Something Strange and Deadly
(Something Strange and Deadly #1)
By Susan Dennard
About: 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 rating: 4.5/5
This is definitely one of those series that you can't help but fall in love with. I've read loads of books about vampires, werewolves, demons and faeries but none about Zombies aka the walking dead.
Something strange and deadly is set in the past, where ladies wear petticoats and hold parasols, and must be chaperoned when going out. Although Eleanor lives in such a time she can't hep but be rebellious. Her brother was supposed to come back but has been delayed, and Eleanor thinks the Dead have Elijah. And she must get him back. In order to do that, Eleanor contacts the Spirit Brothers, without allowing her mother to find out. Firstly, because her mother would go hysterical if she found out Elijah was missing, and secondly because it would ruin Eleanor's chance at getting married into a wealthy family if she was found consorting with such low class people. Eleanor's mother is very concerned about appearances and is trying her utmost to get attention from the wealthiest families, even if it means calling spirits through séances, which may not be the most sensible thing considering the cemeteries are awaking without their help!
The Spirit Watchers are an interesting group, made of Joseph, Daniel and Jie. There's a Chinese girl pretending to be a boy because it is easier to be a boy than a girl in these times. Daniel and Eleanor argue and debate a fair amount, but soon enough Eleanor realises she has feelings for Daniel although his reactions are confusing her, and she has way too much to worry about without Daniel adding to her problems.
Loved the ending, and I pretty much guessed who was the necromancer but it was good to know I was right! Now I'm reading book two, and loving that too.
If you've read Something Strange and Deadly, share your comments. I would love to hear from you.
"Really." He spoke it as a statement, and frowned. "You know, eavesdropping is most unladylike."
My jaw dropped. "Eavesdropping? I was doing no such thing."
"Certainly not, Mr. Wilcox. And false accusations are most un...most un-manly-like." The retort was a stuttered failure, but I puffed out my chest anyway. "What were you doing outside?"
Mary gripped my corset laces. "Inhale."
I sucked in, and the corset's whalebones cinched in. "Too tight!"
"Too fat is more like it." She gave one final tug before deftly knotting the laces.
Free brunch, no chaperone, and a few new friends. Life was the shiniest it had been in years. All that remained to make it perfect was bringing Elijah home.
"Though I am curious why you're so keen to hide a trip for fresh air."
"Yes, well, that is my private affair." He spoke lightly, but his eyes were hard.
"And," I continued, ignoring him, "why did you have that newspaper?"
"Miss Fitt, you know curiosity gets men killed."
I grinned. "Then I daresay it's good I'm a woman."
He groaned- an amused sound. "No wonder Allie finds you confusing. You've a retort for everything."
"Of course." I nodded curtly. More and more strange confessions were piling up between Clarence and me. If I didn't watch myself, he would soon be uncovering mine.
"Can you please keep quiet, Miss Fitt?"
I gulped and nodded. Though I didn't understand Clarence's panic or his secrets, I knew he would tell no one what we'd seen. Yet someone needed to know-at the very least the Spirit-Hunters. It was their job to deal with such horrors.
I could keep quiet. But that didn't mean I would.
He sighed. "Can't say I'm surprised you were here. You have the curiosity of a cat and the common sense of a goldfish." He stared at me for a moment, the muscles in his jaw pulsing.
"Maybe next time I won't have to rescue you."
"Rescue me?" I squawked. "Rescue me from what?"
"From yourself." He drummed his fingers against the jar and then shoved it in his pocket. "If you interfere in my affairs again I'll personally feed you to the Dead."
I scoffed. And if you ever get in my way, I'll personally feed you to my mother.
I smirked. "Are you jealous?"
"Pshaw. Don't be stupid." She flipped a dark curl over her shoulder. "I would never be jealous of you. Though" - she dropped her voice to a whisper - "you will have to tell me how you coloured your cheeks."
I gritted my teeth. "It's quite simple, Allison. It's called sunshine."
But I didn't care. It was lovely, and I popped it open. A slip of paper fluttered out from the folds of lace.
Sorry you lost yours.
A thrill of pleasure ran down my body, and I couldn't stop the grin dancing on my lips. For all that Daniel hated me, maybe he liked me a little too.
"You had better cooperate, Eleanor. There are many lives at stake, including my own."
"The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose."
"And the foolish can cite Shakespeare," he snarled.
"And dire enough that we may need to silence that young man somehow. Your reputation is at stake here. Wounds will heal, grief will pass, but a reputation can never be recovered."
I squeezed my eyes shut and in a stilted voice quoted Shakespeare. "Reputation is an idle and most false imposition." I clung to the memorized words to keep my temper cool and my thoughts clear. "Oft got without merit and lost without deserving."
God, I wasn't ready to die. In a flash of awareness, I understood Clarence's wild determination to live. It's one thing to fear death, but it's another to fear the Dead.