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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard

Title: Something Strange and Deadly
Author: Susan Dennard
Series: Something Strange and Deadly #2
Published: July 24, 2012 by Harper Collins

The year is 1876, and 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 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.

A Copy of this Book was Provided by the Publisher for Review

My Review:

Something Strange and Deadly tells the thrilling tale of a zombie outbreak during the Victorian time period of Philadelphia integrating a cool mixture of the walking dead and proper etiquette. Eleanor is a teenage girl burdened with the responsibilities of taking over her household after her brother strangely disappears and her mother overspends the families diminishing funds. While dodging unwanted suitors and trying to keep her family afloat, Eleanor makes it her purpose to find out what has happened to her brother and how the newly undead zombies are involved.

Eleanor's character was fiercely independent and quite a rebel for her time period, which I adored. I love the strong female protagonist, especially those with vulnerabilities. For Eleanor its her loyalty to her family and need to protect them. It made her easy to relate to and enjoyable to read. Even better...she's not a swooner and doesn't fall all over her suitors.

The premise of the story reminded me a lot of Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel. The charm and propriety of the Victorian Era meets the grittiness and horror of a zombie invasion. Its a very thrilling concept that I believe Dennard was able to deliver. The majority of the book was shrouded in mystery after Eleanor's mother hosts a seance party with local socialites in an attempt to impress while contacting her late husband. Instead, a shadow monster is released who wreaks all sorts of havoc on Eleanor and her peers. I loved the introduction of the Shadow Hunters and their part throughout the story. They were the life of the book, especially witty and sarcastic Daniel who definitely knows how to challenge Eleanor. The feistiness in their budding relationship was perfectly done!

The balance of romance and action in this book was also impeccable. There were some great adrenaline scenes and some twists in the story line that kept the mystery surrounding Eleanor's brother's disappearance alive. There wasn't an overwhelming amount of romance, which hopefully means that Dennard is building up the romantic tension for the reader in future books! I also felt the zombies could have been a bit scarier, they weren't the gory flesh eating zombies I was initially picturing, but more like mindless corpses who felt more robotic than zombified. However, the ending of the book definitely kicks up the thrill factor and leaves the door wide open for this series. 


  1. Eeeeeep I'm so glad you liked this one!!! I LOVED IT! And Susan is SO nice!! Awesome review!!!

  2. Omg this book sounds like the right book for me! I think I'll enjoy this one and you have really great reviews (: I am a new follower (via email)
    Leigh | Little Book Star

  3. This does sound like Dearly, Departed. Glad you liked it though. I really like the cover. The characters sound well fleshed out:) Great review, Kristan!