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Review: Something Strange and Deadly (Something Strange and Deadly #1) by Susan Dennard

Review: Something Strange and Deadly (Something Strange and Deadly #1) by Susan Dennard

by dg_mollyJuly 10, 2012

TLDR Recap:

The year is 1876, over a quarter of a century after the great Industrial Revolution. Someone is raising the dead in Philadelphia and they’ve taken Eleanor’s brother. Determined to find him, Eleanor enlists the help of the Spirit Hunters, a group of people that protect the living from the dead. With murder and political intrigue around every corner and the ravenous, walking dead on her heels, Eleanor’s quest to find her brother becomes more than just a rescue mission and evolves into a journey of self-discovery, love, and a scandalous first kiss. Something Strange and Deadly is a GraveTells Must-Read!

  • Title: Something Strange and Deadly
  • Series: Something Strange and Deadly book #1
  • Author: Susan Dennard
  • Prominent Characters: Eleanor, Daniel
  • Recommended Reader Age: 13+
  • Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
  • Sexual Content Level: very light

*** This review is SPOILER-FREE! Read on with confidence! ***


Living during a time when life is dictated by wealth, social class, and reputation can be difficult when you have lost all of these things. After Eleanor’s father lost his business and passed away, her brother took off to study abroad leaving Eleanor with her mother, no income, and little savings. A non-conformist at heart, Eleanor is quick to speak her mind, has bravery in spades, and doesn’t let the trappings of society dictate who or what she wants and how she gets it. Determined to save her mother the anguish and worry of her brother’s disappearance, Eleanor takes it upon herself to find him. With the dead rising in Philadelphia and her brother somehow connected, Eleanor turns to the Spirit Hunters, an organization that protects the living from the dead, and is where she first meets Daniel.

An imperative member of the Spirit Hunters, Daniel invents machines that help dispatch the souls of the walking dead, laying them to rest. Even though he’s extremely abrasive and with a quick temper, Daniel proves selfless and loyal to those he cares for and slowly starts to grow on Eleanor.

Through detection and clue-finding worthy of Sherlock Holmes, Eleanor and the Spirit Hunters slowly piece together the clues of her brother’s disappearance. As they fight the invasion of walking dead, Eleanor uncovers a scandalous political plot that’s linked not only to her family’s past, but to Daniel’s as well. As she gets closer to the truth, Eleanor must come to terms with her feelings for Daniel, a shocking revelation from her brother, and a future shunned from upper society, but open to possibilities she could have never imagined.

Something Strange and Deadly kept me captivated and on the edge of my seat. Though I’m not a zombie fan, I was immediately taken with Eleanor’s strength and refusal to let society dictate her actions or goals. Dennard’s plot was so twisty with hidden agendas and intrigue that I literally couldn’t put this book down. My only qualms are that I’m going to have to wait to continue Eleanor’s journey and for the author to write the second book. Even if you’re not a zombie fan, you should give this book a try.

Memorable Quotes:

Definitely not love at first sight

“I have grave dirt to sweep,” he said, “so if you’ll be stayin’ around for Mr. Boyer, could you at least stand somewhere else?” He gripped me by both arms and pushed me backward out the door. I was so shocked to be touched I couldn’t even protest. All I could do was skitter back where he directed. Even if I’d wanted to stop, my eyes were locked on the very near and very disturbing open collar and exposed throat.

With his hands still planted on my arms and with his lips curved in a satisfied grin, he drawled, “I’m Daniel Sheridan, by the way.” He said it so casually, as if all introductions were preceded by manhandling. “Pleasure to meet you, Miss…”

I twisted free. The rascal. The scalawag. I gave him my haughtiest dragon stare. “I am Miss Eleanor Fitt of the Philadelphia Fitts.”

He flashed his eyebrows and doffed an imaginary hat. “Why then, you’re practically royalty.” He whirled around and strode back into the lab. The door slammed shut behind him.

An “Oh, sh*t,” moment

I could distinctly make out footsteps now, coming at high speed, pounding along with snapping branches and shaking leaves.

“It sounds like a wild animal,” Clarence said. “Come away from the fence.”

I pushed my face against the bars. “But I hear two feet,” I answered. “Like a person running.” Could someone alive be in there? Could it be Elijah?

Whoever it was, they were close now. The beating footsteps crashed loudly in the forest.

“Come away from the fence,” Clarence repeated.

It was definitely a person running, but what sort of person could race through dense shrubs and trees like that?

“Come away!” Clarence roared. He clasped my arm and yanked me back, wrenching my shoulder.

Then it crashed full speed against the fence. A corpse.

If you liked Something Strange and Deadly…

If you enjoyed Something Strange and Deadly and are looking for more mystery filled adventures with the walking dead, check out Kate Evangelista’s Taste, a story about a first love and a different take on zombies that you won’t want to miss, or Lia Habel’s Dearly Departed: A Zombie Novel, a thrilling novel of action, adventure, and the true meaning of “un-dying” love.

Final Thoughts:

Something Strange and Deadly consumes you from the first sentence. With strong, believable characters and a plot worthy of a super sleuth, you don’t want to miss out on this read. Something Strange and Deadly is a GraveTells Must-Read!

Rating: Something Strange and Deadly


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Single mom totally addicted to books and promoting my favorite reads. Catch more of my reviews:

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