ARC received by Harper Collins via Edelweiss
Release Date: 7-24-2012
Reviewed by: Middle Sis Jenn
The Sisters Say: Macabre, Menacing, and Menacing
I had no idea what to expect when I started reading this book because I had never read any other zombie book. Truthfully, I am still wavering on my final judgment.
I really enjoyed most of the book--it was refreshing and dramatic. Susan's world leapt off the page, and her stunning prose made me feel like I was right there with Eleanor as she worried for her brother, fought her incorrigible mother, and distressed over her feelings for Daniel and Clarence. Eleanor is snarky (even though its 1896) and she doesn't back down from a fight. She struggles to find her place in society and amongst her friends, and I really felt for her as she dug herself deeper and deeper into the macabre world of the spirit hunters. Eleanor was a great heroine--strong and capable, but not stupid. There were times when you could feel her terror, and I respected her because she tried to overcomes her fears. I really admired how Susan presented Eleanor's strengths and weaknesses--all of which built a great heroine.
Now...the 2 guys: Daniel and Clarence. They are complete opposites. Clarence is the smart, handsome, and rich family friend that is exactly the kind of man Eleanor should want to marry--only Clarence has a few secrets that Eleanor is determined to unmask before she believes any of his affections. Clarence is veiled in a mask of secrecy and learning his past is one of the most interesting parts of the book. And then there's Daniel, the ruggedly handsome lower class spirit hunter that is considered to be "filthy" by Eleanor's mother--only Eleanor finds herself dismissing her mother's concerns and developing some sort of feelings for the rugged man. However, just like Clarence, he is harboring secrets of his own. Who can Eleanor trust? Can she trust either of these two handsome devils?
Susan creates dynamic and irresitible characters that you just can help but feel tied to.
So why am I wavering?
I hate to say this, but I did not like the ending. I'm not going to say any more because it would be way too spoilery. I think many people will enjoy the ending, and maybe this is just the way zombie books are--but I just found myself saying, "What? Why???"
Now with that...let me answer a few questions:
Am I glad I read it? Yes. I needed to be introduced to the zombie sub-genre, and I really did enjoy the book right up until the end.
Will I read the sequel? Yes, although it won't be one that I rush to the store at midnight to purchase.
Would I recommend it to anyone? Yes because I think quite a few people will enjoy that Susan Dennard has no hesitations in smacking your expectations in the face.
What would I change? Even though it's 1896 and there are reasons for it--I wanted more romance!!!!! Eleanor thrusts her fist as society in every other way--why not add a little more steam?
So...I will leave you with this. Read it and see for yourself--if anything, you will see a world that's new and different. And I'm hoping the sequel will end with me saying, "Yeah!" instead of "What?"