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!

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Tell me: What’s your favorite scary story?