Cover Me: Stunning. Beautiful. Elegant. How do you not love the look of this cover? Now, was it the thing to prompt me to read the book? No. In fact, I’m not a big fan with putting a beautiful girl on the cover. Even when it looks dark like this one. What did get me to pick up the book were the lovely reviews I’ve heard. People raved over what a terrific book this was so I had to give it a go.
The Concept: It’s set in the 1800s and Eleanor awaits her brother’s return home. Instead, a zombie shows up with a note and says he’s not coming. She enlists help to find her brother from the Spirit-Hunters, who are a trio in her city to help put the dead to rest.
I found this concept interesting. Historical fiction with zombies? I guess that does make it fiction. It seems an unlikely pairing but it really goes together well. Ms. Dennard does a great job with writing in the time period. I absolutely LOVED the writing.
The Peeps: Eleanor is our fine lady and she’s a pretty rockin’ heroine. The best part about her character is her truth to the times. While she is headstrong and defiant of her role, she still remembers to be serving to her mother and respecting to the man courting her. This is one of those things that goes back to the awesome writing. Ms. Dennard does a fantastic job staying in this time period with her female role reminders.
The other characters are done well too. There’s a lovely slow build in the love interest Daniel, which about makes him perfect. They have banter, but not whiney tiffs. You know they’re going to be great even if they don’t get there in this book.
The Ending (spoiler alert!): The person behind the whole raising the dead is her brother. Dum, dum, Duuuummmm. She faces off with him and he ends up dead. Luckily not at Eleanor’s hand but from a zombie’s mouth onto his throat. Then it gets a little weird. There’s an immediate possession. So her brother is dead, but his body lives on. I was a little “meh” at this part except I understood this is where the trilogy comes into play. Yes, another trilogy.
My favorite part about the ending is Eleanor loses her hand in the fight. Not ripped off right in the moment. (My gosh, did you hear my gushing about how Ms. Dennard has little details to remind you of the times?) This is another great example. A bite turns infected and the only course is amputation. Another terrific detail to remind you this isn’t today’s modern science. It made me love Eleanor and this book all the more.
What I Cooked Up: As I’ve said before, zombie books don’t lend themselves to appetizing food. Instead I focused on the book’s time and setting. To represent the restrictions in Eleanor’s time period I created a cookie based on the dress. The difficulties with her corset and skirts as she tried to be kick ass are represented here all the way down to the dirtied skirts.