Something Strange And Deadly

Paperback | June 25, 2013

bySusan Dennard

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Sixteen-year-old Eleanor Fitt’s brother is missing. And when she discovers that the Dead are rising in Philadelphia and wreaking havoc throughout the city, she knows that her brother is involved.

So Eleanor enlists the help of the Spirit-Hunters. This motley crew, hired to protect the city from supernatural forces, is after the necromancer who has been reanimating corpses. Their skills can save her brother. But as Eleanor spends time with the Spirit-Hunters, and their handsome inventor, Daniel, the situation becomes dire. Now not only is her reputation at risk, but her very life may hang in the balance.

In Something Strange and Deadly, the first book in a trilogy, Susan Dennard weaves together vividly imagined scenes of action, adventure, and gorgeous Victorian fashion to create an entertaining steampunk tapestry of humor, horror, and romance. Readers who love Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices series will be intrigued from the start.

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From the Publisher

Sixteen-year-old Eleanor Fitt’s brother is missing. And when she discovers that the Dead are rising in Philadelphia and wreaking havoc throughout the city, she knows that her brother is involved.So Eleanor enlists the help of the Spirit-Hunters. This motley crew, hired to protect the city from supernatural forces, is after the necroman...

From the Jacket

The Dead are on her heels. Her life is on the line. And time is running out.After her father dies and her brother mysteriously goes missing, Eleanor Fitt is left to deal with her family's declining financial state. And with her controlling mother trying to marry her off, sixteen-year-old Eleanor doesn't think life could get more compli...

Susan Dennard is a writer turned marine biologist turned writer again. The Something Strange and Deadly trilogy is her debut. Among the traits she shares with her heroine Eleanor are a weakness for Shakespeare quotes, a healthy appetite for baked goods, and an insatiable curiosity. Sadly, Susan does not get to wear a corset or wave a p...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:416 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.94 inPublished:June 25, 2013Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062083279

