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Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard
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's review
Apr 15, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: arc

Read more of my reviews at Nick's Book Blog

I have only read a couple of steam-punk novels and I found that, if well-written, the concept could be very exciting and entertaining. So, when I saw that Something Strange and Deadly had not only steam-punk elements, but also glorious zombies, I didn't hesitate to request the book off Edelweiss. I'm very glad that I did, since I loved every single minute of reading it.

When Eleanor Fitt's father dies, he leaves his family in a state of almost poverty. To top it off, Eleanor's brother, Elijah, goes off to New York, leaving Eleanor and her mom to fend for themselves. Now, her mom insists on marrying her off to a rich guy. On the day that Elijah is supposed to return, news spreads that The Dead are rising in Philadelphia and when a zombie comes to deliver Elijah's letter, Eleanor is convinced that he is in grave danger. She takes up the help of the Spirit-Hunters, a group of people who fight zombies. Eleanor doesn't realize that finding Elijah could also mean her ultimate demise.

Eleanor was a great main character. From the outside, she behaved very appropriately and in a lady-like manner. However, inside, she was much more than that. I loved the fire that she possessed within her. During several portions of the book, this blaze that she had came out of her and it was during these very scenes that she really shined through. I was amazed at her willingness to risk her life in order to find and protect, Elijah. In a way, Eleanor was the one holding her family together and she was dealing with a lot of responsibilities, especially with her mom pressuring her to find a suitable eligible rich man to marry. She was determined with her iron-will and no one could defer her when she had a goal in mind. Her fierce tenacity was an appealing trait that I found in her. The fact that she didn't sit around waiting for things to fall in place was a characteristic I found refreshing and endearing. Daniel, an inventor, was yet another character I found very captivating. He was the kind of guy who didn't mince his words. He said whatever came to his mind. This blatant honesty of was invigorating. I was dying to know the secrets in which he was cloaked in because he had a very mysterious vibe to him. Clarence was the only character I had a tough time figuring it out. At some points I thought he was sweet and genuinely nice and at other times, I found him to be frustrating and not trust-worthy at all. Overall though, I enjoyed the fascinating blend of characters and I look forward to seeing more of them in the next installment of the series.

What I really appreciated with Something Strange and Deadly was how fast paced the book was. The book starts with a bang and has you wanting to get to the end as fast as you can. It was so full of tension and suspense that it left me pretty much breathless. Did anyone else love how the book ended ? I know I did. There was a part (concerning Eleanor) that I was completely not awaiting and it took me by surprise. I'm looking forward to seeing how she copes with her 'situation' in the future. Now, I wasn't too happy with who the Necromancer was because it was too predictable, according to me. I love when books have the surprise element and completely shock me, but I didn't find that in this book. Nevertheless, Something Strange and Deadly was highly entertaining and I found myself really enjoying the read. I thought the descriptions regarding the people and places were quite imaginative and vivid. Also, the author did a great job at illustrating the world itself. I just have one tiny complaint though. Although the zombies are prominent figures throughout the story, I wanted to learn so much more about them. I just felt like we weren't given much information as to what they are like. There was a romance in the book, but it had a nice slow pace to it that made it seem genuine and believable. I appreciated the fact that the characters didn't plunge into a relationship upon their first meeting. Susan Dennard's writing was very easy to follow although the book took place in a Victorian era and the language was a slightly different from modern English. There was something about the book that just captivated me and had my full attention. Because of that, I thought that Something Strange and Deadly was a fabulous start to an exciting new series and I'm honestly hyped to see what Susan Dennard has in store for her readers.

Something Strange and Deadly was an exciting book with outstanding and well-developed characters, a refreshing plot line and an appealing writing style. As soon as you start reading the book, it'll pull you in and tangle you in its web, leaving you unable to stop reading!
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Reading Progress

April 15, 2012 – Shelved
June 16, 2012 – Started Reading
June 16, 2012 –
June 19, 2012 –
June 19, 2012 –
June 19, 2012 –
June 21, 2012 –
June 21, 2012 –
42.0% "Daniel <3"
June 21, 2012 –
June 22, 2012 –
June 23, 2012 –
June 23, 2012 –
June 23, 2012 – Finished Reading
June 27, 2012 – Shelved as: arc

Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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Katy I still haven't decided if I like steampunk or not and haven't found many that I did like because the authors usually bog the beginning down so much with setting up their world. This book was one of the few I LOVED because of the pace. And it was pretty good.

nick Yeah, I know what you mean. I don't remember if I read a lot but I do remember reading Dearly Departed, but that was a bit of a mess because of the multiple POVs, but I did like it though.
This was splendid ! Plus, Daniel was a rascal. :P

♥Rachel♥ I wished there was more info on the zombies too, Nick. The pace was very fast and suspenseful, though and I enjoyed the romance too. Yes, Daniel was a rascal! Lol! I'm eager to see what happens with Eleanor's "situation" as I was quite shocked by that development in the end as well. Kind of brutal. Great review Nick. :)

nick I know. :( I didn't really mind it though because of the suspense in the story.
Daniel = <3 I really liked that there was no instant-love.
Oh, I know. It came out of nowhere and I was really shocked too! It'll be interesting since I don't think it's a topic that has been dealt with before in YA dystopian books before.
BTW Rachel, I'll be stopping over in LA for a day in August. So what places do you suggest I visit in one day ? :)

♥Rachel♥ Let, me think on that Nick and get back to you. :)

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