Series: Something Strange and Deadly #1
Published by Harper Teen on July 24, 2012
Genres: Historical Fiction
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There's something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia...
Eleanor Fitt has a lot to worry about. Her brother has gone missing, her family as fallen on hard times, and her mother is determined to marry her off to any rich young man who walkers 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 the maddeningly stubborn yet handsome Daniel, the situation becomes dire. An now, not only is her reputation on the line, but her very life may hang in the balance.
Something Strange and Deadly was one of the series on my list to start and attempt to finish this year. I’ve had Something Strange and Deadly on my shelf since before the book was published but I never got around to actually reading it until now. The hype for this series is definitely warranted. Something Strange and Deadly is a unique, entertaining, and thoroughly addicting story.
Eleanor is an extremely feisty and smart heroine. She is unique to heroines in YA these days but especially in heroines from her time period. She stands out among everyone she knows and while some might consider it a bad thing, I considered it one of her best qualities. She is not afraid to speak her mind and go after what she wants. When her brother, Elijah, goes missing she sets out to find help from the Spirit-Hunters, certain that the necromancer tormenting Philadelphia has her brother. The group of Spirit-Hunters are made up of the classy Joseph, the quirky Jie, and the sarcastic Daniel. Daniel is rude, outlandish, and rather odd but that didn’t stop me from completely falling in love with him. He lacked manners but he made up for that in other ways. Joseph and Jie added a certain flair to the group of Spirit-Hunters and they all brought something unique to the book. Even Clarence and Allison Wilcox were interesting additions to the story although I would have enjoyed a bit more backstory to Allison. She came up a little short compared to everyone else.
The story is fast-paced and pulse-pounding from the very first page. I read straight through the book in one day. I haven’t been that captivated by a book in quite some time. While Eleanor’s escapades weren’t entirely plausible, they were fun to read about. Eleanor was always escaping from places to meet the Spirit-Hunters and I felt that she probably wouldn’t have gotten away with that for long in the time period she lived in. However, that is a minor complaint of mine.
The ending completely surprised me and actually brought tears to my eyes. Every time I thought I figured something out, a new secret would pop up and I definitely could not figure out how things were going to tie together. I was pleased that the story tied up rather well and while it left me eager for the second book, it wasn’t a horrible cliffhanger.
Overall, Something Strange and Deadly brings something new to both the historical fiction genre as well as the horror genre. Susan Dennard has a promising start with this debut novel.
What others are saying about Something Strange and Deadly:
Cuddlebuggery Book Blog’s review: :”Overall, this was a great read and I strongly anticipate the next one!”
A Page of Heaven’s review: “Something Strange and Deadly was a rather okay book; my feelings for it ranged from love to content to majorly annoyed.”
The Flyleaf Review’s review: “An original blend of historical, paranormal, and a slight touch of steampunk, Something Strange and Deadly is an impressive package to savor.”