Customer Reviews for

Something Strange and Deadly

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

A beautifully written story set in Victorian-Era Philly with ZOM

A beautifully written story set in Victorian-Era Philly with ZOMBIES!!
I received an Advance Reader's Edition of this book from Epic Reads. Thank you guys soo much!
Eleanor Fitt is an extremely strong-minded heroine, which is quite refreshing considering the time per...
A beautifully written story set in Victorian-Era Philly with ZOMBIES!!
I received an Advance Reader's Edition of this book from Epic Reads. Thank you guys soo much!
Eleanor Fitt is an extremely strong-minded heroine, which is quite refreshing considering the time period. She tells the story and oh! what a story it is! The scenes are so vividly imagined that this reviewer felt as if she was actually walking through the streets with Eleanor. The world building in this novel left reviewer speechless at times, it was that good! The mystery of finding out what happened to Eleanor's brother brings us to a world of necromancers, zombies, and the elusive spirit hunters. Daniel (who is a member of the little rag-tag group called the spirit hunters who are trying to stop the zombies from attacking Philadelphia) and Eleanor's often-times frustrating relationship will leave readers cheering for them to "just kiss already"! Readers will be hanging on to every beautifully descriptive word as they race to figure out just what really is going on in Philly, and who is behind it. This enchanting mix of zombies, mystery, magic, forbidden love, and good old-fashioned girl power is NOT TO BE MISSED!

posted by JessabellaReviews on August 2, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Something strange & deadly is happening in Philadelphia. The

Something strange & deadly is happening in Philadelphia. The dead are rising. The main protagonist, Eleanor Fitt, is only excited about getting her brother back. One day, while she goes to the train station to pick him up, he's late. Eleanor waits, and then an attac...
Something strange & deadly is happening in Philadelphia. The dead are rising. The main protagonist, Eleanor Fitt, is only excited about getting her brother back. One day, while she goes to the train station to pick him up, he's late. Eleanor waits, and then an attack from the dead happens, and a zombie actually gives a letter to Eleanor, and leaves. The idea till now was very interesting, because when Eleanor see's the letter, it's from her very own brother, Elijah. It was cool to try to figure out where Elijah was right now, and see how Eleanor was going to find out. While Eleanor is trying to find out where her brother is, her mother is only worried about marrying off Eleanor to a rich family. The Fitts were one of the "rich", but after Eleanor's father died, they started facing difficulties.

The story so far sounded interesting, but I am sorry to say that the flow of the book was something I really did not enjoy. I felt like everything went by too slow, and there were too many unnecessary parts that shouldn't have been there. Something Strange & Deadly wasn't one of those book that had me turning pages, but I actually felt like I never wanted to read. Eleanor, the main protagonist, is an interesting character. She's strong willed, and determined to find her missing brother. Her mother annoyed me because she was too obsessive about looking for a rich man, it started to sound ridiculous. Eleanor found the Spirit-Hunters, a group of people that know how to find or kill the dead. There was Daniel, the very rude and sometimes annoying person, and there was Joseph, the very polite one whom I liked more. Despite Daniel's attitude towards Eleanor, she started liking him. That sounded very unrealistic, because I can't say much about his character for Eleanor to actually start liking him. Along with that, the fighting was confusing for me. Sometimes I felt like it was too detailed, I found myself skimming through the words. As for Elijah, I didn't know what to feel towards him because he was already missing from the beginning of the book, but considering how much Eleanor loves him, I'd assume he was a good brother to her.

Overall, I'm sorry to say that Something Strange & Deadly was not the book for me. Part of it was because of the historical details, that I really do not like reading, and the other part was how the story was constructed. This is obviously my personal opinion, and not everyones. I know that many people did enjoy this book, and many did not enjoy it, like me. Even though I might have been one of those who didn't enjoy it, you might be one of those who do. So give Something Strange & Deadly a try!

posted by majibookshelf on August 2, 2012

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  • Posted August 2, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A beautifully written story set in Victorian-Era Philly with ZOM

    A beautifully written story set in Victorian-Era Philly with ZOMBIES!!
    I received an Advance Reader's Edition of this book from Epic Reads. Thank you guys soo much!
    Eleanor Fitt is an extremely strong-minded heroine, which is quite refreshing considering the time period. She tells the story and oh! what a story it is! The scenes are so vividly imagined that this reviewer felt as if she was actually walking through the streets with Eleanor. The world building in this novel left reviewer speechless at times, it was that good! The mystery of finding out what happened to Eleanor's brother brings us to a world of necromancers, zombies, and the elusive spirit hunters. Daniel (who is a member of the little rag-tag group called the spirit hunters who are trying to stop the zombies from attacking Philadelphia) and Eleanor's often-times frustrating relationship will leave readers cheering for them to "just kiss already"! Readers will be hanging on to every beautifully descriptive word as they race to figure out just what really is going on in Philly, and who is behind it. This enchanting mix of zombies, mystery, magic, forbidden love, and good old-fashioned girl power is NOT TO BE MISSED!

