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Something Strange and Deadly (Something Strange and Deadly, #1)

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.

Blurb and cover from Goodreads

I feel like a jerk. Let’s just come out and say that steampunk is really not my thing. I find it hard to orient myself in a skewed version of history. I find myself wondering “okay, so what’s different from reality and what’s the same?”

All the same, I was mostly enjoying this book up until the Kiss. I just thought that a genteel young woman of the nineteenth century, like Eleanor, wouldn’t have been so…pushy, bold, brazen, whichever word you prefer. If you’ve read my other reviews, you’ve probably noticed that me having problems with the romantic elements is something of a trend. Romance seems to be where I get into trouble with most books. Anyway…

The plot:
Aside from my problems, I truly believe that this is a good book. I read it mostly while making dinner and it’s a miracle I didn’t burn anything. This book is fast paced, interesting, keeps you guessing, and leaves you hungry for the next. I liked Dennard’s twist on zombies.

The characters:
Eleanor was a strong, funny, yet relatable and lovable heroine. I rooted for her and appreciated that she had her vulnerabilities. Her loyalty to her brother was deeply touching (and something I related to, with three of my own!). She’s independent and has an endearing sense of humor. I’d certainly invite her to my slumber party!

I like to note the love interest, so let me talk about Daniel for a second. Daniel is often sarcastic to the point of rudeness and doesn’t overly respect the expectations of society. He has a chip on his shoulder and a guilty conscience over past wrongs, but is doing his best to make up for them.

The other characters were well-fleshed-out and believable. There all had their faults, flaws, and perfections. From Eleanor’s out-of-touch mother, to Clarence, the wealthy gentleman, they were all 3D. No cardboard here!

Ms. Dennard is a talented storyteller and I do look forward to reading more of her work in the future. If you like sassy girls in corsets, zombies, steampunk, or all of the above, give this one a go!

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