June 14, 2013

Something Strange and Deadly + A Dawn Most Wicked - Susan Dennard

Something Strange and Deadly - Susan Dennard
Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard
Series: Something Strange and Deadly #1
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: July 24, 2012
Source/Format: Bought || Hardcover

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. (from Goodreads)
3 Facts
Fact #1: I’ve been interested in Something Strange and Deadly since I first heard about it.
Fact #2: In spite of my interest, I only purchased it in February and read it in May.
Fact #3: I am an idiot for having waited so long to read this book.
I absolutely adored Something Strange and Deadly! It is a wonderful combination of historical details and paranormal elements, woven smoothly into a story that is, at turns, strange, fantastical and exciting. With characters that leapt off the page, and an engaging writing style, Dennard has gained a new fan in this particular reader with her debut novel.

Initially, I feared that this novel would be typical of its genre. But as I continued reading, I knew this wasn’t the case. Dennard has taken zombies, necromancy and historically-accurate details to combine them into something that’s altogether her own. The setting draws you in, the plot won’t let you go and before you know it, you’ll be turning the last page and wishing for more of everything. That is precisely what happened to me, and I don’t regret a single second of it!

The best thing about this novel is not the setting or the story, but it is the characters – particularly Eleanor, Daniel, Joseph & Jie. Learning about each of their stories and their personalities happens so naturally that it’s almost magical. It felt like they were people I had met in real life!

Eleanor, our main character, is an example of the ideal young woman during her era. Or she would be if she weren’t so stubborn, strong-willed and gifted with endless curiosity! When it comes right down to it, Eleanor is certainly someone I’d want on my side in a pinch. She’s quick-witted, clever, brave and most of all, she’s loyal, which is a quality that should never be overlooked. These things actually make her a perfect fit for the group of Spirit-Hunters.

Daniel, Joseph and Jie are the three Spirit-Hunters, who are in town in order to stop the dead from rising and taking over the entire place. Joseph is a well-bred gentleman versed in a few unique ways of stopping the dead. He’s the leader of their little group, and often the one to represent them in front of the government. Jie, on the other hand, is basically a kick-ass fighter. I lost track of just how many times Jie fought off the dead with physical combat – but it was so darn cool.

Daniel’s a bit of a nerd, capable of creating some of the coolest inventions I’ve ever heard of. He’s not only intelligent, but he’s also physically capable (as will be demonstrated time and again in the novel) and fiercely protective and quite kind. In spite of his attitude and posturing towards Eleanor when they first meet, he managed to find a spot in my heart and burrow down deep. There are things he does or says that made me swoon, and my only complaint is that I wanted more of him.

I might have been able to guess a major plot twist, but Something Strange and Deadly was still a delightful read! The characters became familiar friends, while the setting made me want to go and have high tea. With the way the story ends, I’m satisfied but curious to see what happens next. I’m thinking it might have been a bonus that I read this one so late in the game, as the wait for the next book won’t be long now!
3 More Facts
Fact #1: I love Daniel and he is now one of my book boyfriends.
Fact #2: I need A Darkness Strange and Lovely. In fact, I needed it like yesterday.
Fact #3: Susan Dennard, I am so glad I finally got to read your book and that I liked it.

A Dawn Most Wicked - Susan Dennard
A Dawn Most Wicked by Susan Dennard
Series: Something Strange and Deadly #0.5
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: June 4, 2013
Source/Format: Bought || e-book

Daniel Sheridan is an engineer’s apprentice on a haunted Mississippi steamer known as the Sadie Queen. His best friend–the apprentice pilot, Cassidy Cochran–also happens to be the girl he’s pining for…and the captain’s daughter. But when it looks like the Sadie Queen might get taken off the river, Daniel and Cassidy have to do whatever they can to stop the ghosts that plague the ship. Fortunately, there happens to be a Creole gentleman on board by the name of Joseph Boyer-–and he just might be able to help them… (from Goodreads)

Though it’s not very long to go now till A Darkness Strange and Lovely is released, perhaps you want to satisfy your craving by reading the recently released novella, A Dawn Most Wicked. If you’re like me and have a huge soft spot for Daniel, you’re going to love this story! The reader is given a glimpse into Daniel’s past, in particular during the time that he’s on the Sadie Queen. Readers get a glimpse of his intellect, kindness and his passion – and it will certainly make you want more! I finished the novella wanting to give Daniel a hug (and possibly not letting him go…). If you’re a fan of this series, I definitely recommend reading the novella, if only for more Daniel (and you can never go wrong with that)!


  1. hehe I particularly like Fact #3 (the first one) :D I think I forgot what this book was actually about (that happens a lot - things get lost in my TBR) but I really like historical fiction and I enjoy a good paranormal element. Spirit Hunting sounds cool and I think I will like nerdy Daniel. Then we can fangirl over him too via Twitter/GCHAT/Bloggin/Text/Email/Smoke Signal/Carrier Pigeon (yes any form of communication). Thanks for sharing!!

  2. I'm totally with you on the (second) Fact #2 -- I need A Darkness Strange and Lovely ASAP! Can't wait until it comes out so we can read it together and fangirl over Daniel <3

  3. Yay!!!! I'm so glad you enjoyed them and I TOTALLY loved the novella. I wasn't 100% connected with Daniel until I read it. So excited to read the next book!

  4. Heres my confession. I have been interested in this FOREVER. However, fear as always consumed me and I have avoided it! I am SO GLAD to see you enjoyed it, especially the characters! AND, I didnt know there was a novella! YAY!

  5. Ohh historical and paranormal? I love both!! I'm definitely going to have to read it. I'm glad you really enjoyed it!!

  6. I've heard AMAZING things for Something Strange & Deadly, and Eleanor seems to be a very relatable heroine! And I think I'm loving the trio Daniel, Joseph, and Jie already, they're such a diverse and interesting bunch, can't wait to read what happens!! :)

    Alicia @ Summer Next Top Story

  7. This one has been sitting on my shelf for about a year now! I'll have to read it soon!

    It was nice seeing you at BEA :)

  8. I LOVE this cover and was interested in it, but I heard zombies and immediately disregarded it. Maaaybe I'll have to give it a shot though. =)

  9. I really should check out the novella because I found Daniel to be such a charming character-he really made me swoon! Excited for the pending sequel!


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