ISBN - 13:9780062083272

Customer Reviews of Something Strange And Deadly

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing steampunk novel; very entertaining! When I first read Something Strange and Deadly, it acted as a re-introduction to the steampunk genre. Beforehand, I’d only read a few steampunk-themed books and it’d been a few years. I was not let down. The writing is entirely compelling, the majority of chapters ending on a cliffhanger (you can’t help but think, ‘one more chapter, just one more’) and our protagonist, Eleanor Fitt is brilliantly witty! In an alternate 1876 Philadelphia where the Dead have risen, deadly villains and strange heroes leave nothing but an entertaining debut novel. Our main cast of characters are introduced in the first few chapters, though some are more of a foreshadowing (if you’re picking up on these breadcrumbs). We also get a very good look at the relationship between Eleanor and her mother, Abigail Fitt. SS&D is written in first POV, so the reader learns two sides of Eleanor. There’s the very outgoing side that couldn’t care less (or understand) about high society and the other which most people see, complying with her mother’s wishes. Eleanor’s mother on the other hand very much cares about fitting in and carrying on with the latest trends. She’s also set her mind on marrying Eleanor off to an eligible bachelor and in turn saving their family name and fortune. This high society is all about wearing a mask. Eleanor tries to act like a lady, but sometimes her real self comes out (more so around Daniel). Her mother also wears a mask by trying to hide the misfortune of the Philadelphia Fitts. When this mask comes off, the reader experiences the raw emotion these characters are hiding. For example, two of Eleanor’s ‘friends’ Mercy and Patience remove their mask after seeing Eleanor with Clarence Wilcox, a very rich and eligible bachelor. That moment is pretty scary for her. Then Eleanor meets the Spirit Hunters, Joseph-Alexandre Boyer, Daniel Sheridan and Jie. She’s able to break out of her shell and really grow as a character. It’s great being inside Eleanor’s head because while she’s a very likeable and humour-filled character, she does have her imperfections. Eleanor realizes along this adventure she’ll need to make a choice about who she wants to be. While on the search for her missing brother Elijah, the necromancer is leaving a trail of dead bodies and Eleanor fears her brother is his next victim. To add, her mother let out an evil spirit during a séance gone wrong. Like a good mystery, Dennard leaves hints for her brave heroine, but also like a good mystery these clues can point in an entirely different direction. Daniel Sheridan. Both attractive and infuriating, Eleanor and him can’t help arguing in their first encounter. As Eleanor allies with the Spirit Hunters, I found the two to make a great team (although they don’t realize it right away). Eleanor’s real self comes out around Daniel, and he himself reveals secrets of his own. It was also amusing watching Eleanor develop a crush on Daniel, but not necessarily be aware of it. She’d observe little details about him and then scold herself for such behaviour. SS&D is full of plot twists! There’s a particular character who played their role very well, so well I didn’t see it coming. I won’t reveal their name as it might be a spoiler. What’s more, it was fascinating to read Dennard’s twist on other developments-events. For example, jingling bells are placed in a casket to warn the town against the risen Dead (pg 119). In the real world, measures like these were taken incase people were accidentally buried alive. I felt having little things like this really helped me connect with this alternate world and make it all the more real. With murder and voodoo magic lining the pages, Something Strange and Deadly captivates readers through incredible characters and shocking revelations. Despite danger at every corner, I wouldn’t mind joining Eleanor and the Spirit Hunters! They have a lot of unimaginable adventures ahead of them.
Date published: 2015-07-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Steampunk novel, so entertaining! When I first read Something Strange and Deadly, it acted as a re-introduction to the steampunk genre. Beforehand, I’d only read a few steampunk-themed books and it’d been a few years. I was not let down. The writing is entirely compelling, the majority of chapters ending on a cliffhanger (you can’t help but think, ‘one more chapter, just one more’) and our protagonist, Eleanor Fitt is brilliantly witty! In an alternate 1876 Philadelphia where the Dead have risen, deadly villains and strange heroes leave nothing but an entertaining debut novel. Our main cast of characters are introduced in the first few chapters, though some are more of a foreshadowing (if you’re picking up on these breadcrumbs). We also get a very good look at the relationship between Eleanor and her mother, Abigail Fitt. SS&D is written in first POV, so the reader learns two sides of Eleanor. There’s the very outgoing side that couldn’t care less (or understand) about high society and the other which most people see, complying with her mother’s wishes. Eleanor’s mother on the other hand very much cares about fitting in and carrying on with the latest trends. She’s also set her mind on marrying Eleanor off to an eligible bachelor and in turn saving their family name and fortune. This high society is all about wearing a mask. Eleanor tries to act like a lady, but sometimes her real