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Hi it's Kat again! Two weeks ago, I took over and posted a quirky introduction and told you that I'd be back. So here I am! As promised, I'm here to talk about Susan Dennard's SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY.
It's a cover that makes one wonder, hm? At a glance, it may seem simplistic, but it will draw you back. It generates a lot of questions. Why is she so pale? For that matter, who is she? That tree is pretty creepy looking, what's up with that? And that gradient! Definitely beautiful and deadly looking. There are also gears in the background, and it took me a second to actually realize that they are there. Steampunk theme? To top it all off, they made sure to put a quote about the book from Marie Lu smack in the middle. I really feel as though this is a cover done right. Let's peek at the jacket:
Title: SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY
Author: Susan Dennard
Release Date: July 24, 2012
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 the maddeningly stubborn yet handsome Daniel, the situation becomes more dire. And now, not only is her reputation on the line, but her very life may hang in the balance.
What a teaser! That was an excellent little preview, because this book has it all! A cup and a half of suspense, three quarters a cup of action, a teaspoon of romance, half a cup of gore, and one ripe, thrilling plot line. But most of all, one of my absolute favorite things - a BAMF heroin garnish!
All of that is whisked together and left to stand in the 1870's in Philadelphia during a Centennial expo. Imagine happy crowds of families and groups of scholars, splurging on tourism in Philadelphia in the 1870's, laughing and learning, when a blaring dead alarm goes off and the walking dead show up. BAM! You are smack in the middle of a great action/thriller scene. The great news? That is the feel of this entire novel. I felt as though a majority of this story was smack in the middle of an action/thriller scene and I absolutely loved it. Dennard really knows how to keep a story rolling along with your blood pumping, that is for sure. This is zombies done right. Fantastic!
She also has a way with keeping you guessing who is quite swoon-worthy, and his name is Daniel Sheridan. He is a mysterious and handsome part of the Spirit Hunters, and there is a lot more to Daniel than meets the eye. (That's why he got his own novella, A DAWN MOST WICKED! Definitely check it out, however I recommend reading SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY first, as the endings to both tie into each other.) At a glance, Daniel is stubborn and rude, but our leading lady Eleanor is not afraid of him - she is more concerned with the letter a walking corpse brought her from her missing brother, Elijah, and the totally creepy, bone-chilling spirit that has shown itself in her family's home. Eleanor needs Daniel and his companions, Jie Chen and Joseph Boyer, to find her brother and save her family. Personally, there is no Spirit Hunter that I do not like. Jie is a clever force to be reckoned with, and Joseph is charming and intellectual. The Spirit Hunters and Eleanor are a good, lovable group of go-getters!
But the Spirit Hunters already have their hands full with the walking dead. Eleanor has to find a way to convince them that all of these events are related and equally important all by herself. Her mother wants nothing to do with the dead; she only has attention for Clarence Wilcox, who has suddenly shown interest in Eleanor. Clarence Wilcox and his family are popular and wealthy, which is all Mrs. Fitt wants for herself and Eleanor. So no help there. In fact, Eleanor is quickly annoyed by the attention. All she wants is for Elijah to get home safely.
So Eleanor decides that she must defy her mother in order to save her and Elijah. This is what I really loved about SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY: the evolution of Eleanor herself. Once she makes the decision to find the Spirit Hunters and save Elijah without her mother, she matures as the words fly by. Eleanor goes from an unsure, faint-of-heart young girl into a tough, dead hunting, parasol-wielding young lady. As the words go by and she matures, however, the going gets tougher. More dead continue to rise, and the stakes get higher as Eleanor stumbles into a HUGE secret about a group Clarence may be involved with called the Gas Ring. This mysterious Gas Ring holds the key to tying everything together; Elijah's disappearance, the dead rising, and the creepy spirit's appearance. But how?
Find out yourself! Grab this book; it's awesome! And if you like it, check Susan Dennard out on twitter. She tweets a lot of helpful writing material for those young writers among us. Also, she and Sarah J. Maas, author of THRONE OF GLASS, are frequently going back and forth with each other about funny things. Speaking of those two together, they're doing a totally awesome and free sci-fi collaboration on tumblr called THE STAR KILLERS CYCLE. (WARNING: VERY MATURE CONTENT & ADULT LANGUAGE!)
That's all for now! I'll be back on Friday the 13th, with something fun & spooky to break away from the Holiday cheer. It's a stressful time of year, and personally I'm not over Halloween yet. Happy reading!
|The epic meeting of the two Kats!|
Kat Meets Kat Zhang (And Susan Dennard,
Sarah J. Maas, and Erin Bowman!) at YAGB!
Check out our exclusive full audio recording from the tour
to feel like you were there with Kat, Bonnie, and the authors!