Something Strange and Deadly
by Susan Dennard
Publication Date: 25th June 2013 (originally published 24th July 2012)
Here'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 the maddeningly stubborn yet handsome 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 love a good zombie! I mean who doesn't now days? And Something Strange and Deadly is well written, fast paced and full to the brim with mind-controlled walking dead. It has vivid, exciting characters and an intriguing story line that will keep you turning the page. Not to mention that is has a rather adorable, snarky, spirit-hunting hottie that will put a smile on your YA loving faces!
Something Strange and Deadly is the story of Eleanor Fitt and her life as it gets flipped upside down. It's full of plots and schemes, beheadings and courting, science and voodoo. It's her story as she tries to find her brother and the 'unsavoury' character's she finds herself dealing with along the way. All of which happens the same time the dead start to rise from their graves and tales of a necromancer start to spread. There's a strong emphasis on right and wrong and the dangerous lengths some people will go to to get revenge.
It's a book that is not afraid to get its hands dirty. There was no shying away from the grizzly descriptions of the undead and the writing painted the perfect picture of a zombie-infested city. Definitely no sugar coating going on with this book and I found that it made it all the more captivating.
The character's range from purposefully annoying, stubborn to the point of endearing, to just damn sexy. Every person had their own identity, which can be tricky as there were actually quite a few important characters within this book. Eleanor was a joy to read, she was determined and feisty - a rarity for the period setting. I found that her flaws made her real and the way she constantly adapted and grew as a character throughout the story was really interesting.
Then there was the Spirit-Hunter's who were a mismatch group that actually kind of reminded me a little of my favourite ghost-fighting-bad-asses from a little book called Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson. Which is NOT a bad thing in any way, shape or form. I have a serious crush on Daniel!
There was really only one major issue I had with this book, which was that I found it - at times - a little predictable. You see, one of the main focuses within the story is the necromancer character and figuring out how to stop him and who he his. However, I have to say, even though I wasn't 100% sure until about half way through I had guesses who the necromancer was by the end of the second chapter. That's not to say that it ruins the story, I just felt that the clues could have done with being a tad subtler and I would have liked it to have kept me guessing a little more.
Overall though this is a great book! No question about that and I highly recommend this one. I'm really excited to start book 2 in the series, A Darkness Strange and Lovely.