Saturday, 21 July 2012

Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard

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.

My Rating : 4 of 5 stars

My Thoughts : “Even the greatest feats of man lose their luster when one's head is filled with storm clouds.”

I was always in love with steampunk novel, the corsets, the parasols, the automations; everything is so luxurious and mysterious in equal measure. And undead corpses in steampunk novel earned extra credits. The story begins at 1876 Philadelphia, where a necromancer is raising the deads from grave and killing members of the most respectful families. Elenor Fitt has plenty to worry about her brother, who has been held captive by the same necromancer, and her family is going through economical crisis. He mother wants to marry her off to any rich gentleman and all she wants to find out the truth of her missing brother. As the spirit hunters came to protect the town from the undead problems and Elenor has no choice but including their help.

The story was unique and amazing, gripping right from the start. The book was very creative work of author Susan Dennard. She didn’t go for details describing the whole 1876’s steampunk Philadelphia, she mainly inclined to the storyline which made the book fast paced and much more exciting. I also adore her writing style which doesn’t contain tough vocabularies as other steampunk novels yet very sophisticated writing, making the book easy and stylish read for anyone.

The heroine Elenor is just sixteen years old teenage girl struggling with problems of her own. She is mature than her age, naïve yet very deterministic girl. Her curiosities in order to find her brother lead her to make choices and overstep the social boundaries but she never gave up, even when she was aware of the consequences coming with it. She is the one who actually cares for her family’s welfare unlike her mother who is completely sallow and snob Victorian women knew nothing but how to maintain reputation.

There is Daniel, absolutely arrogant and alluring, I love every particular moment he appeared into the story. His presence is dark with his own secrets of past and light with his cocky attitude. Not only has an excellent fighter, Daniel invented scientific gadgets that help them fighting the undeads. He feels for Elenor, often calls her Empress, he is not afraid to fight with zombie, he is afraid of showing his feelings for Elenor. They conflict and pain in love touched me very deeply and the ending literally broke my heart.
The book has many fascinating character, like Jei, the Chinese spirit hunter girl in disguise of a boy, and later proven to be very loyal friend of Elenor, Clarence, a mysterious and charming guilt ridden young gentleman, who like Elenor and cares for her.

The book is not actually some gruesome zombie novel like we have seen in recent years, full of violence and blood. It’s rather different one where the story circled around undead but not entirely focusing on them. It has black magic, and necromancy, romance with lot of emotions and actions. Something Strange and Deadly is a fine and elegant debut of author Susan Dennard, and successful of capturing many reader’s

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  1. I don't have much experience with zombie novels so I think this might be a good book to start out with. I love a good steam punk too.

    Thanks for the great review!

  2. Well, it's not exactly like other zombie novels, but a good steampunk. I hope you will enjoy the book :)