Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel

Love can never die.
Love conquers all, so they say. But can Cupid’s arrow pierce the hearts of the living and the dead—or rather, the undead? Can a proper young Victorian lady find true love in the arms of a dashing zombie? 

The year is 2195. The place is New Victoria—a high-tech nation modeled on the manners, mores, and fashions of an antique era. A teenager in high society, Nora Dearly is far more interested in military history and her country’s political unrest than in tea parties and debutante balls. But after her beloved parents die, Nora is left at the mercy of her domineering aunt, a social-climbing spendthrift who has squandered the family fortune and now plans to marry her niece off for money. For Nora, no fate could be more horrible—until she’s nearly kidnapped by an army of walking corpses. 

But fate is just getting started with Nora. Catapulted from her world of drawing-room civility, she’s suddenly gunning down ravenous zombies alongside mysterious black-clad commandos and confronting “The Laz,” a fatal virus that raises the dead—and hell along with them. Hardly ideal circumstances. Then Nora meets Bram Griswold, a young soldier who is brave, handsome, noble . . . and dead. But as is the case with the rest of his special undead unit, luck and modern science have enabled Bram to hold on to his mind, his manners, and his body parts. And when his bond of trust with Nora turns to tenderness, there’s no turning back. Eventually, they know, the disease will win, separating the star-crossed lovers forever. But until then, beating or not, their hearts will have what they desire.

In Dearly, Departed, romance meets walking-dead thriller, spawning a madly imaginative novel of rip-roaring adventure, spine-tingling suspense, and macabre comedy that forever redefines the concept of undying love.

My Review:

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After the world ended the first time, the people on Earth have started over. New Victoria, steampunk society, is flourishing and all seems right with the world. Nora believes that monsters only live in the fairy tales and myths of her childhood. Bram, a Punk zombie, has been charged to rescue Nora from the Grays (evil zombies), and hopefully find her zombie father.
When these two worlds collide, the true battle begins, but will Nora and Bram find peace in the midst of the chaos?

So where should I start on what I loved about this book? I loved the characters, the story line, and the style of zombies that Ms. Habel created. I loved this book. I honestly couldn’t put it down. Worst yet was how I tried to sneak a read at work, well at least at my first shift job, and would then get caught reading… Oh well, I loved it, and it was worth the potential wrath of my employers (and no they didn’t get angry… We had a wonderful conversation about what we were reading, though I’m still the only zombie book reader in the office)!

So Characters first! Nora is my absolute favorite. She is a strong willed, intelligent, unsuspecting character. As she was described, I couldn’t help imagining that she looked like a china doll, but those are the ones you need to look out for. They can kick butt. Bram=best character ever! He is every girls dream (especially if you dream about romantic zombies). He is strong, intelligent, protective, a perfect zombie knight-in-shining-armor if you will.

Next up, the storyline. I thought the premise for Dearly Departed was wonderful. It was the best of both worlds: Zombies, Steampunk, and forbidden love. I love Victorian history, and the idea of a steampunk society. How a steampunk Victorian society would react to zombies creates a marvelous drama. The forbidden love, almost even an incurable Beauty and the Beast (my favorite story ever!), creates even more uncertainty towards survival. How can a living breathing person survive loving a zombie?

And finally, my favorite: The ZOMBIES! Imagine a type of disease that could create multiple types of zombies. The ones that go into a mindless frenzy, ones that stay the same even though they are dead, and even ones that don’t do anything, and all of these will end up in the final stage as the disease eats away at their brain. The range of versatility for Ms. Habel’s zombies was great. It allowed for a great story, and provided hope, maybe some of it unfounded, towards a cure or at least a vaccine.

Overall, this book was wonderfully written, and was perfectly setup for a sequel (or trilogy) to be born. My only issue with the whole book was that I had a hard time with the switching between 5 POVs. It would get a bit confusing if I had to stop reading in the middle of a chapter, only to come back and try and figure out whose POV it was. I highly recommend this book, and am looking forward to reading more by Ms. Habel.

Happy Reading!


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