Friday, April 27, 2012
*I received an ARC of this book from Harper Collins Publishers which in no way reflects my review.*
Since I first read about this new book from new author, Susan Dennard, I immediately wanted to read it. With some luck, I got an ARC from the publisher and was on my way to reading SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY...and loving every minute of it!
The story takes place in late nineteenth century Philadelphia. The Dead are rising from their dank graves and it's up to sixteen-year old Eleanor Fitt and a rag-tag trio of Spirit-Hunters to stop them.
After receiving a mysterious note from her missing brother Elijah (handed to her from a walking corpse, no less!), Eleanor is worried he's in grave danger (no pun intended!) She soon meets Joseph, the leader of this band of Spirit-Hunters, who's a handsome, brave young man with dark secrets. Daniel, who also harbors his own emotionally crippling secrets, (and who's somewhat aloofness and stubborn nature is no match for Eleanor's strong mentality) assists with developing incredible gadgets and inventions that helps them with their fight against evil. Jie, a strong, street-smart Chinese immigrant handles a lot of the hand-to-hand combat. Eleanor soon realizes they may be her only hope in finding her brother and to help her defeat the malevolant spirit that was unleashed and now after her.
Eleanor's a strong-willed girl who was a refreshing character in YA. Even though she and her mother have fallen on hard times since her father's death and the disappearance of her brother, she remains resilient, even when her mother attempts to marry her off to the most eligible bachelor who can bring them financial freedom. I loved how she was able to stand up to her socially snobby counterparts, the Virtue Sisters, even though she must maintain the appearance of being equal to them. No matter what, Eleanor understands she must make her own choices, no matter how painful the consequences may be. She must follow her heart and her wits.
I thoroughly enjoyed SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY! It was a refreshing, exciting read unlike anything I've read before, full of fascinating characters in a vision of Philadelphia I've never imagined before (since most Victorian-era books almost always take place in England or other parts of Europe....it was a nice change to see this era in a U.S. city). Everything from the details of the lush Victorian homes and drab city streets, to the claustrophobic, yet beautiful dresses and corsets the women were forced to crush their rib cages into, made me love the book even more.
If I had to find one downfall (and there'd only be one!) it would be having to wait more than a year to read the sequel! It'll definitely be one to put on pre-order ASAP!