Saturday, March 31, 2012

Review: Something Strange and Deadly

Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard
Released 7/24/2012

There’s something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia…

Eleanor Fitt has a lot to worry about. Her brother has gone missing, her family has fallen on hard times, and her mother is determined to marry her off to any rich young man who walks by. But this is nothing compared to what she’s just read in the newspaper—

The Dead are rising in Philadelphia.

And then, in a frightening attack, a zombie delivers a letter to Eleanor…from her brother.

Whoever is controlling the Dead army has taken her brother as well. If Eleanor is going to find him, she’ll have to venture into the lab of the notorious Spirit-Hunters, who protect the city from supernatural forces. But as Eleanor spends more time with the Spirit-Hunters, including their maddeningly stubborn yet handsome inventor, Daniel, the situation becomes dire. And now, not only is her reputation on the line, but her very life may hang in the balance

This is my first experience with Steampunk and Zombies. The gene in general is not necessarily to my tastes, but I am in LOVE with Something Strange and Deadly. The characters and plot were so well rounded, and the pacing so TIGHT, that it didn't feel like a 400 page novel.

Here's a short summary of what SS&D is about:

Eleanor Fitt lives in a world were it is not "uncommon" for the dead to occasionally rise. Lately, though, it's become a huge problem, and when a corpse delivers a letter to Eleanor from her brother, she is forced to make certain decisions. Her brother's life is at state, and she will stop at nothing to rescue him from the Necromancer that is reeking havoc on Philadelphia.

Are you interested now? Good, because now I can tell you all the things that I loved about SS&D.

First, the characters. Eleanor is an amazing protagonist. Some authors tend to make the plot "happen" to the character, but I feel that it's more enjoyable to see the protagonist take action and drive the plot forward. This is Eleanor to a T, when she's forced to take actions into her own hands to save her brother, Elijah. The twists and turns she takes you through will make your head spin (but in a good way of course). Then there's Daniel--ahhhh. Can we just take a moment to swoon?


Okay, swoon time is over. Now, I won't say much about Daniel, except that I'm very glad Susan Dennard left their relationship up-in-the-air. Their chemistry is spot-on, and it's definitely not a "love at first sight" thing (something I think we all can appreciate). I also have great respect for Susan for her attention to detail. I absolutely LOVED the historical background--it felt so REAL (something I'm sure was a result of extensive research). My only SLIGHT disappointment was that the "Spirit Hunters" weren't as "big" as I assumed they'd be. By the time I was halfway through the book, though, I forgot about that disappointment at let Susan's story speak for itself. Lastly, there was the issue with Daniel's past. I had no problem with it--only that he appeared to live a bit too freely under the noses of police and reporters to be believable. But mark my words, this is a debut you don't want to miss.

Something Strange and Deadly is filled with non-stop action, twists and turns, and amazing characters. It will make you laugh, smile, cheer, gasp, and gnaw at your cheek in fear. I eagerly anticipate the sequel.

OH! And thanks to Holly Dodson for hosting this FABULOUS ARC tour.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Storm

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly Meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine. Book bloggers present upcoming books they can’t wait to read and share their enthusiasm about new releases.
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So, what book am I looking forward to reading? There are many, but there's on particular debut that will be coming out next month. What is it? Storm by Brigid Kemmerer. If you want to know what it's about, read the description (taken from good reads)

Earth, Fire, Air, Water – they have more power than you dream. 

Ever since her ex-boyfriend spread those lies about her, Becca Chandler is suddenly getting all the guys—all the ones she doesn't want. Then she saves Chris Merrick from a beating in the school parking lot. Chris is different. Way different: he can control water—just like his brothers can control fire, wind, and earth. They’re powerful. Dangerous. Marked for death. 

And now that she knows the truth, so is Becca. 

Secrets are hard to keep when your life’s at stake. When Hunter, the mysterious new kid around school, turns up with a talent for being in the wrong place at the right time, Becca thinks she can trust him. But then Hunter goes head-to-head with Chris, and Becca wonders who’s hiding the most dangerous truth of all. 

The storm is coming . . .

And if case you missed it, Brigid recently posted the trailer on her blog. Check it out: 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Recommendation: The Assassin and the Pirate Lord

The Assassin and the Pirate Lord by Sarah J. Maas
Released: January  13, 2012

On a remote island in a tropical sea, Celaena Sardothien, feared assassin, has come for retribution. She’s been sent by the Assassin’s Guild to collect on a debt they are owed by the Lord of the Pirates. But when Celaena learns that the agreed payment is not in money, but in slaves, her mission suddenly changes—and she will risk everything to right the wrong she’s been sent to bring about.

I had the pleasure of reading S.J. Maas' first draft of Queen of Glass on FictionPress. With that said, I am slightly biased in my recommendation of The Assassin and the Pirate Lord--the first of four novellas that chronicle Celaena Sardothian's life as an infamous assassin. She's young--only 16--but fiery and full of passion. That is what I like about Celaena. She is SUCH strong heroine, but still full of many faults. From the Assassin's Keep to the Pirate Lord's lair, Sarah weaves together a story that is just play FUN. It’s face-paced and an enjoyable peek into the life of Celaena. It’s more than a Cinderalla retelling-it’s a fantasy novel of epic proportions that you don’t want to miss. Look for Throne of Glass coming out August 7, 2012