E is for Eleanor

Today’s Bookanista recommendation: Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard (July 24, 2012)

Something Strange and Deadly

From Goodreads:  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.

There is so much to love about Something Strange and Deadly, and I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to give this book an early read. It’s a mash-up that shouldn’t work, an equation that looks something like this:

A scant pinch of historical + a few shakes of steam punk + a generous dollop of horror (spirits and zombies — oh my!) = Something Strange and Splendid

Eleanor Fitt is a fantastic protagonist: strong and smart and funny, definitely no damsel in distress. And Daniel! He’s equal parts hilarious and alluring. He and Eleanor have awesome banter. But my, do they have problems. Their world is falling apart around them, and they learn pretty quickly that nothing is as it seems. There are twists and turns and tremendously written action sequences around every corner, which made this book the best kind of page-turner.

One of my favorite aspects of Something Strange and Deadly was  the way the elegant Victorian setting contrasted with the eerie creepiness of the Dead. It was a trip to be immersed in fancy turn-of-the-century customs in one scene, then, in the next, to be thrust into a spine-tingling supernatural confrontation. But it TOTALLY worked. Susan Dennard’s voice and style and attention to detail are amazing — perfect for this unique and suspenseful story. Definitely check out Something Strange and Deadly when it debuts in July.

Thanks so much to Holly Dodson for arranging the
Something Strange & Deadly ARC Tour!

Check out what my Bookanista friends are up to today!

Christine Fonseca  is wowed by WANDERLOVE
Stasia Ward Kehoe reads for National Poetry Month
Tracy Banghart honors THE HEX HALL trilogy
Corrine Jackson is thrilled over A TRUTH ABOUT FOREVER
Hilary Wagner deems the DANNY DRAGONBREATH Series fantastic

Tell me: What’s your favorite scary story?


35 thoughts on “E is for Eleanor

  1. Elodie says:

    Wow! It really sounds great and very different – with this mix of elements 😀
    It’s already on my TBR but now I’m even more impatient for this book to come out…Thanks for sharing your opinion, Katy! (you know how much I value it!)

  2. Erin Bowman (@erin_bowman) says:

    Katy! I loved this book too, and you picked up on some of my favorite elements of the story as well! (We really are book twins!) I adored the setting and time-period, and the Dead were so wonderfully integrated into the world. And Daniel. Oh, Daniel. I’m really excited for the sequel to this one! 🙂

  3. Tracy says:

    Ooohhh…this sounds really cool! I’m not big on zombie books, but the other elements are really intriguing, so I think I’m going to have to get myself a copy when it comes out. Thanks for the review!

    • katyupperman says:

      I’m not big on zombie books either, Tracy. Other than THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH, SS&D is the only one I’ve truly enjoyed. There’s so much going on, and Eleanor is so awesome, it’s hard NOT to love!

  4. elschneider says:

    A definite add to my TBR list – thanks for the reco! And my fav scary story? Hmmm…not sure if I’ve really come across one of those yet. I did appreciate the creep factor of the unconsecrated from The Forest of Hands and Teeth – Carrie Ryan did a fab job with her undead!

  5. Rebecca B says:

    A little horror and a little historical? Sign me up! Also, Eleanor is one of my favorite names. Bonus points for that. 🙂

  6. Lucy says:

    I just received a copy of this one, and am even more excited to read it now. The steampunk/zombie/historical combo sounds just too fun. So glad to hear it’s a great read.

  7. Krispy says:

    This sounds like fun and also reminds me of SOULLESS, an adult steampunk paranormal by Gail Carriger, which I really enjoyed. Eagerly awaiting July! 🙂

  8. Jaime Morrow says:

    This one already made its way onto my TBR list, due in large part to the Blog Tour thingy that everyone was doing with this book. It sounds very intriguing, especially after reading your equation above. Very intriguing indeed. Thanks for giving some non-spoilery, but compelling details of the book! 😀

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