Expected publication: July 24th 2012 by HarperTeen
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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.
Something Strange and Deadly can be a little scary. It can be funny. It can even be sexy.
While I was expecting more zombies, Something Strange and Deadly definitely didn't disappoint me. It's a book that you can easily immerse yourself in. I don't usually tend to read books set in the 1800s because they feel too formal and stiff to me. But SS&D isn't. At all. The setting is perfect the way Dennard portrays it. There's gossip, there's handsome men vying for women's hands, but behind it all, someone is raising the dead.
Eleanor is one of my favorite female characters. Period. She's just so likable. She's not full of herself, but at the same time she doesn't spend all her time worrying about trivial things like looks. She's not a genius, she's not the strongest girl you'll ever meet, but that's why I love her. And her relationship with Daniel. There's always a little bit of tension between them. (Also no insta!love. And you all know how I feel about that.) The chemistry between the two of them practically leaps off the page.
The plot, while slightly predictable, is still enjoyable. This book starts with a bang in the form of a zombie attack, but the zombies kind of fizzle out after that. The story is more centered around Eleanor's experiences with the Spirit-Hunters and her search for her brother. To be honest, I think the best part about the plot is the way Susan Dennard writes it. It's so easy to get caught up in.
My only complaint is that I felt like there were a few scenes that were entirely pointless. They seemed to have no real use in the plot.
Overall: Something Strange and Deadly is a surprising novel in more ways than one. With characters that are almost impossible to hate, a setting described perfectly, and an author who knows exactly what she's doing, this is a book you don't want to miss out on. 4 stars.