Something Strange and Deadly – Review // Fun But Not Amazing

Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard
Book 1 in the Something Strange and Deadly trilogy
Genre: YA steampunk, apocalyptic
Pages: 388
Format: hardcover
Source: library
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository


plot: 15 out of 20
characters: 14 out of 20
setting: 20 out of 20
relationships: 12 out of 20
twists: 14 out of 20
75 out of 100

I loved Truthwitch, so I went into this aware that it was Susan’s debut but still with fairly high expectations. Some were met, and others weren’t. Something Strange and DeadlyΒ wasn’t an amazing or perfect book, but it was mostly entertaining. πŸ™‚

the plot

This book is a sort of mix between steampunk and apocalyptic, as it takes place in 1800’s Philadelphia but with more technology and also deals with zombies rising. Just a fun, average time, right? No? Okay then, moving on. I can definitely say the story is creative, as I’ve never read anything like it before. It was also entertaining, because while the content was quite the opposite of lighthearted, it felt like a light read to me. That doesn’t make me weird, does it? It probably does. Whatever. Hopefully you get it. πŸ˜‰

the characters

I was never quite sure what to make of Eleanor, and that hasn’t changed even after finishing the novel. She was part what I love in heroines, and part what I don’t. Meaning that she was brave and loyal and defied society’s expectations, but also a bit too stubborn for my tastes. I also thought that she had moments where she was a bit whiny or distracted by petty things. Don’t get me wrong, I understand why; her upbringing and the time period are more than enough of an explanation. She just…grated on my nerves, sometimes, I guess? Hopefully that makes sense. πŸ™‚

(Let’s see how many times I end up saying “hopefully” in this review.)

I also couldn’t make up my mind on Daniel. He had the typical demeanor of all those arrogant guys I love (*cough*Noah Shaw*cough*), but I didn’t love him. I didn’t hate him or anything like that, but to me it felt like his arrogance was different from other guys’. We’re going to pretend that makes sense because I don’t know how else to phrase that. But the point I’m trying to make is, basically, that he had a handful of chivalrous or amusing moments that made me like him, but was mostly just average. πŸ™‚

the setting

I did especially like the setting of this book. It takes place in Victorian times, and as far as I know this is the first story I’ve read set in the 1800’s outside of England. I found it to be very unique, and I liked reading about how the reality of the time was combined with the steampunk elements. πŸ™‚

the relationships

For once, the relationships in a book have rendered me speechless. I know, that never happens. Well, almost never. But anyway, I’m going to give this explaining thing a try. I really liked Eleanor and Jie’s friendship, particularly because (a) it wasn’t shallow or only for appearances/reputations and (b) Eleanor didn’t really have any other friends. Her differences from other girls made her a bit of a misfit, so to speak. (If you’ve read this you’ll get the joke.)

Eleanor and her mother didn’t get along, as is expected with a traditional woman and a rebellious (for lack of a better word) girl. Maybe it’ll improve later, I don’t know.

As for Eleanor and Daniel, well, any YA reader knows a romance is bound to come up, especially because there’s such a difference in their societal positions. Normally I’d be all for it, but this time I only was sometimes. I know that’s weird for me, but hopefully it makes sense, because I (oh-so-conveniently) can’t think of a better explanation. πŸ˜‰

the twists

I think talking about twists is always the hardest for me, because I have to convey my feelings without giving anything away. It’s definitely harder for books with a ton of twists, but less crazy ones can still be a challenge. In my opinion, this book falls into the latter category. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t predictable or anything like that, but nothing truly took me by surprise. I went in expecting a roller-coaster but didn’t quite get one. I really hope it doesn’t sound harsh when phrased like that, but it’s true. Despite that, though, I still enjoyed the story. πŸ˜‰


All in all, Something Strange and DeadlyΒ was a fun read but just didn’t quite meet my expectations. I may or may not continue the trilogy, but regardless I’ll recommend it: if you like steampunk and/or apocalyptic reads and are maybe looking for a happy medium, give this a shot. πŸ™‚

my rating: 3Β½ out of 5 stars

Have you read this book? Is it on your TBR? If you have read it, what did you think? I’d love to know! Tell me in the comments! πŸ™‚

I got a post up today (Friday) like I wanted, and now I’m off to bed because it’s after 11 pm. Tomorrow I plan toΒ start Incarnate by Jodi Meadows. πŸ™‚ I hope you all have a fabulous day/night! ❀

Until next time…

HOG post end

Come visit me! πŸ˜€





3 thoughts on “Something Strange and Deadly – Review // Fun But Not Amazing

  1. I totally agree with you! I think I gave this book a four star review, but I definitely understand where you’re coming from. It was a super fun and unique read though!

    Liked by 1 person

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