self comes out (more so around Daniel). Her mother also wears a mask by trying to hide the misfortune of the Philadelphia Fitts. When this mask comes off, the reader experiences the raw emotion these characters are hiding. For example, two of Eleanor’s ‘friends’ Mercy and Patience remove their mask after seeing Eleanor with Clarence Wilcox, a very rich and eligible bachelor. That moment is pretty scary for her. Then Eleanor meets the Spirit Hunters, Joseph-Alexandre Boyer, Daniel Sheridan and Jie. She’s able to break out of her shell and really grow as a character. It’s great being inside Eleanor’s head because while she’s a very likeable and humour-filled character, she does have her imperfections. Eleanor realizes along this adventure she’ll need to make a choice about who she wants to be. While on the search for her missing brother Elijah, the necromancer is leaving a trail of dead bodies and Eleanor fears her brother is his next victim. To add, her mother let out an evil spirit during a séance gone wrong. Like a good mystery, Dennard leaves hints for her brave heroine, but also like a good mystery these clues can point in an entirely different direction. Daniel Sheridan. Both attractive and infuriating, Eleanor and him can’t help arguing in their first encounter. As Eleanor allies with the Spirit Hunters, I found the two to make a great team (although they don’t realize it right away). Eleanor’s real self comes out around Daniel, and he himself reveals secrets of his own. It was also amusing watching Eleanor develop a crush on Daniel, but not necessarily be aware of it. She’d observe little details about him and then scold herself for such behaviour. SS&D is full of plot twists! There’s a particular character who played their role very well, so well I didn’t see it coming. I won’t reveal their name as it might be a spoiler. What’s more, it was fascinating to read Dennard’s twist on other developments/events. For example, jingling bells are placed in a casket to warn the town against the risen Dead (pg 119). In the real world, measures like these were taken incase people were accidentally buried alive. I felt having little things like this really helped me connect with this alternate world and make it all the more real. With murder and voodoo magic lining the pages, Something Strange and Deadly captivates readers through incredible characters and shocking revelations. Despite danger at every corner, I wouldn’t mind joining Eleanor and the Spirit Hunters! They have a lot of unimaginable adventures ahead of them.
Date published: 2015-07-01
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A Good Read but Too Similar to the "Infernal Devices" Trilogy I enjoyed Susan Dennard's efforts, but was struck from the very beginning by how similar some of the book's elements are to Cassandra Clare's "Infernal Devices" books. Heroine searching for missing her brother? Check. A mysterious group of "hunters"? Check (Dennard's Spirit-Hunters vs. Clare's Shadow Hunters). An attractive, vain and somewhat silly female friend? Check. Two male leads: rough-around-the-edges love interest and a cultured, kind and intelligent friend? Check and check. The fact that this book is also a period piece also doesn't help. Despite these similarities, Dennard has crafted an enjoyable read. Eleanor is a pragmatic, intelligent and wry female character who has outgrown her cage. Her family, once prosperous, are now struggling to maintain appearances and Eleanor is tired of pretending to courteous to those she doesn't care for. I liked Daniel, the unapologetically blunt, charming and loyal male lead. Joseph is the educated, kind and gentlemanly leader of the group, and I really appreciated that he was Creole. In fact, I respect that Dennard has incorporated visible minority characters. Jie is the third member of the group, but I'm waiting to see her character bloom hopefully in the latter books. This is an enjoyable series to read, but the overlap between Dennard's books with Clare's is distracting.
Date published: 2015-06-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beautifully written and thrilling Something Strange and Deadly was an exciting thrill ride with a bit of something for everyone. I haven’t jumped on the zombie-craze bandwagon yet, but from the moment I heard about this book - and saw its unbelievably beautiful cover - I was intrigued and knew I had to read it. I loved Eleanor. She was a misfit in her own life - she was unlike the other girls her age, she was stifled under her mother’s harsh and watchful eye, and she didn’t care about fashion and appearances and all the other things girls of her station were supposed to care about. She was innocent and protected in a lot of ways, but she was also spirited and more forward-thinking than a lot of the people around her. It made for a really interesting balance within her character, and I enjoyed watching her develop and learn. The secondary characters added life and intrigue to the story. Eleanor’s mother, while I do believe she loved her daughter in her own strange way, was selfish and obsessed with appearances, and she used Eleanor in ways that made my blood boil. Then there was Clarence, the brother of one of Eleanor’s ‘friends’ and the young man Mrs. Fitt hoped Eleanor would marry because he came from a good family and could be their salvation from financial ruin. I have to admit, there was something about Clarence that drew me in - he was mysterious and sometimes irritating, and the tense interactions between him and Eleanor were