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[Book Review] - Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard

   Author: Susan Dennard
   Series: #1 - Something Strange and Deadly
   Format: Hardcover
   Release Date: July 24th, 2012
   My Rating: 3.0 out of 5.0

     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 Review:

     I love that this is a book that takes place in an older generation / time period. As well, I love how the dialogue, the behavior, and even the mannerisms help capture the older time period completely, and even Eleanor just sounds like the 1800s. At first when I read the synopsis for this book I was on edge, I didn't think I would enjoy how the book was written. I have never really been a fan of old english writing, but Susan you have changed me.

     The femininity in Eleanor was great! Her character showed the raw beauty and elegance of the time period. I loved that she wasn't just some weak-hearted girl of the 1800's; there was scenes with Eleanor that showed how much strength and passion she has in her. I loved that complexity in her character and hoped that more characters were like her. Granted she's not like a Saba, of Blood Red Road, or a Katniss, from The Hunger Games, but she is such a unique character that she stands out as well.

     Her brother is a character that I was hoping to see more of, but his character was probably the most predictable of all. Which is why this book failed in receiving any higher ranking than it did. Her brother is the entire point of the plot and after the first chapter I had nailed just who he was and what he was after. From the beginning of the book the plot never really twisted, it was just a simple straight shot to the end and I felt no real involvement in the plot or any on your seat sort of thrill.

     The only thrill I did find to this book was the brooding romance of Eleanor and Daniel. I hoped that they would get together and share a common good relationship. That happens sort of and they more or less seam to help each other and aid each other in going after the common enemy. It seemed more of a half fluid relationship than anything else really; and I was really disappointed that none of them really had it out and laid their love on the line. It was more of a forced relationship or something that half seemed natural and the other half fiction.

      The Spirit Hunters were humorous, not in the unbelievable or humiliating to writing sense, but it was a diverse group for the time period and while I understand some of the concepts behind their personas, there was this cohesion between all of them that makes me smile and just buy into them. Jie was my comic relief through the book and she makes the novel a little more light and down to earth.

     The book takes place in Philadelphia, and the location I wasn't sure or didn't know anything about. The scenery was great, and while I was reading the book, the scenery was what stuck in the back of my head. The environment made this book better, and in fact help bring this rating up a bit higher than I probably should have given it. The graveyards, the museums, and even the elegant victorian city around was just mesmerising.

     Now, if you follow the blog at all, you may see that I have actually gotten this book signed by Susan in person. I loved how noticeable and honest she was. She's a great character and while I have seen her, I want to state right now, meeting her had no impact on how this review went. I wanted to give an honest opinion and that's the reason, as well, that I waited so long from getting the signature to reading the book. I wanted to ensure that this book was purely honest, and non-biased.
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