Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Book Club: Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard Week Two

As you know from last week (if not check here for a full explanation), I am taking part in the Something Strange and Deadly book club for the month of August! It's loads of fun and has the option for prizes! Now on to this week's discussion question!

Q. Magic and ghostly elements frequent the Something Strange and Deadly series. Even though corpses do awaken from time to time and hauntings are hardly that uncommon, the people of Philadelphia seem determined to pretend the Dead are not a growing threat.

Do you think that’s part of human nature? To push on and ignore the danger at our door? Or do you think Philadelphia’s ignorance—or for that matter, any ignorance/false sense of safety in modern days as well—can be pinned on politicians? Can you think of any examples where something similar happened, but rather than the Dead, it was a natural disaster/growing crime rate/etc.?

A. I don't think it's human nature to avoid the painful and unknown. Many humans push to explore and discover, as seen throughout history. But we are discouraged from that path in life, especially in modern day. As children, we're told that we're not old enough to understand and that we'll understand "when we grow up". But what is that point? We are shielded from events that do not fit our liking, and so we can pretend that they do not exist. While politicians encourage us to forget about the disasters in the world and our own country, it is not only them. I believe we all are to blame for our ignorance. In trying to protect those we care about, we take away experiences, thoughts, and truth from them.

There are many examples of similar circumstances. Because we as humans shy away from the painful and filter what we see, we miss some very important things in today's world as well as it's history. A good example is Global Warming. Many people ignore or flat out refuse that it is happening, when all the science points to the fact that it is. These people do nothing to reduce their carbon footprint, and therefore put themselves and others in danger. Global Warming is the cause for things like hurricane Katrina and Super Storm Sandy. As the world heats up, we have more severe natural disasters. Water levels rise as the polar ice caps melt. Yet people who are ignorant or these facts, only make it worse. In any situation, be it Global Warming or the Dead, it is better to be educated instead of ignorant. Acceptance instead of refusal. It is important to keep that in mind in the worlds of fiction and reality. In the story, the characters are raised to be ignorant of the fact that the Dead are rising. It is not something that they simply ignore because of human nature. But when people realize that something fishy is going on, people do something. People make changes, speak out, and help others. That, is human nature.
Author Bio:
I’m a 28-year-old reader, writer, lover of animals, and eater of cookies. I used to be a marine biologist, but now I write novels. And not novels about fish either, but novels about kick-butt heroines and swoon-worthy rogues (I really like swoon-worthy rogues).

I live in the Midwestern US with my French husband and Irish setter, and you can learn more about my crazy thoughts and crippling cookie-addiction on twitterfacebook, or Goodreads.

My debut, Something Strange and Deadly,  is now available from HarperTeen, and you will never believe how happy this makes me!

Something Strange and Deadly:
There’s something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia…

The year is 1876 and 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.

A Darkness Strange and Lovely:

With her brother dead and her mother insane, Eleanor Fitt is alone. Even the Spirit-Hunters—Joseph, Jie, and the handsome Daniel—have fled to Paris. So when Eleanor hears the vicious barking of hounds and see haunting yellow eyes, she fears that the Dead, and the necromancer Marcus, are after her.

To escape, Eleanor boards a steamer bound for France. There she meets Oliver, a young man who claims to have known her brother. But Oliver harbors a dangerous secret involving necromancy and black magic that entices Eleanor beyond words. If she can resist him, she’ll be fine. But when she arrives in Paris, she finds that the Dead have taken over, and there’s a whole new evil lurking. And she is forced to make a deadly decision that will go against everything the Spirit-Hunters stand for.

In Paris, there’s a price for this darkness strange and lovely, and it may have Eleanor paying with her life.

Perfect for readers Libba Bray’s The Diviners and Cassandra Clare’s Clockwork Angel series, this spellbinding sequel to Something Strange and Deadly delivers a mix of intrigue, supernatural forces, intense romance, and revenge, all set against the enchanting backdrop of nineteenth-century Paris.

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