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Something Strange and Deadly (Something Strange and Deadly #1)

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  7,955 ratings  ·  1,073 reviews
Philadelphia 1876. The Dead are rising. A zombie delivers a letter to Eleanor Fitt. Whoever controls the Dead Army has her brother. She avoids her mother's choice of husband for the lab of Spirit Hunters, including the maddeningly stubborn yet handsome Daniel. The situation threatens her reputation, and the lives of everyone in the city.
Hardcover, 388 pages
Published July 24th 2012 by Harper Collins Harper Teen
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Khanh (Kittens, Rainbows, and Sunshine)
She rubbed the bald half of her head. “In China we say, ‘The girl with the full hair is not as free as the girl with the bare head.’"

“It means that as long as I still shave my hair, I’m free. See, in China, girls keep their heads bald like the boys, yeah? Then when we’re the age to become a woman, we bind our feet and grow out our hair.

If I had to choose one word to describe this book, it would be unconvincing. If you want terrifying zombie action,...more
EDIT 07/20/12: Did anyone else not notice the gears behind the girl on the cover? Because I hadn't until just now O_O Awesome!


When I went into this, I was expecting a zombie book in a steampunk setting with some mystery elements. What I actually got was a paranormal fantasy with a cute romance, a fun mystery, but not nearly enough zombies for my tastes. I still enjoyed it for the most part, it was simply different than what I was expecting.

Zombies are how we get introduced to this world Susan...more
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Holy crap this was awesome. I don’t even want to write a review; I just want to bask in the awesomeness that is Something Strange and Deadly. (But you know, I kind of have to write a review, so here goes it.)

Eleanor Fitt is a sixteen-year-old living with her mother in Philadelphia, in the dawn of attacks from the walking Dead brought upon Philadelphia by a mysterious and unknown necromancer. To make matters worse, Eleanor receives letters from her long-lost brother, Elijah, and th...more
Kat Kennedy
Some­thing Strange and deadly had a really rough start with me. There is a divide between the writ­ing of the first chap­ter and the rest of the novel. The first chap­ter gave me the false impres­sion that this book was flimsy, badly writ­ten and suf­fer­ing from stag­nant char­ac­ters and plot.

How­ever, this quickly faded away as Den­nard hit her stride – intro­duc­ing fresh, inter­est­ing char­ac­ters, and intrigu­ing plotline.

Den­nard cre­ates an inter­est­ing and fresh mythol­ogy in Some­thi...more
3.5 stars

The Dead alarm rings out across 1876 Philadelphia as animated corpses walk out of Laurel Hill Cemetery. Eleanor Fitt of the Philadelphia Fitts, or just Eleanor to you and me, is caught in the middle of a Dead attack when one of the decaying bodies delivers her a letter – a letter from her missing brother, Elijah. In her determination to locate Elijah, Eleanor ventures into the labs of the so-called Spirit Hunters, a small force designated to the role of protecting the city from the Dead...more
Sarah Maas
SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY is fabulous, imaginative, and romantic! Eleanor is such a fantastic and strong heroine, and the world-building is top-notch. I absolutely adored it and can't wait for the sequel!!
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
Ever since her father passed away, Eleanor Fitt’s life hasn’t been the same. Her brother Elijah is away in college, the money is seriously lacking, and her mother is obsessed with regaining their place in society. When her brother fails to arrive home for the second time and a walking corpse brings his vague note instead, Eleanor becomes convinced that Elijah is a victim of some necromancer and starts moving heaven and earth to find him. With no one else to turn to, she goes to the Shadow Hunter...more
2.5 stars

I'm a huge fan of world building. To me, it's vital that you set the scene with a proper introduction in order to hook the reader from the very first page. Unfortunately, you don't get a lot of that with 'Something Strange and Deadly' initially so it took me a while to get into it. The opening scene dives right into the action where Eleanor is picking up her brother from the train station not realizing that the walking dead is everywhere. The zombies are explained a bit further later in...more
3.5 Stars

Sixteen year-old Eleanor Fitt lives in a time of corsets and petticoats. A time where a lady's behavior is governed by strict rules of decorum. A time when Eleanor's mother is dead set on her finding and marrying a rich man to rescue their family from impeding financial ruin. But this is also a time of the Dead. The Dead are reanimated corpses plaguing the city, and Eleanor is afraid her brother, Elijah, has been captured by the one commanding them, the necromancer. The day Elijah is su...more
“Even the greatest feats of man lose their luster when one's head is filled with storm clouds.”

