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.
Publication Date: July 24, 2012
This is actually the first zombie themed novel I read. For some reason, I've been avoiding them like the plague. I saw the movie 28 Days Later a few years ago and had nightmares for weeks so this may have something to do with it. But then I saw this cover and figured I'd give it a shot (so pretty, right? I want that outfit for myself!). I have to say I really enjoyed this book! I think Dennard really has a talent as a storyteller and I literally couldn't put the book down.
The world building was done superbly in Something Strange and Deadly. I immediately felt like I was transported to 19th century Philadelphia. I liked how the expectations of women during that period were touched upon throughout the course of the novel. The suspense begins from the get go as a zombie attack occurs while Eleanor is waiting for her brother to return home. Although the novel begins with the zombies, they aren't the central focus at all times. There are also elements of mystery as Eleanor tries to locate her brother and romance when sparks fly between her and the inventor for the Spirit Hunters. My favorite scenes were between Daniel and Eleanor since they had such great chemistry together.
My one criticism would be I wish there were more character development for Eleanor and Daniel. I really felt the book just skimmed the surface and I'd like to understand their motivations better. (Slight spoiler alert) The book ends on a very depressing note which would have made me not like this novel at all. However, once I realized it was a series, I was able to calm down and understand it was just a gateway for the next book. I'm so excited to see what happens next!
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars