Fantasy Book Review: Something Strange and Deadly

Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard

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 the maddeningly stubborn yet handsome Daniel, the situation becomes dire. And now, not only is her reputation on the line, but her very life may hang in the balance.

Eleanor is desperately missing her older brother that never showed up from New York. But Eleanor isn’t one to sit around and wait for news. She decides to seek out the mysterious Spirit-Hunters for information when she receives a note from her brother directly from a walking Dead. The rising Dead are quickly becoming an out-of-control situation. It seems a Necromancer has come to town for some reason. And Eleanor, despite her high society reputation, will stop at nothing to find and save her brother. Unlike her mother who cares for nothing besides money and marrying Eleanor off to a wealthy man, Eleanor is a bold and adventurous young woman with a good heart and true priorities.

Set in an early America with creepy zombies, Dennard has created an impressive and powerful debut. The setting is striking, Victorian gothic. The characters are vivid and motivating. And the story is surprising and full of mystery, magic, romance, and (of course) zombies. This thrilling and suspenseful fantasy can be enjoyed by teens and adults alike. Dark and charming, Something Strange and Deadly is one that I will be recommending to my friends.

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