Tuesday, January 22

Something Strange and Deadly: Book Review

Something Strange and Deadly

Susan Dennard

July 24th 2012
Young Adult | Steampunk
Official Blurb - 
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 liked Daniel right from the beginning. He certainly didn't deserve my good regard since he was very rude and aggressive. In fact I don't think he ever did much to earn my generous feelings toward him. There were moments when he would seem kind. Only with the tiniest flip of a switch he reverted back to his gruff ol' self.

Even though our main character Eleanor was stating her dislike and unconcern for society and all its rules in the end she didn't seem to put up any resistance to toting the line. Altogether much too biddable. For all her inner prose of being "changed" it came off more as a weak bout of justification for giving up. She may think differently but will she act so?

The historical portion and technological portion of this world aren't entirely well mixed. I felt that I could always see the seams where they were joined. So instead of slipping into another world it always felt a bit unbelievable.
The author certainly tried to break away from fictional tradition in this book. The heroine is plump and plain. Mr. Romantic Interest is bad tempered and rude as well as a wanted man. In every way ineligible and mostly uninterested. There is a complete lack of a happy ending. The closest that can be claimed to a "happy" ending is that they didn't die, though I think it might have been better if they had. The ending pages irked me and were cheesy. I got left feeling disgruntled.

Language: Moderate
Violence: Moderate