I was always in love with steampunk novel, the corsets, the parasols, the automations; everything is so luxurious and mysterious in equal measure. And undead corpses in steampunk novel earned extra credits. The story begins at 1876 Philadelphia, where a necromancer is raising the deads from grave and killing members of the most respectful families. Elenor Fitt has plenty to worry about her brother, who...more
Oh. My. God. IN LOVE! This book takes the walking dead to a whole new level! This whole book keeps you on the edge of your seat waiting to see what Eleanor is going to do next!

Eleanor is so amazing. I kind of feel bad because her mother is horrible, she doesn't know where her brother but knows somehow is with the dead. Throughout this book Eleanor takes risks she doesn't even know she is taking and she is brave, stubborn and doesn't really care what people think about her. She is scared she is g...more
Sixteen-year-old Eleanor Fitt lives with her mother in Philadelphia, she's very much aware that the Dead have been rising and causing havoc all over Philadelphia. However since Eleanor has never seen the Dead she's more concerned about her beloved brother, Elijah, returning home from his studies. Eleanor thinks her brother will be able to solve the family's money problems and stop her mother obsessing over her prospects of finding a rich man to marry. Eleanor's hopes are dashed though when a ren...more
Regan Leigh
I guess I should clarify first that I read a draft of the book being published. ;)

It's not out yet -- I'm lucky enough to have Susan for a friend -- but this book is already a big hit to me. I can't wait to read her other books! SSD is full of plot twists that you won't suspect and characters that are just plain badass cool. There's a sense of humor even in the dark scenes and lingering emotions that will have you all jittery to read the next book.

I'm not joking when I say Susan will be a huge...more
Kat Zhang
I loved this book! Eleanor breaks the mold of "traditional" heroines and is so very endearing. The historic setting of the story felt very authentic all the way through (with some wonderful steampunk-ish touches and some wonderfully creepy dead-men-walking, of course!), and I was completely swept along by the story. It feels strange to say this before book 1 is out on shelves yet, but I cannot wait for book 2!
Something Strange and Deadly can be a little scary. It can be funny. It can even be sexy.

While I was expecting more zombies, Something Strange and Deadly definitely didn't disappoint me. It's a book that you can easily immerse yourself in. I don't usually tend to read books set in the 1800s because they feel too formal and stiff to me. But SS&D isn't. At all. The setting is perfect the way Dennard portrays it. There's gossip, there's handsome men vying for women's hands, but behind it all, s...more
Amanda The Book Slayer
Originally posted at Sisters Unedited

Recommend : This book rated right up there with Divergent and Angefall. It was quite original. Susan Dennard spins a tale about magic, hunters, and zombies. All you Steampunk fans will love this and those who have never read anything from that genre, well this is a good one to start with.


"A breath later, somber bells rang out, and I knew it was all very, very real. That was the Dead alarm.

I'd heard of corpses awakening-hungry and dangerous though still quit
Rating: 4.5 Stars

You know how they say that some things that come into your life are exactly what you need and they always arrive at the exact time you need them? Well, my experience with Something Strange and Deadly was similar. I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump the past few days, reading books that I haven’t clicked with and writing steadily more and more snarky reviews for them, so when Something Strange and Deadly arrived on my doorstep, I was both overjoyed, excited, and just a tad...more
Wendy Higgins
Historical fiction + Zombies = WIN

I love when an author has done their historical research and captures all the nuances of a gone era. I also love when a storyline completely takes me by surprise with a cool twist.

Sometimes (or all the time) it hard to describe something you've come across in one word. For me it was easy this time Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard was compelling.
From page one I was quickly drawn into this world which she created with The Dead taking over 1876 Philadelphia and a young woman- Eleanor Fitt ending up stuck in the middle. Eleanor and her family live on the fringe of society after the death of her father. Add to that her brother has gone off into the world withou...more
The reviews I've read of SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY have been mixed, but I absolutely loved it. It's the Centennial in Philadelphia and the Dead are walking the streets. Eleanor Fitt paid the newspaper stories little mind until one of the Dead gives her a letter from her brother. Determined to help Elijah, she goes to the Spirit-Hunters. Turns out Eleanor has a talent for kneecapping the Dead with her ever-present parasol. (She is, after all, a Victorian lady.)

