May 28, 2013

Latest Read: Something Strange and Deadly

Here are the basics ...
Something Strange & Deadly (#1) by Susan Dennard
Publication date: July 24, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Category: Young Adult - Paranormal
Source: Borrowed from library

Summary: 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. 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 him 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. (Adapted goodreads.com)
My thoughts…
The good: Something Strange and Deadly was one swoon-worthy, action-packed zombie book. And yes, I did just describe a zombie book as swoon-worthy. Not what you'd expect me to say right? But Susan Dennard perfectly combined paranormal elements, romance and a hint of historical fiction as it took place in Philadelphia during the 1800s. The story dives right into the heart of the matter with little introduction. The town is slowly being overrun with zombies known as the Dead and Eleanor Fitt is eagerly awaiting the return of her brother and best friend Elijah. It's while she waiting for a telegram from him at the post office that something truly disturbing happens -- a zombie gives Eleanor a letter from her brother and she fears that whoever is awaking the Dead has him too. While it could seem jarring to throw the reader into the chaos within the first few pages, it really worked for me. I was able to pick up the story very quickly and could tell right away Eleanor would be a great heroine.

What I liked most about Eleanor is that she didn't succumb to the expectations of a woman in her position. At least not willingly or happily. She's supposed to act like a "high-born" lady even though her family's reputation and finances are in shambles. Instead, she's someone who speaks her mind openly (and sometimes sarcastically) and isn't afraid to face whatever or whoever gets in her way. While her peers are busy buying expensive dresses and flirting daintily with boys, she is determined to save her brother. And she is downright unwavering in this regard. It's at this point that she reaches out to the Spirit-Hunters who have been hired by the city to deal with the Dead. But the closer she works with them, the closer she becomes to Daniel their inventor. This is where the swoon comes in. I loved Daniel (!!) and everything about his dynamic with Eleanor. There was so much tension and banter and things left unsaid. Trust me when I say this gushing is very much deserved.

(No) reservations: None really come to mind. Although, Eleanor's mother is pretty awful. I wouldn't have minded if there been some more development with her character or with their relationship (which is strained at best).

Do I recommend?: I do! Like I said, I thoroughly enjoyed the combination of mystery, action, romance and zombies in this series. And I will definitely be getting the next book when it comes out in July.

Happy reading!

3 comments:

  1. I just finished this last night, liked it more than I expected!

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  2. I'm so happy you liked this book! I read it last year and LOVED IT. Daniel is totally awesome and swoon worthy. I love how we're put right into the action, like you said. Sometimes that messes up the pacing, but I think Dennard wrote it very well.

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  3. This book was such a surprise to me! I really, really enjoyed Something Strange and Deadly way more than I expected. A lot of that may have to do with the characters, particularly Daniel...

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