Book: Something Strange and Deadly
Rating: 5/5 stars
What can I say about this book except it was such a fun surprise to read. Not that I would ever expect anything other than stellar from Susan Dennard, but why does this book not get more attention than it has? I was hooked from the first pages and couldn’t put it down.
Before I get into my review more, here’s the Goodreads summary:
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.
Okay, let me break down what I loved about this. First off, the characters (mostly Eleanore and Daniel) as well as the story itself and the steampunk atmosphere of it all.
The characters in this novel felt so real. Right when I thought I had them figured out they surprised me again. I specifically loved Eleanor and Daniel, both on their own and together as friends (?). Eleanor has such a strong will and doesn’t want to give in to the constraints of this post Civil War society and I love that so much. I also adore her relationship/friendship with Daniel. I love that he calls her Empress. I love their constant back and forths. I just love these characters and the attention and care put into them.
The other part of this book that I loved was the story and the steampunk-ness of it all. It had a very similar vibe to Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices novels and that made me incredibly happy right from the start. The story was so easy to read and though predictable at times gave a lot of little twists and turns that kept me on my toes as a reader. I know Susan talks about making every moment a “cookie” moment, so you don’t feel like you are reading for those “moments” and this book totally does that!
I would highly recommend this book to people who have read either Cassie Clare’s books or The Falconer series. I am so excited to continue on in this series and see what Susan has in store for these characters!