Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard | Book club Week 2

Since I am a member of  Epic Reads (HarperTeen's website), I found out through their Twitter account that the author of Something Strange and Deadly, aka Susan Dennard, started a book club. Like the true book nerd I am I signed up. Every Monday there's a fresh discussion question waiting and there's some great prizes to win *squeal!* so you should really hop on over to her website to check it out!


I’m a bit late this week since I am in England until this Saturday and the options of getting on the Internet on camping places is limited. I am however a true did hard so I enjoy hunting for spots with free wifi, which I am getting quite skilled at! So lets get going.

This weeks discussion question?

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.?

Do I think it is a part of human nature to push on and ignore the danger at our door?
Yes and no.
In my opinion self preservation is one of the biggest parts of human nature. It seems to me that the will to survive kicks in big time when faced with a threat. People fight to survive, or fight for the people you love. Like our much beloved Eleanor, she thinks her brother is in danger and she does anything in her power to try and save him.

On the other hand, I do think some people rather believe a lie, told by those that are supposedly thrust worthy, in order to believe everything is alright. So when politicians give people a reason to believe a threat is not so much of a threat, like they to in SS&D, they continue to live on as they did before becaus that means nothing will change.

However, you can only ignore so much, and sooner or later you will have to see things don’t add up and instinct will kick in.

A year ago, near where I live, there was a big fire in a factory called Chemiepak that worked with chemicals. As the fire spread through the factory so did the chemicals. The result was that an alarm sounded through my town, people were being told to stay inside and close every window and door. There was a big black cloud of smoke coming our way, with those very same chemicals inside. It was pretty frightening.

However, we were also told that there was no risk to our health and everything was okay. We only weren’t allowed to go outside. Any alarm bells going off? Yeah… That’s what I thought. Eventually the fire went out and we were all allowed to go outside again. The very same people told us that in that cloud had not been any chemicals that would be bad for us, but at the same time the farmers nearby the factory were restricted from selling their products. The guy who owned the factory stated on tv that there were in fact chemicals touched by the fire that were very bad for your health and could cause cancer.

My best guess is that there were in fact chemicals released only we weren’t told. At the time I understand that it it wouldn’t be wise to release this information because it would cause panic, but I do think we have a right to get some answers.

In SS&D people died because they weren’t given the right information. Somebody send the Dead after them and they were defenseless because they didn’t know, if they had known of the threat, that was much bigger than they had thought, maybe their deaths could have been prevented.

My conclusion

So, yes, I do think some Philadelphia’s ignorance can somewhat be pinned on politicians, but I do think that people should be able to think for themselves. If people would think for themselves a little bit more they would have been able to realize that the Dead were in fact a threat, more so than they were being told by the politicians.

But I don’t really think it is a part of human nature to push on and ignore the danger at our door. Since above all, people want to live. Like Clarence, he did everything he could to stay alive. He fought, and didn’t try and ignore the threat he was faing.