Friday, July 20, 2012

Review: Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard

From Goodreads: 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 Rating: 3.5 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard was a fun zombie novel set against the vivid backdrop of nineteenth century Philadelphia. Since I don’t like gory zombie novels, it was great that for the most part, the zombies in Something Strange and Deadly were corpses under the control of a mysterious necromancer. However, because the book does involve zombies, I really liked that at least one important character didn’t escape in one piece after being chomped on by a rabid zombie. Usually, characters in the zombie novels I’ve read either manage to survive with minimal damage or are killed outright.

My favourite thing about Something Strange and Deadly was its protagonist, Eleanor. It was easy to like her because she was spunky, sensible, and determined to find her brother regardless of the social expectations placed upon her. Moreover, although Eleanor took some risks, she never appeared as stupid or reckless.

I also liked the subtle romance between Eleanor and Daniel. Their chemistry never felt forced to me, and it was refreshing to have a paranormal story where there was no outright declaration of love.

An entertaining read (if a little predictable), Something Strange and Deadly will be released by HarperTeen on July 24, 2012.

Comments About the Cover: Even without realizing that there were gears in the background, I thought it was gorgeous! The colours used complement each other, and I love the model’s gown and gloves. 

In exchange for an honest review, this ARC was received from the publisher (HarperCollins) for free via Edelweiss.


  1. Brilliant review! I gave this book the same rating. I did find it overly predictable, but Eleanor and Daniel more than made up for that. It's nice to get a romance that didn't feel forced. I'm looking forward to the next book! :)

  2. I am lookijg forward to reading tis one soon. I have a guest post with Ssan on my blogoj the 30th. I think that marrying steampunk, mystery, and adding zombies and a nice little romance sounds like fun! I have read some great things about Eleanor and I am looking forward to meeting her. I also like that there isn't a love triangle! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  3. I am really, really looking forward to reading this book. Even though I haven't seen fantastic reviews for it, I just feel its for me. I hope I'm right. Great review :)

  4. I'm really looking forward to reading this JUST because it's a cool steampunk/mystery/zombie books and Eleanor sounds like such a brilliant girl! I LOVE spunky characters -- they're more fun than the overly sweet or badass ones, in my opinion! And even though this book was a little predictable, I'm glad that doesn't hinder the enjoyable factor too much :)

    Amazing honest review as always, Z! <3

  5. Saw this book on GR once and immediately shelved it to my wishlist. I didn't notice the cogs and gears but the cover still looked good. I also didn't read the summary so I'm surprised to know that this is a zombie book. I haven't touched all my zombie books so I'm still a little wary of them. That said, I don't know if I'm ever going to read this one but I hope so because it sounds good. As well, I generally don't mind a predictable plot as long as the book's entertaining enough. Thanks for the review, Z! :)

  6. Anonymous1:33 am

    Excellent review! The reviews for this have been rather mediocre, but I'm still intrigued by the concept of a steampunk novel with zombies, so I think I'll check this out. :) I'm glad you found this to be entertaining, at least. :)

  7. I'm not into gory zombie novels either, though I do love gory zombie movies. I know, I'm weird. Sooo, I think I'd really like this book. Eleanor sounds like my kind of chica, plus, I'm already swooning over the romance.

  8. "I also liked the subtle romance between Eleanor and Daniel. Their chemistry never felt forced to me, and it was refreshing to have a paranormal story where there was no outright declaration of love."

    Yes! I really loved that about it too Z! As much as Daniel's answer to Eleanor's question at the end was upsetting, I loved the reality of it. And I'm excited to see how things progress with them in the next book:)

  9. I'm not much of a zombie fan either, Z, but since the zombies didn't bother you as much (the gore is what gets me) then I guess I can handle it. I'll give this one a whirl since I do like the steampunk and mystery combo in the book.


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