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 31, 2012

    Let me just say first, this was really well written! It felt lik

    Let me just say first, this was really well written! It felt like I was in the story, through the language, setting, described clothing, props/items; all of it gave me a glimpse of what it would be like to be in the 19th Century, the year 1876. The story itself was very creative and unpredictable, so you just never know where this story is going to turn. I really liked this story, the zombies; having it set in Philadelphia, in 1876; the mystery aspect, the characters, and a questionable Romance. Eleanor Fitt seems like a strong minded character and reading from her POV was just great; I liked that a lot, as we go along this uncertain journey with her. Other characters in the novel, including the mysterious Daniel Sheridan, was lovely to read, and he is one to watch out for :)
    Throughout the story, there are unexpected turns of events, especially towards the end, oh my, towards the end! You will be shocked at what happens. Shocked. The ending immediately made me want to read the next book in this series, so I look forward to it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 31, 2012

    I just finished reading the book last night, and I must say that

    I just finished reading the book last night, and I must say that I was sad that it had ended. The story has lots of " twists and turns" that I didn't see coming and kept me guessing on what was going to happen next. The book seemed well written and it kept me pulled into the story from the first chapter to the last chapter. I'll just have to wait till the next book is released............for the rest of the story!! I can't wait. Thanks Susan for the wonderful story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 26, 2012

    Just received my book in the mail yesterday and am on chapter 18

    Just received my book in the mail yesterday and am on chapter 18. I couldn't wait to get home and start reading. I read until about 11 p.m. and then decided to get ready for bed only to get back up about 3 a.m. to read a little more. This is a book you just can't put down. You just can't stop reading. I just had to know what would happen next. I can't wait to get home tonight so i can continue where i left off. The only sad part will be when i am finished and i have to wait on the next release. This is a must have for anyone that loves the strange, the dead or just loves to read a good book that will take you away from everyday life into a world of the undead. This book is so intense, the characters so real. Thank you for a wonderful book.. Please keep them comming.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 25, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Awesome zombie book!

    Something Strange and Deadly is one of those intense novels that kept me on the edge of my seat. I should have started this novel earlier in the day because I refused to put it down before I finished it. This resulted in a lost night's sleep, but it was so worth it! From the first zombie attack, which happened within the first few pages, I was hooked. The characters are well-developed, flawed, likable, and realistic. I couldn't help but sympathize with everyone (other than Eleanor's mother), even the bad guys. The plot is unique and engrossing. I also loved the setting. Most novels that are set in the Victorian Era are set in England and are steampunk. This isn't a steampunk book. There is not one overly advanced piece of technology. There are some strange inventions, but those inventions are still very much within the realm of possibility for the late 19th century. Dennard offers an interesting look into what Victorian Philadelphia would have been like if there had been a zombie invasion.


    Eleanor is no simpering miss, and because of this, she does not fit in during her time period. She's aware of this. She's too free-thinking for the Victorian Era. Therefore, she always feels like a misfit, which is a play on her name "Miss Fitt." Eleanor is a strong lead character who is willing to fight for what she believes in. She also isn't afraid to get her hands dirty and can take care of herself. She makes mistakes throughout this novel, but she grows immensely as a character. I can't wait to see what the sequel brings for her.


    Another character that I found extremely interesting was Jie. However, I don't want to spoil the surprise with who Jie is, so I'm not going to analyze this character any further. Daniel is also a great leading man. He's tortured (of course) and has done some awful things. However, deep down, he's good, and he's willing to try to make amends. There are a lot of characters in this novel who want to make amends for their mistakes, and there are also some who are unrepentant. That seems to be the defining way to tell who is good and who is not - if they want to make up for the pain they've caused others, or if they want to continue to hurt others. There are no strong messages against class or oppression or anything like that, but I don't think taking a stand against Victorian Era society would be applicable to our contemporary society. Therefore, it would be rather pointless to make any statements to that effect.


