Hello my Weirdos! Yes, It is again time for another book review, this time featuring Something Strange and Deadly by the lovely Susan Dennard.
As I'm sure you've figured out by now, I am quite a fan of Susan's, and think of her as sort of a twin of mine. I have never met her personally, but I feel like our fun-loving, humorous personalities are a lot alike. Not only that, but our writing styles are much the same as well.
It's been a few months since I read this book, so let's cross our fingers and hope I can still write a decent review on it. 😜
What I Didn't Like:
I'm not usually a fan of the gothic genre, mostly because my brain is wired to think ghosts and things of that sort are silly, so I was both pleased and disappointed by Something Strange and Deadly. I found the characters and the plot to be intriguing, but a huge part of what I feel should be felt in every story was missing:The suspense. Whether it was the fact that I find zombies and necromancy to be silly, or the fact that they were possibly written in a way that doesn't come across to the reader as being frightening, the result is much the same. I simply wasn't on the edge of my seat for any part pertaining to the "walking dead". The only scene I found suspenseful was when Eleanor and Daniel went to the factory, and it is one of my favorite scenes.
Speaking of Daniel and Eleanor, what a couple, right? Yes and no. Personally, I thought that Daniel Sheridan was very charming and, frankly, a cutie. However, I did not think that he and Eleanor were compatible. They just didn't click somehow. As for the second young beau, Clarence, I wish he hadn't died. I understand that sometimes the death of a character is necessary for the story to progress, but I didn't feel like Clarence's was. Not to mention, it was a bit predictable.
I was able to predict things that were going to happen over 50 pages before they actually did, including Clarence's death, the sparked love between Daniel and Eleanor, the fact that Clarence was Junior all along, and the brother's connection with the necromancy.
Eleanor herself was an issue for me. She came across to me as being dense and weak, even though she was brave. It was a confusing mixture. Her mother was a straight up bitch throughout the entire book, which I found to be a bad image of mothers, and not the greatest way of portraying a character, even if they are never supposed to be seen as the "good guy". I'll give the benefit of the doubt; maybe the mother becomes more understanding in the next book, but what happens if a reader picks up the first book and decides not to get the next? Your objective has failed.
Depressing as it is, I'm shipping Claranor even as Clarence is dead. How sad is that??
What I Liked:
Susan's witty personality shines like a star throughout the book. Her characters constantly had me laughing out loud with their snarky remarks and attitudes, and she hit the nail on the head during every aspect of character emotion, a feat that I have yet to master.
The Virtue Sisters were incredible. Somehow, even though they were complete brats and reminded me a little of my own sister, I was always looking forward to when Eleanor would run into them again.
Conclusion: This book receives 4 stars out of five - well done!
I hate picking apart books that I love, and as I re-read what I just wrote, I realize I sound like a terrible hater about a book that I love, by an author that I love. I truly do love this book, and I have ordered a signed copy of the next book, A Darkness Strange and Lovely, and I can't wait to read it!
Also, be sure to visit Susan's website, blog, and twitter pages! She has recently released the cover of the first book of her new Witchlands series, which I am dying to get my hands on!
Thanks for reading! And as always: Stay weird!