Ghostfacers! of the Victorian Age (Something Strange and Deadly – A Book Review)

Something Strange and Deadly (Something Strange and Deadly #1)
Author: Susan Dennard
Published: 2012

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader - Something Strange and Deadly

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There’s something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia…

Eleanor Fitt’s life is complicated. Her brother has gone missing. Her mother is breathing down her neck for her to find a rich suitor to repair their fortune and reputation. In a world where necromancy and running from the dead is so common. With technology and science growing, the hope that the dead can be extinguished and defeated is no longer just a dream.

Eleanor seeks out the help of the Spirit-Hunters, who help defend the city from supernatural forces, to find her brother. At first, they turn her away, but as it turns out, her brother may have something to do with all of the dead rising. Working together, they’ll figure out who’s causing the dead to rise and bring an end to the vengeful uprising in the city.


This book marks 22 out of 25 authors, from my New Year’s resolution, that I’ve never read from before. This was a random and also a chance to get outside of my usual box.


First things first, the cover of this book is gorgeous! Mystifying with a chrome-like shine and the mysterious Eleanor front and center. The gears surrounding the tree really gave way to the Victorian era and industrial age as it also gave way to darkness. Just stunning.

Scarlett Reader

The world building was rather interesting, especially since there is a specific time period. The Victorian era is interesting because technology takes a leap, but the class system in which women are still at the bottom of the pit and considered fragile glass statues that are utterly useless is still very much in play. The delightful twist? ZOMBIES and GHOSTS! I thought that was really interesting. The supernatural is an everyday occurrence with procedures on how to handle it.

Scarlett Reader

I hit a snag with the characters. I wanted to be interested in Eleanor and Daniel and Joseph and the others characters, but I couldn’t. The way they interacted and acted was unrealistic and overdramatic. In some cases, it just came off as confusing. I couldn’t get a full read on their relationships between each other. If I had a favorite, it’s Jie. She’s spry and sneaky and takes no crap from people. My least favorite was definitely Eleanor’s mother, but only because of how she’s dependent on her daughter getting married for a better lifestyle. The woman is disgusting in how she doesn’t care for the welfare of her daughter. She only wants the reputation, riches, and materialist things.

On a side note: The Spirit-Hunter gave me Ghostfacers vibes. I was giggling to myself a few times over because all I could hear was their them song while imagining Sam and Dean Winchester rolling their eyes. A Supernatural thing.


The snag with the characters I think came from the style the book was written in. I could get a grasp on it. Though it was comical in places, the story was quite vague. I just wasn’t convinced. There was so much focus on the word dead and rot. It became redundant sadly. It felt as if vocabulary relating to the time era was just plopped in there and it diminished the story.



I enjoyed the book, but not as much as I hoped to. Not enough to finish the series. I was too thrown off by the style and redundancy. This book just didn’t reach geek-out territory.



“What did the stories say? The Dead hunt endlessly until they’re laid to rest or their bodies are destroyed.” (p. 3)


More to come soon…



P.S. Song Today? Love is to Die by Warpaint.


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