take again. He's got so many layers to him and it's a task in itself to peel back layer by layer but the more we see (or take off, we're still talking about layers here) the more we love. I don't even have the proper words to describe Daniel, that is how much I love this boy.

I guess I wasn't too sure what this book was about . . . going in to it. So to find out it was a zombie book was a bit of a surprise but not a bad one. It was a whole new take on zombies and one I much rather preferred.

Then I met Susan Dennard while halfway through reading this book (BEA totally put me behind on finishing this before meeting her) and she terrified me. She mentioned that people had complained that there wasn't romance in the book and I frowned. From where I was at it was definitely leaning toward some romance but she said that and I was really sad. But my lovelies, fear not - who ever complained there wasn't any romance (or enough) needs to go back to reading adult romance or something. There wasn't a whole lot but it is a first book in a series but there was definitely something and it's a beginning of something. I am dying to see where it progresses in the next book.

July can not come soon enough. If you like zombies, check this book out. If you like steampunk, check this book out. If you love both zombies and steampunk then I ask you . . . why have you not read this already?

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