often amusing. My favourite characters other than Eleanor were the trio of Spirit-Hunters (a group tracking a powerful necromancer who was controlling the Dead) - Daniel, Joseph, and Jie. They were each special in their own way, and they each had scenes with Eleanor that made me love them. They added such diversity to the story with their own talents and distinct personalities, and I especially enjoyed the interactions between Eleanor and Daniel. They hated each other at first, but it slowly developed into something more - grudging respect and admiration, a desire to protect each other, and maybe a little something more. Something Strange and Deadly was thrilling, gruesome, and exciting. The plot itself was tightly woven with moments of humour and romance, but always an underlying sense of tension and danger. I was both terrified and fascinated at the notion of Dead, along with the malevolent spirit and the necromancer. The writing was absolutely beautiful, and Eleanor’s voice, along with the setting, felt very authentic. When I read an historic novel, I like to be transported to that time and place, and that was definitely the case with this book. The dialogue, Eleanor’s inner commentary, and the descriptions of everything felt bang on, and I have to give Ms Dennard major kudos for that. Overall, Something Strange and Deadly was a beautifully written story with diverse characters, a plot that thrills and chills, a mystery that will keep you guessing, a hint of romance and humour, and enough action to make your heart race. With a bittersweet ending that left me heartbroken because of innocence lost and painful lessons learned, this must-read book has me yearning for its sequel to find out what will happen to Eleanor next.
Date published: 2012-10-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Zombies + Steampunk = a winning combination I hadn't heard much about Something Strange and Deadly before I stumbled across it. I knew it was paranormal in nature and had a bit of historical twist to it. I definitely wasn't expecting such a fabulous steampunk-esque zombie romp, that I could easily read over and over again. By far my favourite thing about this novel was the characters. Particularly Eleanor. She was often finding herself in hot water due to her stubborn nature. I may not be facing the walking dead but I can definitely relate to that! But even through her stubbornness she was fiercely loyal and willing to put herself in danger time and time again in order to help others. She was a respectable and admirable character and the story was richer because of her. I would be lying, however, if I said Eleanor was the only character that interested me. Because I knew from the first moment Daniel walked onto the scene that I adored him. He's intelligent, handsome, good with his hands. He's got a bit of an attitude but he brave and compassionate - even if he won't admit it. If you're looking for a new leading man to fall in love with, he's your man! All these characters were smack dab in a beautiful and vivid setting. It's old school Victorian style gave the novel a more haunted feel and it mixed just the right amount of steampunk elements to make Something Strange and Deadly unique and interesting. Like all good settings, Susan Dennard's 1876 Philadelphia, enhanced the story without distracting from it. I will admit that the storyline is fairly predictable. It follows a pretty standard formula and the outcome won't be a surprise but there are still a few good surprises and overall it is an incredibly fun and entertaining read. Final recommendation: Highly recommended for steampunk fans and those who loved Lia Habel's Dearly Departed.
Date published: 2012-08-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Hooks You Right From the Start! Find more reviews at: www.eyesonthepages.blogspot.ca Eleanor isn't your typical 18th century kind of girl. Not only does she have social status, money and family problems, but she also has to deal with the Dead. That may just happen to have her brother held captive. As a result, Eleanor decides to seek out the help of the Spirit-Hunters despite everyone's talk against the low-class scallywags. Something Strange and Deadly hooked my right from the start. Once I started, I found it extremely hard to put down, and when I did I couldn't stop thinking about it. Every single character had depth and the plot pacing was fantastic. The only real problem I had with this book was its setting. Eleanor didn't really seem to fit into her 18th century, high-class role. I don't just mean in the sense that she considered herself a misfit, but I just found her too different right off the bat. And the weird thing is, no one seemed to look down on her for it. While her family was outcast-ed for having to fake their wealth, I don't think Eleanor as a character was really as much of an outcast as she made herself out to be. It may have been better if Eleanor had been from the low-class straight from the get-go. I feel like her character would have fit better there. But aside from that, this book really was fantastic! The ending wrapped up everything nice and neat for you, yet still had you yearning for the next book in the series. I definitely can't wait for Dennard's next book!
Date published: 2012-08-06

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Editorial Reviews

A wonderfully brisk pace sweeps readers into an intriguing mystery. Eleanor serves as a highly entertaining guide and readers will find themselves settling in among the undead just fine.