Author: Susan DennardEdition: HardcoverRating: 3.5 Stars
Confession time: I have a paperback copy but I decided to just buy a hardcover copy anyways because I am a glutton. The paperback copy has been sitting on my shelf for several years, now, and I've always said I would read it next month when indeed that next month never came. Now that they're all getting new covers (just as pretty as the original in my opinion) I was spurred to finally pick it up. And I'm kinda glad I did.
Something Strange and Deadly is a zombie steampunk set in Philadelphia and follows Eleanor Fitt, the youngest member of a once wealthy family that has fallen on hard times. When she discovers that her brother has been kidnapped by a necromancer she begins a search that leads her to the Spirit Hunters (who are kinda like Ghost Hunters) and into a romance with Clarence, someone who's shady past makes it hard for her to trust.
Steampunk is my favorite genre, for reasons, and while this didn't go all the way with most steampunk elements it did brush up against that genre and for that I did appreciate it. However, I was expecting more from the world building in general. The zombie element of the story, though, which I honestly would consider part of the setting, was so well done! I wasn't completely convinced right off the bat but by the end I was legitimately afraid of these zombies and how brutal they were.
As for the characters, besides Eleanor and Daniel, to an extent, everyone felt kinda like a stock character for most of the time. Again, near the end, things started to feel more realistic and I even began to like everyone more, but I wish the development of the characters had gone further. Hopefully the next book will help remedy this.
My favorite part, though, and what surprised met the most with this book, was the ending. Oftentimes the consequences for actions, whether heroic or villainous, don't always seem realistic, but this book really did manage to grab the real consequence and make them happen. I won't say what, but the consequences did end up being quite the twist and I look forward to seeing how the rest of the series will progress after this twist.
It's not perfect, and in fact a little shallow, but it begins to make up for it near the end and things look like they'll be looking up for the rest of the series.