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

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  11,516 Ratings  ·  1,491 Reviews
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 fr
Hardcover, 388 pages
Published July 24th 2012 by Harper Teen
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Khanh (the meanie)
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
Sarah Maas
Dec 13, 2010 Sarah Maas rated it it was amazing
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!!
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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
Nov 09, 2011 Giselle rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, own
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
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 Something Strange and Deadly that
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
Grace (LovingDemBooks) Z.
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3 of 5 stars (Please read my rating system further below). I began to realize that Something Strange and Deadly was probably the book that made me realize that I really really really REALLY like steam punk. I'd always loved movies and TV that was steam punk, so I guess it makes sense that I would love steam punk novels. I loved Eleanor. She was so funny and stubborn to the point where the way she beha
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
Nov 20, 2011 ♥Rachel♥ rated it really liked it
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
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.
Aug 19, 2016 Olivia rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of steampunk &/or apocalyptic stories
Review also on Heir of Glitter.


3.5 stars

plot: 15 out of 20
characters: 14 out of 20
setting: 20 out of 20
relationships: 12 out of 20
twists: 14 out of 20
75 out of 100

I loved Truthwitch, so I went into this book aware that it was Susan's debut but still with fairly high expectations. Some were met, and others weren't. This wasn't an amazing or perfect book, but it was mostly entertaining. :)

This book is a sort of mix between steampunk and apocalyptic, as it takes place in 1800's Philad
3.5 stars!

I enjoyed it but I wasn't surprised by it. I thought it was okay. I found up because I can definitely see this being a really good series!

I did enjoy the characters—especially Eleanor, but that's pretty much it. So I hope we get to see more of them in the future.

But I probably won't run out soon & buy the second book. Whoops.

I read an ARC of this two years ago and fell madly in love. This second time around, the same thing happened. This book is an absolute joy, and I can't wait to further indulge myself in this series!
“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
Dec 13, 2011 Melissa rated it it was amazing
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
Courtney Allison Moulton
Jan 31, 2013 Courtney Allison Moulton rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
omfg amazing
Jul 27, 2012 Ferdy rated it it was ok
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
Apr 16, 2011 Regan Leigh rated it it was amazing
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
Kat Zhang
Oct 12, 2011 Kat Zhang rated it it was amazing
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!
Rebecca McNutt
Something Strange and Deadly is another one of those zombie books - when you've read one, you've read them all, frankly. This one is no real exception, although I liked the Steampunk elements.
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 qui
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
Mar 13, 2012 Katharine rated it it was amazing
The book not only met but SURPASSED my expectations. I thought it was well-written, clever, creative and the pacing was extraordinary--

But the things I REALLY adored were the sheer imagination the author poured into this book, Eleanor herself and her personal growth, Daniel-- please God, Daniel-- and that the author did NOT hold back, in any way. She did not coddle these characters, and you can tell. It made for an extraordinary read. There were not easy answers. There were not storybook endings
Zoey Talbon
Nov 13, 2011 Zoey Talbon rated it really liked it
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
May 08, 2012 Jenny rated it it was amazing
Wow, I loved this book! I do love both Zombies and Steampunk, and this had both! I'm still trying to process this book....the author really sucked me into Eleanor's world!

First of all, the whole thing felt like a Victorian novel. I don't know how she managed this, with all the sci-fi zombies and inventions, but it felt really authentic, like I was reading an old classic that I loved! The plot and the central mystery was so well took awhile to figure out what was really going on and to
Valerie Havilliard
Nov 20, 2014 Valerie Havilliard rated it really liked it
I think its a better version of the infernal devices series(hence the missing brother, historical setting, etc) Eleanor, the protagonist, doesnt sit around and do nothing like Tessa and isnt half as judgemental, nerve wracking, whiny, useless or unworthy. It's great to read from a witty protagonist's PoV.

And the plot is way more intriguing than the infernal devices's. The love triangle also wasnt annoying AT ALL, because she chose a guy and stuck to him, plus eleanor and clarence werent really a
Hmmm. From the tile and cover, I thought this was going to be a much darker story. I also thought the zombies would be a little scarier. See, in this story, the zombies are controlled by a necromancer, and you don't get infected or anything when they bite you. You just lose a hunk of skin, which admittedly, does not sound appealing, but...
(view spoiler)
I'm completely undone: my nerves are twitching, my pulse is racing, and my fingers are trembling as I type....

Have I entered the Twilight Zone? Am I on Candid Camera? Maybe the Earth's polarity has been reversed? Because right now I cannot even fathom how this book has gotten such good ratings so far, when in fact it is


I wish I could make that word ten times bigger just to emphasize how utterly craptacular this book is. So, so, so, soooooooo laughably ridiculous and cringe-inducing and pos
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. These zombies don't come from plagues, nuclear disaster, or mutated viruses. Instead they're controlled by necromancers (which are closely tied to voodoo) & there are two varieties -- those under the direct infl
Oct 06, 2012 Liviania rated it really liked it
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.)

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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 about Susan Dennard...

Other Books in the Series

Something Strange and Deadly (3 books)
  • A Darkness Strange and Lovely (Something Strange and Deadly, #2)
  • Strange and Ever After (Something Strange and Deadly, #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.” 88 likes
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