January 21, 2014

Review: Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard

Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard
Genre: YA Fantasy
Published: July 24, 2012 by HarperTeen; 388 pages

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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 Something Strange and Deadly a lot more than I actually did. I’m a lover of zombies, so I guess I kind of set myself up to like all zombie books. Not really the greatest strategy.

The beginning of Something Strange and Deadly was a bit disorienting. We’re thrown straight into the action which works in most cases, but this time it didn’t work for me. I was a bit confused, and while it’s cleared up rather quickly, I still felt as though there was a chapter or prologue missing from the beginning.

To be honest, I feel like me reviewing and rating Something Strange and Deadly is a bit unfair. I read it for the zombies, sure, but I knew it was historical/steampunk and I’ve yet to find a book in this genre that I enjoyed. Corsets, class rules, women’s oppression, I can’t stand any of these things. But I keep searching for that one that is going to change my mind, and I had hoped Something Strange and Deadly would be the one. It wasn’t.

I didn’t care for any of the characters. I found them shallow and unlikeable. I found the story to be incredibly predictable, and I’d have to guess the only reason I managed to finish it was to see if it would prove me wrong.  

While I can see why readers love Something Strange and Deadly, for me, it was a miss.


  1. Sorry you didn't enjoy this one. I'll give the author credit for mixing the genres and adding zombies but I'll probably pass. I'm also all about zombies, read so many books about them, and this doesn't sound like my cuppa tea. Good review:)

  2. I've had this one in my TBR pile for awhile now and as I love zombies, steampunk and historical--I'm definitely moving it up!

    1. Nice! If you love all three elements I'd definitely recommend it.

  3. Soooo sad you didn't enjoy this one. It is one of my most anticipated reads. But though you mentioned some of the downs about a historical/steampunk, I loved these things: corsets and class rules. I might try it out for myself.

    Precious Fragments of Life

    1. The class rules are one of my biggest turn-offs and probably paid a big role in me not liking it. If they don't bother you, I'd definitely try it!

  4. I love a good historical, so hopefully I'll enjoy this one more than you did when I eventually get around to reading it! I've never read any true steampunk (I don't think CC's Infernal Devices really count) but I would love to give this one a go. Zombies are awesome though, I agree.

    1. If you like historical I'd definitely say give it a shot! Just don't expect much in terms of zombies. :)


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