For all that SOMETHING STRANGE AN...more
As an avid reader, I know which books I am more likely to love or loathe, but then there are books — books like Something Strange & Deadly — that own territory I haven't quite invaded. Either it's new altogether or I've only skirted the outside and grazed a small amount. Why did I read this? Curiosity played a key role, certainly, because SS&D's plot strays far from my typical taste, but I also seek to pile more onto my genre plate: the more, the merrier. No reason presents itself that w...more
First of all, I feel the need to give a mild disclaimer. Are you looking for zombie-zombies? Do you feel the need to read raw, dripping paragraphs of pure gore and nausea-inducing scenes? Do you think that life is incomplete without the heart-thumping moment when you realize that your undead house guest has the need for "braaaaains..." and yours is the next on the menu?

I am afraid that Something Strange and Deadly is not the book for you.

But for delicate, tea-sipping readers like moi: take heart...more
Update: I'm SOO SOOO excited to be on the ARC blog Tour for SS&D! I can't wait to start reading it!

The cover is so beautiful and the premise is enticing!
Zombies + Spirit-Hunters + handsome invetors *swoons* = winning
I absolutely can NOT wait to read this. =)

Without a doubt, Something Strange and Deadly is one of if not the best debut of 2012. Susan has truly created a masterpiece. The beautiful writing, extremely rich setting and characters. An insanely crazy plot, and yes I mean that in a good way. This book has all the makings of a perfect novel. It's just such a different book, and really stands out from the crowd when it comes to the books that we've seen released so far in 2012. I know it's still a little early, but I strongly expect to see th...more
Tee loves Kyle Jacobson
July 12, 2012 Zombie Must Read!

Thank you so much to Around The World ARC and Edelweiss for allowing me to read and review Something Strange and Deadly. This was my first Zombie book and I LOVED every minute of it. Susan really out did herself when she decided to use the Victorian era and use Zombies. The way they dressed and talked was a great contrast with the walking dead.

The story starts out with Eleanor waiting at the train station for her older brother Elijah to come home. While at the trai...more
4.5 stars - I'm still trying to see whether or not I even like steampunk because I have yet to read one that I really liked (unless Clockwork Angel counted), and I think I can say I found my first.

I think the reason steampunk is so hard to get into because the language already takes a bit getting used to so it slows you down at first, and then, a lot of authors spend way too much time describing their steam world that that it takes you a while to get into the story itself. With this book, that w...more
Erin Bowman
Let me just say upfront that this book surprised me in the best way possible. I knew very little going in, and the cover lead me to believe the book would be filled with glitz and glamor and pretty dresses; a quieter type of read. There were plenty of corsets and parasols, but oh my goodness is this book packed with action! And when I say action I mean zombies, and escapes, and chases, and spirits, and scandals! Eleanor is such a fabulous protagonist — she is determined and stubborn but incredib...more
3.5 stars, rounded high. [EDIT: Almost immediately after posting this review I decided 3 stars was too low, even with the flaws. The things I liked about it are enough to round up.]

As I said in my updates, the initial worldbuilding was somewhat awkward -- so here's the short version. In this world, zombies don't come from plagues, nuclear disaster, or mutated viruses. Moreover, it's not a condition you catch from bites. Instead they're controlled by necromancers (which are closely tied to voodoo...more
4.5-5 stars - A lot of fun, an intelligent female main character.

That was exhilarating! Something Strange and Deadly is a young adult novel with a feisty, unconventional heroine.

Something Strange and Deadly was an enjoyable read. Set in Philadelphia during the late 1880’s the book captures that era’s proper Victorian decorum. Gowns, corsets, parasols, gloves, chaperones, and tea are a part of this world. Meanwhile the Dead are on the loose, an imminent threat to the population.

The story begins...more
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Susan Dennard has come a long way from small-town Georgia. With a masters degree in marine biology, she got to travel the world—six out of seven continents, to be exact (she’ll get to Asia one of these days!)—before she settled down as a full-time novelist and writing instructor.

She is the author of the Something Strange and Deadly series (from HarperTeen) as well as the forthcoming Witchlands Ser...more
More about Susan Dennard...
A Darkness Strange and Lovely (Something Strange and Deadly, #2) Strange and Ever After (Something Strange and Deadly, #3) A Dawn Most Wicked (Something Strange and Deadly, #0.5) Truthwitch (The Witchlands, #1) Untitled (The Witchlands, #3)

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“Miss Fitt, you know curiosity gets men killed."
I grinned. "Then I daresay it's good I'm a woman.”
“Can't say I'm surprised you were here. You have the curiosity of a cat and the common sense of a goldfish.” 72 likes
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