The end is here for the SOMETHING STRANGE & DEADLY series and before we bid adieu to this historical zombie saga by Susan Dennard with the final book, Strange & Ever After, we’re recapping what went down in the first two books plus a character recap!
SPOILERS AHEAD FOR THOSE THAT HAVEN’T READ THE FIRST TWO BOOKS!
Character art by Natalia Pierandrei
Eleanor Fitt: Eleanor is a sixteen-year-old who loves Shakespeare quotes and buttered toast. Though her family used to rank among Philadelphia’s high society, ever since her father died, all the Fitt wealth and status has dried up. All Eleanor wants is for her older brother, Elijah, to come home so the family can go back to normal—or at least get out of their current dire financial straits. If Elijah doesn’t return, Eleanor might have to marry—and that’s not something she’s even close to ready for.
Elijah Fitt: Eleanor’s older brother, Elijah has been abroad for several years. He and Eleanor were very close before he left. He was her knight-in-shining armor, who taught her all about the world and Shakespeare and history. But since he went overseas, Eleanor hasn’t heard from him very often.
Daniel Sheridan: To call Daniel’s past “checkered” is an understatement, and no one feels that more keenly than Daniel himself. All he wants is for a chance to atone—and a chance to use his engineering/inventor’s mind. When Joseph Boyer offers him a chance as a Spirit-Hunter, Daniel knows he has found his calling (and his chance for redemption).
Joseph Boyer: As the leader of the Spirit-Hunters, Joseph is a stern but compassionate man. He believes in doing what’s right—always—and nothing can change his mind once it’s made up. Because of his beliefs, his magical powers, and his voodoo training, Joseph has made it his mission to rid the world of necromancy, ghosts, and walking Dead.
Jie Chen: Jie came from China as a refugee from the Taiping Rebellion, and to get by in the hostility of American prejudices, she has spent most of her life posing as a boy—which is fine by her since she’s not too fond of feminine stuff anyway. When Joseph Boyer offers her a spot in the Spirit-Hunters, she signs on and never looks back.
Clarence Wilcox: With wealth, good looks, and a political career to boot, Clarence is every mother’s dream son-in-law—and Mrs. Fitt is no exception. She’s hoping Clarence will fall for Eleanor and thereby return the Fitts to their former social glory. Unfortunately, Clarence has a dark, secretive side that Eleanor wants nothing to do with…
Oliver (no last name): Though he looks like a devastatingly handsome human, Oliver is anything but. He’s actually a demon—a creature of pure soul from the spirit realm—and he was Elijah’s companion during Elijah’s travels. Now, Oliver wants to be Eleanor’s companion—and not because he’s fond of her, but because he needs something from her. If only she could figure out what.
Laure Primeau: Laure is a French “spinster” (unmarried and in her twenties! Gasp!) who has traveled to Philadelphia for the Centennial Exhibition. She loves to poke her nose where it doesn’t belong, and she’s particularly keen on dragging Eleanor into all the mischief too.
Top 5 Moments in Something Strange & Deadly:
1.) When Eleanor first meets Daniel Sheridan. She’s not used to “low society” and she’s completely thrown by his rough, unabashed manner. Of course, her shock is quickly replaced by fury and the absolute certainty that she does not like Mr. Daniel Sheridan.
2.) The first time Eleanor faces off to an entire army of walking corpse she has nothing but her parasol to defend herself! Fortunately, she runs into a Chinese boy (or…girl?) at the Centennial Exhibition who teaches Eleanor the most important lesson of all when fighting the Dead: Aim for the knees!
3.) When Eleanor joins the Spirit-Hunters at the Mercantile Library for some research, they’re interrupted by a ghost bent on destruction. It takes all the efforts of Eleanor and the Spirit-Hunters to stop that ghost, but hey! It turns out the four of them make quite the team.
4.) After Eleanor and Daniel break into a dynamite factory, Eleanor’s recklessness gets Daniel into trouble. In her attempt to rectify what she’s done, Eleanor winds up making everything worse—leaving she and Daniel with no choice but to flee the dynamite factory at top speed…before it explodes.
5.) When an army of Dead invade the Centennial Exhibition and set fire to the buildings, Eleanor knows she has to take action. She faces off to a spirit and the walking Dead in one of the abandoned, creeptastic halls at the Exhibition.
Top 4 Moments in A Dawn Most Wicked:
1.) After Daniel gets in trouble for something he didn’t do—kissing Cassidy Cochran—he decides he might as well do exactly what he’s been punished for. Sparks fly, and he’s surprised by how much the sparks take flight.
2.) First Daniel gets cheated at cards by a Chinese girl dressed as a boy, and then—when he tries to defend himself—he gets the crud beat out of him by that same girl. Oops.
3.) After following Joseph Boyer around and making friends with Jie Chen, Daniel helps them face off to an army of ghosts. All hell breaks loose—literally—and the steamboat they’re on is churning out of control.
4.) Daniel ultimately realizes he can’t stay with Cassidy, no matter how much he cares for her. But he’s not so willing to give up on Eleanor Fitt. In fact, he feels pretty certain he’ll see Eleanor again one day, so as he leaves the Philadelphia Hospital, he waves to Eleanor in her window. Then he drops to one knee and bows, declaring love in the only way he knows how.
Top 5 Moments in A Darkness Strange & Lovely:
1.) When Eleanor and the demon Oliver run from the Hell Hounds on board a steamer bound for France, she’s certain the crazed spirit monsters are going to destroy her. Fortunately—or unfortunately—Oliver has a solution for how to save her: she just has to bind her soul to him. Easy-peasy.
2.) Daniel Sheridan arrives in Paris in style: a zeppelin of his own design! Eleanor is so shocked to see him—and he is so shocked to see her—that awkwardness of the worst kind ensues.
3.) Eleanor, furious with the Spirit-Hunters, accidentally discovers a special, secret gift from Daniel. It’s a mechanical hand to replace the one she had amputated. It’s thoughtful, beautiful, and explains why Daniel has been so angry with her since her arrival in Paris.
4.) When Eleanor sees an apparition of Clarence Wilcox, she chases him through the underground labyrinth of the Palais Garnier in Paris. This leads to her almost drowning in an underground reservoir. Fortunately someone swoony comes to her rescue just in time.
5.) After barely getting through the night alive, Eleanor realizes she’s been stupid to push away Daniel. So as soon as they are alone, she takes matters into her own hands and bares her heart.
The final book, Strange & Ever After goes on sale July 22nd –– order a copy here. What are your favorite moments from this series? Tell us in the comments below!