Author: Susan Dennard
Series: Something Strange and Deadly, Book 1
Release date: July 24, 2012
Published by: HarperTeen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Eleanor Fitt is just trying to hold it all together as her mother heaps on more and more pressure to marry a man with money, act the perfect lady of society even as her mother spends the last of their family's money on frivolous appearances, and find some one, any one, who will help her find her brother whom she adores who never arrived on the train like he was supposed to. When The Dead begin to deliver messages to her about her brother, Eleanor truly begins to panic and looks to the only people she believes can help, The Spirit-Hunters. Except they don't want her around and even seem angry that she's there...
but that doesn't stop Eleanor who's done trying to be someone she's not!
She's done waiting for someone else to help her and to fix her problems...so she pushes up her sleeves, puts on some trousers and boots and heads out with the Spirit-Hunters and..."Aims for the Knees!"
My thoughts: What an adventure! Are you kidding me!? 1876 Philadelphia and the dead are rising!? Holy moly! I had no idea that I would ever be ok with reading about zombies first of all until I accidentally read about them in Kelley Armstrong's The Awakening, and LOVED it! Now this one I knew what I was getting into but, just didn't realize it was going to start on page 1! Whoa! Talk about intense!
I really enjoyed all the sneakiness that Eleanor had to go through to get to The Spirit-Hunters and away from her mother. It was so much more realistic than other books that I've read where young ladies just walk away from their homes when they NEVER would have been able to. I really appreciated Susan's attention to detail about the times and conventions that were involved. It was perfection. There were just SO MANY details I truly adored! We do civil war reenacting (I know, we're bizarre!) so we do a lot of research on the times and the times just before and after the war. Susan did too and I was impressed. Well done!
One thing I really was wishing for that wasn't there, but probably had nothing to do with anything was that I desperately wanted pictures! I wanted pictures of the Exhibition Hall, the trains, the Laurel Hill Cemetery...all of the real items that were in the book would have been so cool to have true old tin-types, or sketches, of those in the book. That would have added so much to the book! I would have loved that! I'm not sure if I wanted more description of the buildings or what it was, but for some reason I just was wishing for this. Maybe it's because I adore history and all of our trips are arranged around what historical places we are going to be visiting (I know! We're bizarre! We've already discussed this!) So, maybe it's because I want to know where these places are and if they're real!? Are they?
Final thoughts: I cannot wait for book 2 so I can find out what adventures happen next for Eleanor and The Spirit-Hunters!
UPDATE THANKS TO SUSAN!
CHECK OUT THE AMAZING HISTORICAL PICTURES & INFORMATION ON HER SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY WEBSITE...
Thanks Susan! Love it!