Reading Level: Young Adult
Length: 416 pages
Release Date: July 23, 2013
Stand Alone or Series: 2nd book in the Something Strange and Deadly series
Rating: 4/5 stars
This is the second book in the Something Strange and Deadly series by Dennard. The third book, Strange and Ever After, is set to release in July of 2014. I enjoyed this book, I didn’t think it was quite as good as the first one… but I still enjoyed reading it.
The Spirit Hunters have fled Philadelphia, leaving Eleanor to pick up the pieces. Eleanor is struggling to make ends meet and pay for her mother’s care and is being scorned by many of her former friends. Eleanor can handle all of this until she sees Marcus again, then she know she needs help. Eleanor flees to Paris to join the Ghost Hunters and beg their help. When she gets there she finds that Jie, Joseph and Daniel have bigger problems…iin form of the Walking Dead.
This was a well done sequel in this series. The book was easy to read and I enjoyed the story. The only downside was I felt like not a ton happened throughout the book.
The best part of the book was Eleanor exploring her newfound necromancer powers. She knows she is walking a fine line between dark and light. However she starts to learn a lot more about her powers when she meets the mysterious Oliver on her boat to Paris. Oliver was mentioned in many of her brothers letters and now Eleanor finally knows what and who he is.
Eleanor is a fun character to read about. She is feminine, yet gutsy. She is constantly struggling with the decision of suppressing her magic, or learning to use it to its fullest extent. The Ghost Hunters abhor necromancers, so that makes things even tougher for her.
Daniel isn’t in the story as much as I would like. Instead Eleanor spends a lot of time with Oliver. I am not going to talk about Oliver much because I don’t want to spoil anything. Let’s just say he’s not a romantic interest for Eleanor….but he is definitely a complication.
Most of the story revolves around finding out who or what is behind the murders in Paris and why the Walking Dead are being amassed. All of this ends up tying in with the overall story involving Marcus.
The story is fairly predictable. At times I thought there was a bit too much foreshadowing. It was pretty easy to figure out who was behind the murders in Paris right away; the book would have been a bit better if the mystery had been a bit less spelled out for the reader.
The steampunk element in this story was a bit lighter than the last book in the series, mainly because Daniel was absent much of the story. This story focused more on necromancy. Still there are some steampunk elements. Daniel building Eleanor a clockwork hand and Daniel flies a dirigible around.
Overall there is some great stuff in here and this was a fun read. I love the setting and the characters. The mystery was well done and was contained, as well as tying in with the overall story involving Marcus. I did feel like not a ton happened in this book though, and I thought the story was a bit too predictable. I can’t wait to see how things tie up in the third and final book, Strange and Ever After. I would recommend this book to those who like young adult reads with a steampunkish gothic feel to them.
If you like this book or steampunk YA in general, I would also recommend Caitlin Kittredge’s Iron Thorn series, Bethany Griffin’s Masque of the Red Death series, or Gail Carriger’s Boarding School series.