Thursday, January 24, 2013

Something Strange and Deadly: Book Review

          I don't do book reviews often. You have to make sure not to reveal anythings, yet make those who actually read your review agree with you - without them reading the book. You love the book? They love it too and are eager to read it. You think it's just...meh? They don''t give it a second glance either. Something Strange and Deadly came out all the way back in June of 2012, so this review is a tad bit late. But then, I've just started reading Before I Fall (published 2010), and that was released before Lauren Oliver's Delirium series (which - please excuse my word choice - is super super super duper awesome), and it feels like I've been waiting forever for the last book in the series to come out. As I read the synopsis and started on the first pages, I knew this is another one of those books that gives you a heartache when you're done, leaves you feeling satisfied yet at the same time lacking, poignant and exquisite. And I though: The world must hear of this book! Followed by: I must write a review. 

         So maybe my review of Susan Dennard's book is but a preparation for something greater, or maybe I enjoyed the book and just realized that maybe I want to write a review. I'm afraid it's going to sound stupid or bland or boring, but a review is a review, there's no good or bad. I just have to talk about my feelings on what happened to the characters. No such thing as a bad review, just good ones and REALLY good ones. Ugghhh. But first, the cover. Beautiful. Stunning. Absolutely spectacular. Notice the faint gears in the background. The lace gloves and amethyst earring (yes, they're amethyst). I do judge a book by its cover, and I know I've missed some great reads that way (because in the end, I read them). But this book can definitely be judged by its cover.

          The Setting: I've gotten so used to book covers featuring a girl in an elegant gown (even if it has nothing whatsoever to do with the story), so I didn't realize this book was set in the 1870s until I was well into the second chapter.I don't read steampunk a lot - actually, I purposefuly try NOT to read steampunk, simply because I hate stories set in the past, or anything resembling historical fiction. Thus, I was surprised when I liked "The Girl With the Steel Corset", and once again, here I am, surprised and befuddled at this wonderful book set in the past. It's set in England, which is my favorite area for stories...the gowns, the carriages, the seances.

          The Characters: Eleanor Fitt has spunk. Miss. Fitt is also a misfit. And so she realizes that, and does stupid, irrational thing, and risks her life, and believes in her brother when everybody's given up on him. Her mother is a stupid woman. She's too caught up trying to make people think the Fitt family is rich to realize or think about everything else - except for marrying off Eleanor to a rich suitor who can pay their debts. The suitor dies in the end. I'm not sure how I feel about that.

Read this: 
- “Miss Fitt, you know curiosity gets men killed."
I grinned. "Then I daresay it's good I'm a woman.”

- “The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose." (Eleanor)
"And the foolish can cite Shakespeare.”
(Daniel)

- “While Mary brushed my pistachio silk carriage dress, Mama tugged the laces of my corset as tight as they would go. She grunted and I groaned, and we sounded like the giant hogs I'd seen at the zoo-except that, rather than play in the mud and eat to my heart's content, I was forced to sit daintily in the parlor without lunch. For two hours. With my mother for company.”  

         The Plot: Zombies.The living dead. They just eat people, though, not suck out their brains. There are also spirits. Only one, actually. But basically, these zombies are called Dead, and they are controlled by a master, the necromancer. Those who are no longer controlled by the necromancer turn into the Hungry, which are literally zombies that go around sucking and killing and eating people. The Dead also kill people, but they always have a goal, not just eating the living, but retrieving something for the necromancer for example. Eleanor's brother has gone missing, and as she looks and delves deeper, searching for him, she finds herself in the midst of the Dead, the spirit her mother has released during a seance, ans Spirit-Hunters. 

The Arm: *Spoiler* You know what would have earned this book one more entire star? Eleanor Fitt not getting her hand amputated. A Dead bites her hand, and so to prevent infection, it has to be amputated. Being in the past sucks. 

And that, my friends, is how you write a bad review.