I’ve been hearing so much about Susan Dennard’s newest book, Truthwitch. It’s everywhere. Her clans are always on twitter talking about it. In my Birthday Giveaway it was one of the most requested books. I’m not in a Clan but I have participated in her #clanchat on twitter on #truthwitchtuesday several times. I had never read a book by Susan Dennard and I wasn’t able to read Truthwitch yet. When I read this, it wasn’t out yet. I figured the best way to try it would be to see if I even like her writing style. So I tried…
Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard
Series: Something Strange and Deadly #1
Published by Harper Collins Harper Teen on July 24th 2012
Genres: Gaslamp Fantasy, Historical, steampunk
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.
I really liked the style. I love steampunk and gaslamp fantasy so when I read the synopsis I felt sure that this was an easy slam dunk for me. Right away, I loved theÂ combination of historical and paranormal fantasy. The setting was a huge positive for me.
Everything else fell really flat for me. The main character, Eleanor, seemed like a caricature instead of a person. She had one main feature, she was odd. She didn’t fit into the society.Â I don’t think I’ve ever complained about a character wanting a different life than the one planned for her. However, it didn’t feel like there was anything else that set her apart. I never connected with her so I didn’t care whether she succeeded or failed. I knew she was going to be fine because she had to be. I was never worried about her.
I also felt like the story was very predictable. At no point was I surprised, which was sad because there is a huge twist in the end. I was so disappointed because I knew what the twist had to be from the very beginning of the book. The story and characters didn’t distract me from the knowledge either. If I predict the twist but I love the story and the characters, it doesn’t bother me. However, this wasn’t the case here.
The one slight ray of light and the reason I will probably read book two is Daniel. I loved Daniel and I really wanted to know more about him. I thought the little bit of romance between Daniel and Eleanor was adorable. He fell victim to the trope where he continually pushes Eleanor away because he doesn’t want her to get hurt. However, I could forgive that because they were so darn cute together.
Long story short, I’m not hooked yet but I’m also not giving up. Maybe book 2 will have that extra something. Or at least more Daniel!