Daniel Sheridan is an engineer’s apprentice on a haunted Mississippi steamer known as the Sadie Queen. His best friend–the apprentice pilot, Cassidy Cochran–also happens to be the girl he’s pining for … and the captain’s daughter. But when it looks like the Sadie Queen might get taken off the river, Daniel and Cassidy have to do whatever they can to stop the ghosts that plague the ship.
Fortunately, there happens to be a Creole gentleman on board by the name of Joseph Boyer–and he just might be able to help them.
Did you know Susan Dennard think she’s terrible at writing novellas?
I learned this when Windwitch came out and I was debating when to read the A Dawn Most Wicked — a novella set right after Something Strange and Deadly — and she fretted over whether I would even like it.
Obviously she’s lost her mind because I loved it.
But, I get why she thinks she’s not good at them. She said that she struggles to pare down her writing. It’s why we get such immersive and expansive stories like Truthwitch from her.
But she’s wrong. She’s not bad at writing novella’s. Or, at least, maybe it’s better to say that she gets it right for the read. A Dawn Most Wicked is a wonderful story. It’s insightful and gives fans of SS&D a new look at the spirit hunters and how they began.
It’s short and sweet and so worth the read.
Daniel is the narrator and it really creates an interesting view of the character after the things you learn about him in SS&D. It also helped clarify who Daniel is. I had an idea that he was the mysterious genius from SS&D and A Dawn Most Wicked just builds into that and creates this solid character that I sometimes wanted to be the narrator for the entire series.
Also, Jie and her semi-backstory are in A Dawn Most Wicked and it was fantastic. She made such an impression from SS&D and still manages to steal the show in the scenes shes in.
I will say that if you plan on reading the novella, be sure to wait until after the first book in SS&D. It brings in some key details regarding the ending of the book and it really just works best as a companion to the first book.
So no, Dennard, you are not bad at telling the story of the spirit hunters. Maybe you struggled writing it, but the story itself is everything that I could have wanted (because lets be real, Daniel Sheridan is so cute and sweet).
I gave A Dawn Most Wicked 4/5 stars.
Have you read Something Strange and Deadly? Do you plan on reading the novella?