Today’s Bookanista recommendation: Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard (July 24, 2012)
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!
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Tell me: What’s your favorite scary story?
35 thoughts on “E is for Eleanor”
Cool. I’ll have to add this to my ‘to read’ list which is growing exponentially!
Oh my… My TBR list is completely unmanageable! But, there are worse problems to have, I suppose. 🙂
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!)
Glad you’ve got SS&D on your list, Elodie. It’s definitely a fun and super-unique read. I bet you’ll enjoy it!
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! 🙂
Speaking of book twins, Erin, I’m about 50 pages into GRACELING and already falling in love. I want to just sit and read it ALL DAY!
Free knowledge like this doesn’t just help, it promote deycoracm. Thank you.
YES. Eleanor is awesome! And such a great role model.
I agree! She doesn’t take crap from anyone, or anyTHING. 🙂
Sounds awesome! I’ll have to add it to my TBR. Thanks, Katy!
It’s a very fun read, Alison. Hope you enjoy!
This sounds great! I’ll add it to my list right now. I’m enjoying your A-Z!
Thanks, Liz! I hope you enjoy SS&D!
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!
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!
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!
Ooh, I agree! I’m a big fan of THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH. 🙂
A little horror and a little historical? Sign me up! Also, Eleanor is one of my favorite names. Bonus points for that. 🙂
You know, I’d never really thought about the name Eleanor until I read SS&D, but this story totally made me a fan!
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.
I hope you enjoy it, Lucy! Definitely a fun read. 🙂
This sounds like fun and also reminds me of SOULLESS, an adult steampunk paranormal by Gail Carriger, which I really enjoyed. Eagerly awaiting July! 🙂
I haven’t heard of SOULLESS… I’ll have to check it out if it’s anything like SS&D though!
So excited for this book!
It’s definitely a fun one, Steph!
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! 😀
My pleasure, Jaime! I hope you’re able to pick it up when it debuts, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
This sounds great. I love creepy, so it’s right up my alley.
Hope you enjoy it, Tracey. 🙂
Ooh…I love the sound of this. Actually, since I just read Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, I’ve been in the mood for something strange and spooky. Thanks for the tip!
My husband just read Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and really enjoyed it. I might have to steal his Kindle and read it myself. 🙂
Sounds like an interesting read.
Definitely interesting! And very different from anything I’ve read before. 🙂
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