Something Strange and Deadly – Spoiler Free Book Review

“The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.”
“And the foolish can cite Shakespeare.”
Susan Dennard, Something Strange and Deadly


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 the maddeningly stubborn yet handsome Daniel, the situation becomes dire. And now, not only is her reputation on the line, but her very life may hang in the balance.


If you’ve read Truthwitch by Susan Dennard than you have a good idea of how she writes.

It’s very world first, characters second. But because she develops her worlds so well the characters develop with it and are influenced by it, which in turn just creates this beautiful swirling development of a story.

That is the only way to describe Something Strange and Deadly. It’s this beautiful world, set in late 19th century Pennsylvania where necromancy can be very real — and Dennard does a beautiful job of making it so.

Every character in this book was important and weirdly enough I loved every single one of them, which is unusual for me. Dennard does a fantastic job of throwing away the damsel in distress trope and creates Eleanor Fitt, a misfit to her town and family and a general badass. She’s a refreshing character, for she cares nothing about marriage (I mean she is 16) and is flustered by a boy in a way that most 16 year olds could identify with even in this period of time.

Daniel will make you love him with his candor and attitude and Joseph’s refined creole French dialogue brings him to life while Jie is the young woman you wish you could be — carefree and willing to break the rules if breaking the rules is what is best for the greater good.

I loved this book. I love Dennard. And I just love the world she’s created.

I gave it 5/5 stars and I’m itching to buy Something Strange and Lovely. My bank account is begging me to refrain though so I will wait.

Have you read this series? What did you think? If not, have you ever considered? 



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