Thursday, July 17, 2014

Strange and Ever After by Susan Dennard {review}

Strange and Ever After 
by Susan Dennard
♦publisher: HarperTeen
♦release date: July 22th 2014
♦hardcover, 400 pages
♦intended audience: Young adult
♦series: Something Strange and Deadly, book 3
  review of book 1
  review of book 2
  *NOTE: description and review may contain slight spoilers for book 1 in this series! *
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.

Review: In this third and final quest for Eleanor and her friends, this steampunk adventure trilogy comes to a fantastic end.  Strange and Ever After starts off with a daring airship rescue of their friend Jie, and then sweeps the reader off to exotic Egypt in their pursuit to stop Marcus, the man responsible for raising the dead across two continents.  Along with that, Eleanor and Oliver seek out the mysterious The Black Pullet, a feat that will fulfill his final command from Elijah and allow him to be set free.  As they come closer and go deeper into danger, Eleanor’s magic heightens, often pulling her unwillingly “behind the curtain” into the afterlife where a spirit jackal seems to trying to get her attention. 

Once again, this trilogy had me completely mesmerized. As with the second book in the series, I found myself having to force myself to put it down.  I’ve only grown more attached to this fun band of characters, especially Eleanor and Daniel and their slow growth towards letting each other in. Their relationship proves a complicated one, with the constant tension over Eleanor’s use of magic and also because Daniel’s love lies with Eleanor, but his strongest trust and loyalty lies solidly with Joseph and Jie. As for Oliver, despite several moments of doubting the sincerity of his friendship, he completely captured my heart by the time all was said and done. 

Eleanor is tested to the very limits of her magical and emotional strength and beyond.  In the rage of this final battle, she and her friends will both triumph and lose so much. This series definitely doesn’t tie itself up in a pretty little Victorian bow; a few harsh twists, one in particular, are likely to rip reader’s hearts right out. The grand finale to this wonderful series gives us a perfectly imperfect ending. If you love action, adventure, magic,  steampunk, and can stomach a bit of gore that comes along with the rising dead, this series will thrill you from start to finish.

Find Susan Dennard online: Website  •  Twitter  •  Facebook
Purchase:  •  BookDepository  •  Indiebound


  1. wow, thanks for the awesome review, i really need to read this series soon!

  2. Aw, yay :D Amazing review sweetie. <3 I'm glad you loved this final book. I just saw this negative review, so I'm a bit unsure about this book :p Especially since I know the ending :( But it do make me happy that you loved it. <3

  3. YAY! It was seriously so good, and like you, I really couldn't put the second and third books down. I just loved the progression of Eleanor's relationships with both Daniel and Oliver. But oh that ending, my heart. Great review Becky!!

  4. Yes, do! It took me forever to get to it, and it was worth every second!

  5. Oooh, did someone spoil the end for you?? That's a bummer. I wonder how the whole story would read if you know the end. But I do hope you give it a try, Carina! It's a wonderful series!

  6. I know! How often can you say that the second and third books were even better than the first? Not often, for me. And yup, the ending pretty much leaves your heart lying on the floor. Ugh, but SO GOOD. :D

  7. I really need to read the second book in this trilogy. I got this ARC months ago and I'm so ashamed I haven't picked the sequel.

  8. That last bit definitely convinced me of having to read this series. I definitely don't mind reading some gore, though I haven't read any steampunk books before. So when I do read this series it will be my first one :) And sometimes I really like slow buildups when it comes to feelings between two characters. I think it makes the moments so much more adorable :D