Jul 22, 2012

ARC Review: Susan Dennard - Something Strange and Deadly

Pub Date: July 24, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Format: Hardcover / ebook, 400 pages
Age Range: Young Adult
Source: Edelweiss

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 wanted to like this more than I did. I did enjoy it, but not as much as I hoped. I liked all the 1800s stuff, the clothes, the etiquette, the trains, etc. Daniel was likable. But this book was predictable. I called the brother situation from the very beginning. And Eleanor just didn't work for me as a strong female MC. She doesn't seem like the type to go through all the adventure in this book at the beginning. Oh well.

I'd recommend this book to people who like zombies. They're not all gory and all that, eating people all over the place and what not. But there are headless bodies, murders, and the walking dead. Hopefully more people like this more than I did. And is this a series? The end lends itself to sequel, but I don't know if I'd read it.

Bottom line: If you want historical zombies with some action, check this out.


3.5 / 5 book sharks


  1. I quite like the growing trend towards historical urban fantasy although I'm not sure if I'd pick this up. Problem is, 19th century women didn't have a lot of freedom, let alone teenagers, and I'm not sure you can try and be historically accurate and have a strong YA character that would appeal to modern day readers. It's a tough one.

  2. aww sorry you didn't get the fireworks. I loved the story but I guess it's not exactly for everyone.

  3. There were definitely some predictable moments, I'll agree! I thought Eleanor was definitely a strong lead though, albeit kinda trapped in a life she didn't wholly fit into. I see a lot of potential in her! Great review, Mickey!

  4. I haven't read any zombie books so I was hoping that this would be a good tester to ease me into the genre. I really like the time period so im hoping that will be enough to counteract some of the predictablness.

    Thanks for the great review!

  5. I don't read zombie books, but I've read sooo many good things about this that I'm now considering to buy it. I also heard about the predictable plot. I actually don't mind one as long as the characters and other elements in the book make up for it. Too bad the protag didn't work out for you, but at least you still enjoyed the book quite a bit. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  6. Yes this is a series. Idk how many books buts the next one, A Darkness Strange and Lovely comes out next year. I hope close to the beginning of the year. Something Strange and Deadly was my first zombie book and it rocked. I love how your thrown into the story from the very beginning. No Eleanor wasn't really the type to be running around with the spirit hunters but she did some impressive stuff when it did come down to it. I think that has more to do with how she was raised. The next one takes place in Paris and I very much look forward to all the details of this city and the continued adventures of Eleanor and the spirit hunters.

  7. I loved this book so much that I went out and bought the hardcover the day after it came out. When my mom asked me why I needed to buy the book when I had the ARC, I told her that I wanted to start supporting my favorite authors because the more books they sell, the more books we get.

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