Welcome to the Working for the Mandroid stop on Susan Dennard's blog tour for Strange & Ever After, the last volume in her fantabulous Something Strange & Deadly series. You can see all the stops on the tour over here. I am so excited to be a part of this tour because this series has been one of my favorites in the last few years. It's full of adventure and romance and steampunk zombie goodness. I was both excited and sad to have the final volume in my hand.
Susan is hosting a great contest to win a copy of Strange & Ever After, which you can enter later on in the post. First my review.
Strange & Ever After
Releases July 22, 2014
YA / Steampunk / Zombies!
In the conclusion to the trilogy that Publishers Weekly called “a roaring—and addictive—gothic world,” Eleanor Fitt must control her growing power, face her feelings for Daniel, and confront the evil necromancer Marcus...all before it’s too late.
He took her brother, he took her mother, and now, Marcus has taken her good friend Jie. With more determination than ever to bring this sinister man to justice, Eleanor heads to the hot desert streets of nineteenth-century Egypt in hopes of ending this nightmare. But in addition to her increasingly tense relationships with Daniel, Joseph, and her demon, Oliver, Eleanor must also deal with her former friend, Allison, who has curiously entangled herself in Eleanor’s mission.
With the rising dead chomping at her every move and Jie’s life hanging in the balance, Eleanor is convinced that her black magic will see her through to the bitter end. But there will be a price. Though she and the Spirit Hunters have weathered every battle thus far, there will be consequences to suffer this time—the effects of which will be irreversible. And when it’s over, only some will be able to live a strange and ever after.
Susan Dennard will leave readers breathless and forever changed in the concluding pages of this riveting ride.
It’s been a week since I finished this book and I still have difficulty putting my reaction to this final volume in Susan Dennard’s Something Strange & Deadly series into words. I mean, this is what I looked like when I finished the book far past my bedtime, thankful that Fernando had gone to bed early:
It was a perfect ending and I hated it. I hated that the Victorian zombie fighters have no adventures for me to tag along with. I was very unhappy with the body count by the final page. I was so wrapped up in these characters, in this series that it was like a part of me has been ripped away and now I’m left wondering, “What now?”
So in short – this book is fantastic. It’s action from nearly beginning to end. There are some key Eleanor/Daniel scenes that made me stupid giddy so that I wrote incomprehensible messages to the author on Twitter. Even the slower moments of the story were full of so much potential, so much build up to what was to come, that I couldn’t relax. This book took me to France and to Egypt and refused to let me go home until it was done with me.
I want to be Eleanor when I grow up. I want to be so completely head-strong and, while not confident, determined to do what needs to be done that I look at danger and then run head first into it. I want someone as rakishly handsome as Daniel to rescue me from a horde of zombies. I even started liking Oliver by the end, though his mood swings were out of control at points.
This book is full of zombies, gizmos, mummies and ancient Egyptian artifacts. Eleanor is bursting with secrets that she feels she can’t share with the others because they frown on her magic, only to have to save them with that same magic when the zombie force becomes too much. It’s adventure and comedy and drama and just a whole lot of amazingness within a couple hundred pages.
This is a series I will easily be able to come back to over and over again to revisit old friends. Dennard’s writing seems so effortless, moving from these giant action scenes with vast scenery to the quiet moments with two people in a room together on an airship high in the sky. I have no idea what she plans on doing next, but I will follow her wherever she intends to go. She is officially on my “Must Read” list.
Enter to Win a Copy of Strange & Ever After from Susan!
About the Author
I am a writer, reader, lover of animals, and eater of cookies. I used to be a marine biologist, but now I write novels. And not novels about fish either, but novels about kick-butt heroines and swoon-worthy rogues (I really like swoon-worthy rogues).
My debut, SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY is now available from HarperTeen along with the prequel, A DAWN MOST WICKED, and the sequel A DARKNESS STRANGE & LOVELY.
Look for STRANGE & EVER AFTER in summer 2014 and TRUTHWITCH in fall 2015!
Note: I am on Goodreads to READ. So, if you want to discuss books and the joys of literature, add me as a friend.