July 10, 2013

REVIEW: Something Strange and Deadly (Something Strange and Deadly #1)

Something Strange and Deadly (Something Strange and Deadly #1), by Susan Dennard
Published July 24, 2012
Publisher:  HarperTeen
Format: hardback, obtained at BEA
Genre:  YA paranormal
To Buy:  Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating:  4 STARS

(From Goodreads) 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've been gorging myself on new adult and adult contemporary romance for awhile now, and I really needed something different, y'know? Something Strange and Deadly fit the bill. Perfectly. 

Historical? Check. Zombies? Check. Steampunky goodness? CHECK. So much win. 

I knew Something Strange and Deadly was going to be a good book when the very first words were, "Dead! The Dead are coming!" Seriously, the action starts immediately as we see our heroine, Eleanor, running from "the walking Dead" (how cool is that?) at the post office. She then enlists the help of the Spirit-Hunters to help her find her missing brother and to get to the bottom of the zombie mystery. 

It took a few pages to get used to the historical-isms. The language is different, the clothing is different - really, EVERYTHING is different. Dennard does a good job, though, of filling in the blanks, so even though we might not be totally familiar with what all the terms are, we can infer the meanings from context pretty easily. There are times when the historical stuff gets a bit distracting, but overall, it was good, and a nice change from what I've been reading lately.

The zombies - So. Cool. I didn't see that one coming. I knew this was a steampunk book, but I had no idea it included the undead too. These zombies were classic - slow moving, creepy, deadly. I loved them. 

I'm a huge steampunk fan. Classic mechanical stuff is so fascinating, and I love how it marries with the paranormal. Our hero, Daniel Sheridan - one of the Spirit-Hunters - is our steampunk inventor, and Eleanor's eventual love interest. The stuff he creates is classic steampunk awesomeness, and makes the book so much cooler. 

Overall, Something Strange and Deadly was a really awesome book. There were twists and turns and diabolical plots to be figured out. There were surprises and even a little romance (just a little). It was just what I needed.


Sonnie said...

Great review Krista!!! I haven't heard of this one before, but it seems pretty original! I'm going to have to add it to my TBR list!

Unknown said...

Sounds fun. Zombies have been growing on me after reading Lia Habel's Dearly, Departed. The steampunk is just another cool element. I definitely want to read this book. Thanks for the review!

-P.E. @ The Sirenic Codex

Krista said...

It was awesome, Sonnie! And, thanks!

Krista said...

I wasn't expecting the zombies. I've only read one other zombie book before (Warm Bodies), and I was very pleasantly surprised by this one! It was so great!