Review: Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard
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.
My Take: I enjoyed this take on zombies in Queen Victoria’s era! It’s not a horror-gory kind of zombie novel, more like an adventure and romance - with scary zombies. Throw in a little bit of humor, voodoo and magic. Stir with your parasol, et voila!
Eleanor is a great character. She is devoted to her brother, is brave and feisty, and she doesn’t care if she’s not the most beautiful or stylish girl in her social circle. She stands up for herself and searches for help with the Spirit-Hunters, who are busy trying to keep up with the zombie outbreak in the city and don’t have much time for a girl with a lost brother. Eleanor persists until they agree to help her, and of course her brother’s disappearance means a lot more than originally thought …
Eleanor is attracted to Daniel, who nicknames her Empress (in a sarcastic manner). He’s a good looking rogue, and has some dark secrets of his own. She’s also sorta dating Clarence, the brother of her best friend. When she overhears him talking with a mysterious man, he feels the need to keep her quiet by taking her out, and she wants to investigate his connection with the mystery.
Not really a steampunk story but it has just a dash of it with the Shadow-Hunter’s strange inventions, and the zombies are definitely gruesome and deadly (aim for the knees with your parasol!). Not a major cliffhanger at the end, but you’ll want to read the sequel. I enjoyed this story!
See you in the STACKS!