Title: Something Strange and Deadly
Author: Susan Dennard
Reviewed by: Cassie
Rating: 3 glass slippers
Summary (from BN.com)
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 the maddeningly stubborn yet handsome Daniel, the situation becomes dire. And now, not only is her reputation on the line, but her very life may hang in the balance.
I was a bit disappointed when I read Something Strange and Deadly because I had been hearing quite a bit of hype over it. I read that it was going to exceed my expectations and that the tale is spun wonderfully. While I have to agree with the fact that it was spun very nicely, I must say it just wasn't my cup of tea. Think of Clockwork Angel with the romance feeling of Masque of the Red Death and sort of mish-mash together old London and zombie-esque Dead. This book is one I would wait until October, fellow readers! It's definitely got the creepy-zombie vibe going. It's dark, it's got some gory descriptions, and it's got zombies. Perfect for a nice sit-down by the window/fire on Halloween night with a cup of hot cocoa nearby. And also, make sure it's not too dark when you read it. It's a bit... scary.
To begin with, Eleanor is an admirable lady/girl of her time. Her family is a fake of the high society in Philadelphia. Her mother is horrible with their money, her dad died six years ago, and her brother abandoned them to pursue his own interest three years ago. Basically, Eleanor is in a bit of a pickle. Despite her upbringings, she is a stubborn girl who is pretty likable. There were a few bits where her inner bitch comes out (it's pretty amusing), a few rare times where she swears (one particular one had me guffawing), and some parts where she has "scandalous thoughts". Oh, that was a good one. I have such "scandalous thoughts" daily...
Anyways, some parts of the story I found I liked her a lot, while other parts I wanted to slap some sense into her head. She acts very quickly, usually without thinking, (of course) and is way too curious for her own good. She has a strong will and a strong heart. And... AND she wears those awesome 19th century dresses! *in love*
Anyways, as I mentioned before, the romance sort of has that feeling like in Masque of the Red Death. This is because, well the very proper relationships. It's increased tenfold, so there's not much romance except some admiring glances and maaaaybe a scandalous kiss/touch. Ah yes, so that's slightly why it wasn't my cup of tea. The admiring glances left me wanting to pull my hair out while simultaneously pouring hot tea into people's faces. Oh yes, I believe that is quite possible. Mmhmm, in fact, I'd make it possible. However, if you like that sort of thing (no not the tea/hair pulling, you scalawag) then I highly recommend it. (that reminds me, there are some very good insults like "scalawag". I must remember to look for them later)
Furthermore, the plot was very well-woven, except I found myself knowing the going-to-be twist in the first 40 pages of the book. This may be because of a similar plot I read (or perhaps my superior intellect? ;) but I'd still encourage those who hate easy-to-guess twists to give it a chance. It's still got some twists that you won't expect and it's especially darkly yummy. Er, scratch that. I don't want to think of cannibalistic zombies.
Additionally, I'd just like to say this is a book series to watch. Perhaps it is because this is her debut novel, and the next in the series will be better. Now, I remind you to reserve this book for Halloween! Yes, it's deliciously spooky and definitely will give you a chill or two.
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