Released: September 29, 2011
Publisher: Random House
Author's Website: Lia Habel
Buy it: Amazon
Genre: Dystopian, Steampunk, YA, Paranormal
1. Dearly, Departed
2. Dearly, Beloved
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 Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars
Oh, how I love the zombies. When I first read the blurb for Dearly, Departed I was eager to read it, despite the fact that the zombies are sexy-fied. It sounded great and the cover captivated me. I’m pleased to say I wasn’t disappointed.
One thing in particular that I enjoyed about Dearly, Departed was the zombies (of course). I was happy to see that there were not only sexy zombies (if you can call them sexy), but also the monster variety. The “Laz” disease reacted differently in everyone, so some zombies are nearly human, while others do nothing but run around finding arms to chew off. This was a good thing because I don’t want zombies to be sexy. While I was actually a big fan of Bram, I wanted the zombies to be the last monster that was turned into a love interest. A little too late for that, but the fact that this story carried varying degrees of zombie definitely redeemed it for me.
The characters were great as well. Bram had a sense of humor that made me laugh on numerous occasions, and Nora has a resilience that makes you root for her until the very end. Pamela was pretty kick-ass too! I even loved Nora and Bram’s budding relationship, despite the fact that zombies as a love interest have always, and mostly likely always will, gross me out.
While I am a fan of multiple POV’s, I feel that there were too many in Dearly, Departed. I think we could have gone without Wolfe and Victor’s chapters. They really slowed down the reading momentum for me. I’d be heavily invested in the story until one of their chapters came up, and then it would feel like eternity before I was on to the characters I cared about. I don’t think we really needed their point of view, and the twists in the story may have held a bigger shock for me if they weren’t there at all. This is the only thing preventing this book from getting five stars from me.
Dearly, Departed is wonderfully plotted with characters that you can’t help becoming attached to. I’ll be anxiously awaiting the sequel, and I’d encourage everyone to give Dearly, Departed a shot!