Review: Strange and Ever After by Susan Dennard

Posted August 11, 2014 in Review / 4 Comments

Strange and ever afterStrange and Ever After (Something Strange and Deadly #3)
By Susan Dennard
Published July 22nd, 2014
400 pages
Young Adult | Historical Fantasy | Steampunk | Michigan Author
Source: received for review from HarperTeen in exchange for an unbiased review (THANK YOU)



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About the book:


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.


Bare with me a moment while I compose myself.  It’s been a few days since I finished reading this and in reviewing my notes I’m getting all my feelies again.  I’m not doing so good right now.  I’m a blubbering idiot.  Words like “crestfallen”, “verge of tears throughout the day” pepper my notes.

To say this was a satisfying ending to the Something Strange and Deadly series is a serious understatement.  Ms. Dennard went there, never looked back, and did not hold back.  Lord help my reading soul.

[note note_color=”#D3BDAF”]Slightly spoiler-ish if you haven’t read the first two books but only as far as the synopsis has given away. [/note]

It’s time for a showdown, the battle between evil vs. good & not-so-evil.

Evil is Marcus and he has company with him this time.  The Spirit Hunters are out to get him and take back what he stole!  Good are Daniel, Joseph, and Jie.  But they’ve got to get Jie back from Marcus’ clutches before he does anything horrible to her.  He’s already put her in a dress and that’s torture enough for her!

And the not-so-evil?  That is, of course, Eleanor and Oliver.  But that fact is entirely up to the reader’s own interpretation.  Is evil really evil when it’s doing good?  Who is truly who they pretend to be is the ultimate mystery to this final story. 

But one thing will forever and ever and ever be clear…  Daniel Sheridan is pure good.  There is not a bad bone in that boy’s body and honestly, I don’t think Eleanor is worthy of him.  Blasphemy, I KNOW but it’s just my personal opinion on the matter.  But really, there is no one else for him and I soaked up every second between the two of them!!!!  

I enjoyed the vividly written landscapes.  I enjoyed the mythology Ms. Dennard wrote into the story.  I loved how she wrapped some story lines from the first book into this last book to finish them off.  

Every character was meticulously written to show their personal growth.  Jie, Oliver, and Eleanor are notable standouts.

The range of emotions I went through while reading this was wide.  I was elated, empowered, enthralled (what is up with the e-words?), entertained, and depressed.  This book is easily a favorite of mine for 2014. 

I was reading this book in the car on a road trip and while listening to my husband’s music mix, this song came on during a major battle scene at the end of the book.  If you play this song, just picture the Spirit Hunters walking down a desert “alley” in between pyramids on their way to confront Marcus.  Besides the fact that the beat goes well with any battle scene I can picture in my head, this song seems like it was written specifically for Eleanor in about a thousand ways.  If you read the series, you’ll understand….

Besides, Tegan and Sara just rock and I’m an old music nerd.  Shhhh, I’m listening to the song again!!  UGH, here come the tears again!!!  Damn you, Susan!!!  Damn you!!!!





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Susan dennard4About the author:

Susan Dennard is a reader, writer, lover of animals, and eater of cookies. She used to be a marine biologist, but now she writes novels–and not novels about fish, but novels about kick-butt heroines and swoon-worthy rogues. She lives in the Midwestern US with her French husband and Irish setter, and you can learn more about her crazy thoughts and crippling cookie-addiction on her blog, twitter, facebook, or pinterest. Her debut, Something Strange and Deadly, as well as the prequel, A Dawn Most Wicked, and the sequel, A Darkness Strange and Lovely, are now available from HarperTeen! The final installment in the series, Strange and Ever After, will release 7/22/14, and her new series will launch with Tor in fall 2015.

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Other books in the series:

a dawn most wickedSomething Strange and Deadlydarkness strange and lovely










About Kristin

Kristin has to ensure she gets her minimal requirement of “happily ever after” books in between those books that contain cliffhangers and never-ending story arcs. It’s for her family’s sake. When not reading, she’s homeshooling her 10-year old son, watching cartoons on TV, or taking a nap.

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4 responses to “Review: Strange and Ever After by Susan Dennard

  1. K

    Duuuuude… pure entertainment. I accidentally typo’d the word “movie” in the review somewhere b/c that’s what this book read like to me.