Something Strange and Deadly (Something Strange & Deadly #1)
by Susan Dennard
Expected publication: July 24th 2012
*ebook received via Edelweiss.
Synopsis via Goodreads:
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.
I really wanted to wait until the release day to post my review since that would also be the end of Susan's blog tour, but I just couldn't. I had an even harder time putting off reading the book. It just kept staring at me, teasing and calling for me to read it. And I'm glad I did because I literally flew through the pages. The novel was so fast paced and well written that it made me want to smack anyone who gave it a negative review, well not really I wouldn't hurt someone for having a different opinion. Anyways, what I'm trying to say is Susan's debut novel is just beyond wonderful. I'm talking fireworks people.
The dead delivering mail...weird but interesting. Zombies are controlled and are very much obedient to their master. Not the usual but still gross I might add.
Okay, first of all. The people of Philadelphia are having trouble understanding how the dead can rise yet they're performing seances at dinner parties? I know, crazy huh. I guess that's just the olden days, where statuses are defined by your relationship with the prestigious, and people actually cared how they're seen within their community, or are we still like that even today?
Something strange and Deadly is a novel not focused entirely on zombies, but also depicts the difficulties faced by a family struggling to flourish after the death of one parent and with the absence of the eldest child. Amidst the challenges, there's also a blossoming romance and an electrifying battle between good and evil that will always exist no matter the time or century. The story was so severely graphic that I felt as if I was in 1876. From the choice of words and mode of transportation, to the fashion and manner of the people, it all helped me experience a time that's long gone. That's one of the things I love about Historical fiction.
Character wise, Eleanor Fitt is a remarkable one of a kind protagonist. I envisioned her behavior in every scene. She's a headstrong and brave young lady but often times curiosity got the best of her, but that worked well for the story because its adventurous aspect wouldn't be possible if it weren't for Eleanor's fascination with the strange kind. Like this was no silly or unable to fend for herself kind of girl. Whenever something went down Eleanor was all in the mix defending herself and fighting to survive.
I enjoyed it. That's a total understatement...
Let's talk about the plot and the premise on which the story is developed.
In one word: authentic. How did this debut author come up with such a mind blowing and exciting tale? Is she actually from that period? Well of course not, me and my exaggerations. All I'm saying is Something Strange and Deadly reminded me of nothing I've read before and delivered an epic, timeless, and breathless story that I'll never possibly be able to forget in the coming days, months, or years. I finished the novel in one day, that's how gripping it was for me. I was disabled from taking a break for even a second, despite it being a book I just didn't want to miss a single thing. Crazy I know. This is actually going to be a series so I'm now itching extremely to find out what happens next in A Darkness Strange and Lovely (2013 is so far in book years). And don't you just love these titles, they definitely add to the old century aspect.
In conclusion, this book deserves a rating off the scale. It's too perfect for even a ten. If you haven't added it to your TBR then I roll my eyes at you, lol. I strongly recommend purchasing the novel on release day and supporting this awesome debut author because let's be real here, great books deserve great treatments.