Zombie Steampunk is Not All Cracked Up to Be

November & December Reviews


“Philadelphia 1876. The Dead are rising. A zombie delivers a letter to Eleanor Fitt. Whoever controls the Dead Army has her brother. She avoids her mother’s choice of husband for the lab of Spirit Hunters, including the maddeningly stubborn yet handsome Daniel. The situation threatens her reputation, and the lives of everyone in the city.”


After countless hype for Susan Dennard’s upcoming Truthwitch, I decided to hop on her debut novel, Something Strange and Deadly so I could at least join in on the excitement on her newest book. I knew I was going to enjoy SS&D because of its overall idea: steampunk zombies. Heck yes! I love the Victorian era with parasols and corsets, and add zombies into the mix? I’m all in. While SS&D is an entertaining read and thoroughly enjoyable, I can’t say I’m going to continue with the series.

SS&D is a solid story; what makes the story great is the characters that Dennard creates. Eleanor herself is not your typical Victorian proper young lady – she’s feisty, rebellious, and has a backbone. I love how brave she is and how she values her own opinions and most importantly, her status as a woman. Furthermore, she is later accompanied by Daniel, the love interest I grew to love *swoons*, and Jie, the little badass ninja girl. Dennard crafts these tangible characters that are alive and keeps the story going.

Otherwise, I found the zombie aspect to be fun but a little on the weak side. It felt cheesy to me during a lot of the scenes and not scary. The conflict is your typical “trustworthy guy turned power-hungry” and I felt rather bored with the plot since it was so predictable.

I liked SS&D, I really did. I just didn’t enjoy it enough to continue with the series. I definitely would if I didn’t have a monstrous TBR yelling at me! The characters in SS&D are super fun and realistic; if not for the mediocre plot, I would jump into book two immediately.


4 thoughts on “Zombie Steampunk is Not All Cracked Up to Be”

  1. I just learned about this book a while ago when I was browsing book outlet and I really wanted to give it a go because I love zombies. And I think I’ll like the main character because of how you described her. Nice review!! 🙂


  2. Honestly, this was the best book in the trilogy. I wasn’t a huge fan of the sequels, despite really loving the characters in this, but I will read anything else Dennard writes and am definitely so, so excited for her upcoming series. Your points are so valid, though, Jen, so thanks for this honest review!


    1. Hmm, I’m kind of glad I’m not continuing the series if SS&D is the best one! Dennard can definitely write though, so crossing my fingers for us with Truthwitch 🙂


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