Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard
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.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I confess, that bit about it having a girl on the lookout for her big brother in an alternative world (steam punk) was what had me curious. It struck me as too much like CLOCKWORK ANGEL on I just had to see for myself.
Now, to be honest this book and I did not hit it off. All those exclamations points and ominous sounding endings of “The Dead!” or “My brother” or “(insert something scary here)!”had me rolling my eyes. Over-dramatic much? But somewhere in the midst of all the Dead and the Hungry and her whale bone corsets and amethyst ear rings, well, I got sucked in.
Mainly because Eleanor could be so funny. She didn’t behave as she should all the time. And in those instances she was interesting. She could be too nosey and too rude, but that she had a retort to everything was made her not so ordinary. I could not really grasp the why’s of her connections with the rest of them (Allison, Mercy and Patience) particularly since she seemed to not like them that much anyway. I mean if she felt so darned bad about them, why bother? That aside. I liked how fiery she could be sometimes.
And yeah there’s a young man or two in this one… but they were interesting. Daniel and were a little ordinary in carrying out the poor boy- rich girl dynamic but they made me laugh. Clarence on the other had added more mystery to it. Now, my main problem (with the both of them) was the sudden divulging of information that felt too pat and too convenient.
However, there’s got to be something to be said for an author who’s willing to kill off one or two seemingly pivotal characters. I liked that aspect it. I liked that aspect a lot. There’s also something to be said for people behaving in a way totally unexpected. (Daniel Sheridan, I’m looking at you!)
So while I thought I knew what I was getting into. SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY proved me wrong… at least somewhere close to its end. It’s actually the last chapters that have me excited. The first chapter and all her “Oh, No’s!” almost put me off… but, boy am I glad to have seen this through.
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