I can't begin to tell you how excited I was to read this book. For months I had kept my eyes on the book, just waiting for its release date. I mean, when zombies and steampunk mix together I knew I couldn't miss out on it.
The year is 1876, and 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.
First off, I'll tell you that the idea, I thought, was very interesting and original. There's not many steampunk out there (the genre is growing, which is a good thing!) to begin with, and there's not many zombie stuff out there either, and if there is, the book is usually going to be apocalyptic. This book overall was something very unique because there really is nothing like it out there.
Eleanor isn't like your typical Victorian young lady--though when is the MC ever typical? She is very determined to find her older brother, Elijah, and bring him home after three long years. She's brave and unmoving with her ideas and opinions. I liked those qualities about her, but at times I would find it a bit unnerving. Other than that, I didn't mind her quirks. In a way, she was a very rebellious character for one that lives in the Victorian era.
The other character, the Spirit-Hunters, were very interesting to read about. There's Joseph, who is Creole and very gentlemanly. He was intelligent and the leader of the Spirit-Hunters. Then there was Daniel, who may be very charming, but also happens to have one of the most shortest tempers I've ever witnessed. I didn't understand his emotions, but I kept with it, seeing if it kind of was like a Will Herondale facade. Come to think of it, it kind of was, but that's bit of a stretch. It turns out he just has anger issues. And finally, there was Jei, but I'm not going to say much because Jei needs to be shrouded in mystery.
The story line was kind of to be expected in the sense that Eleanor tries all she can do to find her brother, but it turns out that people aren't always who they seem to be. There were some twists and turns that kept me glued to the book, just waiting in anticipation to see how it would all end. I thought it was a bit slow in the beginning. Not slow enough for me to flip ahead pages to see what will happen, but just enough for my eyes to wander a little bit. Luckily, things picked a lot in the middle and especially in the end. And there was plenty of action, too!
Overall, I thought this book was fantastic. I loved how original it was and was super happy to have its setting in Victorian Pennsylvania. I was loving reading about all the bustling skirts mixed in with just the right amount of action. Susan definitely did her homework on the Victorian era, right down to the manners and such of the people. It was an entertaining read that had me finishing the book in one night (if I'm thinking about this right.). I certainly suggest that people read this book because I thought it was very good.
And always remember: Aim for the knees!