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. – Goodreads
Susan Dennard’s Something Strange and Deadly pulled me in with its idea of zombies in a Victorian setting, but it kept me hooked due to its consistent fast pace, the intriguing mystery that carried throughout the course of the novel, and its energetic leading lady, Eleanor Fitt.
As soon as I began the story, Susan Dennard enveloped me in the atmosphere of her world. How could it not, with the Dead making an appearance at the train depot where Eleanor is waiting for her brother, Elijah? They were a different type of zombie than the ones I have grown used to — with a necromancer raising and controlling them in this case — but this only added to the layers of the mystery. Who is the necromancer? For what purpose are they raising the dead? And, most importantly, how are Eleanor and her brother connected to it all? Susan Dennard effortlessly kept the momentum going throughout the entire book; I never felt that the story stalled because everything that happened tied directly into the main mystery and I eagerly wanted to uncover all the details.
My favorite part of the book? ELEANOR!! Okay, I loved the entire cast, especially the Spirit-Hunters, I loved the curveballs Susan Dennard threw in regarding a few other characters, and, of course, I loved the development between Eleanor and her love interest, but Eleanor was the highlight for me. She’s determined, feisty, clever and self-reliant and it’s always great to have such a strong lead to root for. After a certain event that happened towards the end of the book, I’ll be cheering her on even MORE in the upcoming installments because she tackles difficult situations head on, without letting them overwhelm or define her. Eleanor Fitt is definitely a character to admire.
If you’re looking for an exciting adventure and an amazing heroine, Something Strange and Deadly is definitely a book to pick up. There are so many possibilities for what’s ahead in A Darkness Strange and Lovely and I can’t wait to find out what Susan Dennard has up her sleeve.
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