Something Strange and Deadly
Something Strange and Deadly, Book #1
By Susan Dennard
ISBN #: 9780062083265
Author’s Website:

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Valerie


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. (Goodreads)


The Dead are rising in Philadelphia. 

That has got to be my favorite sentence in the summary. That’s what made me want to read Something Strange and Deadly. Well, that and the fact that there’s a maddeningly stubborn and handsome inventor and possibly even the fact that it’s set in 1876. But really, that sentence is pretty important. You might want to make a note of that.

Before I started reading Something Strange and Deadly, I thought it was going to be boring. I mean, it’s set in 1876. While that gives the protagonist a chance to wear a dress, it doesn’t exactly give her a chance to be kick-butt, right? Wrong. I was wrong on so many levels. Not only is Eleanor super kick-butt, the plot itself is full of action and super creative. It’s crazy. It weaves all these tiny, seemingly unimportant pieces of information together to create this huge revelation at the end. Not only that, but it makes sense! You find yourself thinking, why didn’t I come up with this? Yup, that’s how amazing it is. Besides, it’s zombies. Zombies almost automatically make a good plot. 

As for that kick-butt heroine, let’s just say she’s really cool. She’s stubborn, strong and determined. While she may be extremely likeable, she’s also flawed. That’s what I like about the characters. Every character is not perfect; they all have a flaw or two that’s makes them seem real. Eleanor is a great character and protagonist. I really enjoyed reading about her! She’s really blunt and funny, even though you might think otherwise.

I love how the romance between Eleanor and Daniel is not the focus of the story. It’s something that adds to it, but it doesn’t overwhelm all the zombies and the whole Spirit Hunting business. Plus, it’s not love at first sight! It’s a hate at first sight! In other words, Eleanor and Daniel start off pretty rocky with each other, but over time their relationship improves. (Well, then again, I don’t think they’ll ever stop annoying each other….) There might even be some kissing, but nothing really beyond that. Also, at the end, you get some clarification about the romance or the lack of one. Yay for no insta-love!  

Daniel is a great character. He’s a stubborn, smart, handsome, dashing, charming inventor. I love how he’s an inventor! It makes me happy that he can invent things to protect against zombies. Not only that, Daniel has this whole story. He’s jaded and broken from what he did in the past, and that just makes me like him even more. He is just so amazing!

Definitely check this book out! It’s one of my favorites of 2012!