Something Wicked Strikes Day #22 brings us zombies! We haven't yet had a tangle with those fearsome, shambling, undead corpses. I am excited to bring you the finale of Susan Dennard's fantistic trilogy featuring the Undead, but before we get to zombies, let's see what else is in store for Wicked:
Candace @ Candace's Book Blog: A.W. Exley
Now onto the zombies.... Susan Dennard is the author of the Something Strange and Deadly series. A fun, historical series featuring necromancers and zombies. I love the blending of zombies and historical. Susan is here today with her take on zombies since they are featured in her series, so let's get to it. Meet Susan:
Susan Dennard has come a long way from small-town Georgia. With a masters degree in marine biology, she got to travel the world—six out of seven continents, to be exact (she’ll get to Asia one of these days!)—before she settled down as a full-time novelist and writing instructor.
She is the author of the Something Strange and Deadly series (from HarperTeen) as well as the forthcoming Witchlands Series (Tor, 2015). When not writing, she can be found hiking with her dogs, exploring tidal pools, or practicing her tap dance shuffles.
You can learn more about Susan on her website, blog, newsletter, Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest.
Here is Susan on zombies!
Thanks so much Susan for taking time out of your crazy busy schedule to post today. I loved hearing your thoughts. Susan has a treat for all you loyal followers. She is offering a chance to win a copy of Strange and Ever After . This giveaway is open Internationally (An International winner will receive an ebook copy/ U.S. resident will receive a paperback.) To enter fill out the Rafflecopter after reading Contest Policies. Good Luck!a Rafflecopter giveaway
Be sure to check out the entire Something Strange and Deadly series:
Here is my review:
Strange and Ever After (Strange and Lovely Series #3) by Susan Dennard
Perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare's The Infernal Devices series, this is the epic conclusion to Susan Dennard's trilogy that started with Something Strange and Deadlyand continued with A Darkness Strange and Lovely. With supernatural forces, epic romance, and a mysterious Egyptian city, Eleanor and her team are set for an adventure they will never forget.
It has been a tumultuous time for Eleanor Fitt since life as she knew it in Philadelphia came abruptly to an end. While the Spirit-Hunters—Joseph, Jie, and Daniel—have helped her survive her brother's violent death and an invasion of Hungry Dead, Eleanor has lost just about everything.
And now, Jie is missing—taken by the evil necromancer Marcus. Eleanor is determined not only to get her back but to finally end this nightmare. But to do so, she must navigate the hot desert streets of nineteenth-century Egypt amid the rising Dead, her unresolved feelings for Daniel, and her volatile relationships with Joseph and Oliver, her demon. And it won't be easy. Because Allison, her friend from Philadelphia, has tagged along, becoming strangely entangled in Eleanor's mission.
It will take all of Eleanor's powers of black magic, and all of Daniel's and Joseph's trust, to succeed. But there will be a price. People will have to suffer the consequences of what Marcus has done, and what Eleanor, Oliver, and the Spirit-Hunters will do to stop all this deadly chaos.
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen (July 22, 2014)
Four stars: A shocking conclusion to an exciting trilogy.
Eleanor and the Spirit Hunters are headed to Marseille, France to hunt down Marcus and recover Jie. As their air ship hovers over the city, the gang realizes that something is terribly wrong. A sea of hungry corpses assault them, and the Spirit Hunters are in the fight for their lives. Once they turn back the undead, and gain the much needed information they need to help destroy Marcus, they head to Egypt. In Egypt they hope to find the key to stopping Marcus once and for all. Eleanor must gain control of her magic, repair relationships and take on a seemingly unstoppable enemy amongst the pyramids of Egypt. Will Eleanor be able to defeat Marcus once and for all?
What I Liked:
- Strange and Ever After spikes up the action and gets the series back on track. I liked that this book was non stop, and that it kept the danger coming at you full speed. The finale especially is brutal with its last stand and deadly turns. I was shocked at the final outcome,but I have to applaud Ms. Dennard for daring to do the unexpected. This is a solid ending to an imaginative series.
- I love the settings of this series. In the first book, we are planted in Philadelphia near the turn of the twentieth century. Book Two, drops us into Paris, while Strange and Ever After takes the reader first to Marseille and then on to Egypt. Egypt was my favorite setting as I loved the way Ms. Dennard incorporated Egyptian lore, the pyramids and chomping mummies into the story.
- I struggled a bit with Eleanor in the second book, but this time out, I was relieved to find that I once again liked her. She is continuing to grow and mature as she begins to control her powers. Eleanor is also learning how to maintain her relationships, and she is finally able to open herself to a romance. Eleanor has her head on straight, and I loved how she rose to the occasion and managed to stand tall during the final battle. I especially enjoyed seeing her continue to break free of societal expectations and become secure in her own skin. By the end, she is comfortable with her misfit status. Overall, I liked seeing her transformation and growth.
- Oliver the demon grew on me in this series, and I ended up liking him after all. In the second book, I wasn't sure as to whether I could trust him or not, but this time his character solidifies and I was able to understand him. I especially liked his sacrifice.
- The romance finally takes hold and there are some lovely moments. I enjoyed seeing the couple finally open up and talk things through after some missteps in the second book.
- I was stunned by some of the final developments, and I certainly didn't see some of the twists coming. There is a big betrayal, a heart wrenching death and a couple of sacrifices before the dust settles. I was certainly surprised with the direction the story took, and I have to admit, Ms. Dennard took a big risk, and not every one is going to be satisfied with the outcome, but I am always pleased to see an author take a story down an unexpected road. The final pages were bittersweet, but I found closure. Still even though this is the last book in the series, Ms. Dennard leaves the door open for a possible spin off down the line.
And The Not So Much:
- Ollie changes and grows in this book, and he and Jie strike up an unexpected friendship, but for whatever reason, this friendship wasn't explored. I was curious to know more about why Jie suddenly trusted the demon. I thought there was something going on with them, but then the whole story line disappears. I wanted more depth and detail with Jie and Ollie.
- Allison comes back in this book, and she plays a pivotal role. At the end, no one is exactly sure as to what her fate was, and I wanted to know what happened to her. Plus, I would have loved more insight on the relationship that she developed that earned her that final fate.
- Even though the loose ends are tied off at the end, I couldn't help but feel like there was something missing. I needed to know how Ollie fared and how Eleanor moved forward. I don't know, it felt a tiny bit open ended to me.
- Despite the big twists in this, I got a little bored with the plot. For two and a half books the Spirit Hunters have been chasing after Marcus for revenge. The whole I am going to kill Marcus plot got old.
Strange and Ever After is a thrilling, emotional and jaw dropping finale to an exciting paranormal/historical series. This trilogy has outstanding world building as well as hungry, chomping corpses. Even though book two faltered a bit, the third book gets the series back on track and ends with a bang. If you want an adventure in Egypt with chomping mummies, grab this book and settle in, and be prepared for a stunning finish.
"Mistakes make you strong. Love does too, and that is why I am stronger than any of you."
"Vengeance solves nothing."
"The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together."
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.
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