    The plot is intense, and there is a mystery going on throughout the course of the novel. I figured it out pretty early on, but it wasn't obvious. I just made a guess based and was correct. There are tiny hints, but nothing that gives it away until the big reveal. Also, the plot is an emotional roller coaster. I was laughing at a lot of parts, and I cried at the end. Because of my ability to relate to all of the characters, I was extremely emotionally invested in this novel. Furthermore, the pacing is perfect. The story flew by even though the book is 400 pages long. Nothing felt rushed, though. I know I was white-knuckling my Kindle during the last 20% or so of the book. The intensity of the plot grows as the story continues, which basically forced me to finish this book in one sitting.


    Overall, I'd recommend this book to anyone who loves zombie stories, mysteries, books set in the Victorian Era, or supernatural/paranormal books.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 23, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I loved this steampunk zombie novel, featuring the feisty, sleuth protagonist Eleanor Fitt

    Something Strange and Deadly is the first novel in Susan Dennard’s Something Strange and Deadly series. The tale takes place in Philadelphia, PA in the year 1876. I loved this steampunk zombie novel, featuring the feisty, sleuth protagonist Eleanor Fitt. I easily finished this novel in two evenings and look forward to reading more. We are immediately immersed in the tale as Eleanor waits at the train station for her beloved brother, Elijah to arrive. When he doesn't arrive she heads to the telegram counter for news. The dead alarms begin to ring. This signals that zombies are in the station. Chaos breaks loose as people scramble to escape. Eleanor dives into the telegram booth and hides. When the window shatters and a zombie appears she just about faints. Instead of attacking her, it drops a telegram on her lap. Too frightened to read it she rushes home. Here she reads the message and discovers he won’t be returning. Eleanor begins to believe that the zombies have him. When she sees an article about Spirit Hunters, she sets off to get answers and hopefully some help. The tale that unfolds has moments of suspense, mystery, humor and a smidgeon of romance. The dead are rising from Laurel Hill Cemetery and a necromancer is controlling them. I became completely immersed in the tale as Eleanor tries to stop the dead and save her brother. Eleanor Fitt is sixteen and lives with her overbearing mother and maid. Her brother Elijah has been away for over two years. The families finances are crumbling and her mother is constantly spending money trying to impress others. I liked Eleanor; she is witty, inquisitive and brave. Her need for answers causes her to be reckless and her free spirit creates tension with her mother. Daniel is an inventor and member of the Spirit Hunters. He is cute, stubborn and quick to temper. He is also protective when it comes to Eleanor. I enjoyed their witty banter and Eleanor’s attraction to him caused me to giggle. While there is a tiny bit of romance, their story is just beginning. Other characters added suspense and mystery. The world-building while at times predictable kept me entertained. Dennard beautifully captures the era and some of its ridiculous society rules. She does this without overwhelming the reader in details and instead focuses on the characters and plot. The flow of this novel was wonderful. I would have liked more gadgetry but enjoyed the tools the Spirit Hunters used. The characters themselves and mystery kept me turning the pages. Discovering the necromancer and searching for clues was entertaining. The zombies are in the background of this tale, but when they do make appearances the scenes are delightful. While the tale felt complete, Dennard’s ending has hinted at what is to come. While I easily pieced together the clues regarding the necromancer it was fun to discover the reasons. I want to thank Harper Teen and Edelweiss for providing this ARC in exchange for my unbiased review.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2014

    Zombie apocalypse rp needs you!!

    Zombies (the social workshop) has all the info.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2014

    Amazing

    I do not often post book reviews, however, I felt for this brilliant novel, I must.
    Weather or not you like zombies, this book will leave you in awe.
    The female character, Eleanor Fitt, is a strong role model.
    There is a compelling love story, yet it does not take over the book.
    From early teens to adults, this is a must read!

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  • Posted June 24, 2014

    5/5 stars!

    5/5 stars!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2013

    <p>

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  • Posted July 18, 2013

    I had my worries originally when I decided to read this because

    I had my worries originally when I decided to read this because I'm not a huge fan of zombies and all things of the undead. However, I'm glad that I decided to put my &quot;big girl panties&quot; on because it was a fantastic read.  The book is about Eleanor Fitts who is searching for her missing brother who might have been taken by the risen dead.  This book has just about any a reader could ask for. She has two love interests of sorts one who comes from a family her mother approves and another who, well, not allowed into her house let alone should been seen with. There is mystery because you don't know exactly who is raising the dead and for what as well as a haunting sprite.  There is also action as Eleanor and her misfit love Daniel decide to task that ends up to blowing up a building.

