Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Sound the Dead Alarm

"The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose. 
And the foolish can cite Shakespeare."
--Susan Dennard, Something Strange and Deadly

Genre: YA Historical Fiction, Paranormal
Publisher: Harper Teen, 338 pages
Publication Date: July 24th, 2012
Source: Hardcover provided via publisher at BEA

Goodreads Description

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.
My Thoughts

Final Thoughts
The Belle

Something Strange and Deadly intrigued me right after it came out due to its beautiful cover...then I read the descriptions...walking dead?...Um, thanks but I'm good. However, I have many fantastic blogging friends who told me to shove the judgments aside and read the book...fine. I was pleasantly surprised with the result...I always am shoving my foot in my mouth, aren't I?

I was immediately taken in by the historical fiction aspect. Very early on in the book we get descriptions of the dresses and the jewelry and the etiquette at the time. I LOVE this. I love reading about the social norms of the 1800s and I LOVE reading about a girl who pushes against them and rebels against society. It's my thing. Down with the man. Eleanor is a fantastic heroine who fights for what she believes in, those she loves, and never backs down for an instant. You can't not being rooting for her. She rocks and there is no other way to put it. 

The romance of the story is equally great. The subtle glances and touches that drive historical fiction romance are ever present. The mere hint of skin gets these people hot and bothered. I absolutely am in love with this. The subtle sexiness and slow burn is amazing and there is something so sexy about things being so covert. I think we're doing it wrong in the 21st century. We need some history lessons for sure. Daniel is a swoony character for sure! He is smart, sassy, takes no crap, and treats Eleanor like a human rather than a useless girl. I mean, he does fight for her not to be involved but we all know it's to protect her. *sigh* The slow build of their romance is beautiful and I loved reading about them.

My favorite part of the Dead aspect was that it wasn't a secret. A lot of paranormal worlds thrive on keeping is secret from the normal population and I loved how something so out of this world--walking dead--was a real life problem for everyone. We didn't waste plot time trying to hide it or trying to get people to believe it, it just was. I loved this.

The Beast
I enjoyed reading this book and I really have no complaints about it other than it didn't GRAB my attention. I really liked reading it and maybe my expectations were too high or I was still in a slump from jet lag but I wasn't chomping at the bit to keep turning the pages. I liked it, don't get me wrong, but it didn't have me ravenous. I didn't NEED to pick the book back up. I don't NEED to have the sequel right this second. I don't know but I found the book a little forgettable after I finished it.

Should You RSVP To The Ball? 

Maybe? I know a lot of my friends with great taste in books love this but it wasn't my favorite. I do think the historical fiction aspect is fantastic historical fiction and you can tell Susan Dennard put a lot of research into her 1800s world. The romance makes you swoon by sheer anticipation but the plot's drive and urgency fell short for me.


  1. I've been thinking about picking up this series since people started raving about it. But I really don't like zombies so I've been pretty hesitant and now after reading your review, I feel like I'm going to skip it. I would like the historical fiction aspect of it, but I'm just not sold on the Walking Dead. I do love your comment on how just a little sliver of skin gets them hot and bothered and how we are doing it wrong in the 21st century. Totally agree! We should really leave more to the imagination (*hint hint, Miley Cyrus*).

  2. You know that I adored this book, yes? While it makes me a little sad that it didn't have the same must-read-right-now feeling for you, I'm still glad that lots of the aspects to it were things you enjoyed. I sincerely hope you read the next book in the series because it's even more compelling -- and it's set in PARIS!

  3. I can't wait to read this one and see what I think! While it wasn't something you loved, I still really like that you found the romance, heroine and historical fiction aspect to be enjoyable. I'll keep you posted!


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