    Susan Dennard did a wonderful job adding sadly typical adolescent events we've seen growing up and shed the unseen effects of.  Eleanor's brother was bullied in school and decided to take revenge on the people and families that ruined him.  The revenge back fires and leaves Eleanor with the honor and devastation of his actions.  There is historical facts and tainted political actions of governing bodies.  And for that era, the expectations of societal women that weighed down Eleanor. To marry for status and money or to marry for love?  This book is fantastically written with humor and a dash of irony and sarcasm.  Oh!  And for those who don't like the undead, this author leaves much of the gory details out that may leave any reader (like me) queasy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2013

    Absolutely amazing

    A well written adventure from beginning to end. If you are one to enjoy the life and experiences of persons from another time, this is a must read. The author is very good at using words that fit the emotions related to certain situations, that most have experienced at some time or another. A sort of hit the nail right on the head word combination. The story will have the reader suspisious of almost every character until the very end. This not your typical story where the victim rises to the top or is rewared victory in the end. The story will leave one sad and happy all at the same time. The authors ability to use social standards related to the time (not just the glamorous side of it) and paint a realistic picture of the hardship it could cause, sets this book apart from others. You will not envy the high society of this time period but actually realize how much freedom one must give up to keep ones statis, even when common sense would instruct you to do otherwise. The adventure starts from the flick of first page until the very last.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2013

    Awesome book

    I have only read the sample but I can tell the storyy is going too bbe quite intresting.I hear hear she falls for Daniel not Clarence they way the auther wrote every thing like it was happening and you were actully there was amazing.She made me feel like i was in the book watching her like a stalker.(im not)The way she described everything that she did was lovley and even if i havent read it all i can tell the ending is worth the money.

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  • Posted October 8, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    One of my favorites for the year!

    Brought to you by OBS reviewer Valerie

    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!

    This review and more at openbooksociety dot com

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  • Posted September 15, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    Highly recommended!

    Victorian era, steam punk, an awesome Femal character, and zombies. A perfect combination!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 5, 2012

    This book was quite simply everything I hoped it would be, then

    This book was quite simply everything I hoped it would be, then more. If you're after kick-ass action, a phenomenal heroine and a world that comes to life, this is your kind of book.

    SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY picked me up and whirled me away in the best possible way--the action kept coming and coming! (And the action sequences are rocking!) It would ease off just enough for me to catch my breath, and then we were away again! And oh, the finale! I can't say more, but aaaaaah!

    Okay, that's probably my exclamation mark quotient for any one review. Here's what I loved about this book, aside from the amazing pacing:

    The characters: With just a few deft strokes, Susan Dennard immediately lets us know who we're dealing with--and then proceeds to peel away the layers so we learn more about them at every turn, plunging deeper and deeper. Even the minor characters spring to life--one of my favourites was Mrs. Fitt, Eleanor's mother, who could have been a stereotype and instead is so vivid and genuine--I could always see (and to some extent sympathise with) her motivations, even when I was right there with Eleanor in wanting to strangle her. There are some fabulous originals in there (I think Jie might be my favourite, though you'll have to read to learn more), and Daniel, well. Excuse me while I fan myself a little! I am in love!

    Eleanor herself is a strong, memorable and totally three-dimensional heroine. Her evolution is seamless, and so gradual, but somehow over the course of the book she grows from the girl we first meet, busy trying to fit into everybody else's idea of what she should be, into... well, I can't spoil you, but into a girl capable of pulling off THAT finale!

    The setting: I'm a history major, and it always bugs me when I can tell a writer hasn't done her research. Have NO fear on this score. For me, getting a historical setting right is all about dropping in enough information that you can paint a real picture of the time and place, but picking the right information, so that it's colour for the story, not just exposition--the goal is to give the reader a true sense of being there, but also to convince the reader that the author knows her stuff, so we can trust her. The tiny details in SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY hit the perfect balance, and they really pulled me into Philadelphia. I walked through those Exhibition Halls!

    The story: They say that there's no such thing as a new idea these days, to which I say AU CONTRAIRE. They are wrong. There's so much action jammed into this thing you could get two books out of it, and the twists and turns kept catching me off guard, then leaving me kicking myself for not seeing them coming. Susan Dennard has a story and a half to tell here, and between fighting the Dead with a parasol, pursuing a missing brother and getting up close and personal with the Spirit Hunters themselves, I was with Miss Eleanor Fitt every step of the way.

    I stayed up WAY past my bedtime reading this book. Bring on the sequel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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