Thursday, January 5, 2012

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.

Normally when I read books I immediately post about them. Like I am talking within three minutes of reading a book I am online and blogging about it. I stewed on this.

OK - the book in the beginning is SUPER focus on developing the new (old) Victorian era. It was a bit much for me and I waited for the action to happen. I am happy that I did but I will get to that in a minute. The world that Habel sets up is very detailed - if you feel like you are getting bogged down with it, do not fear, it gets better. I promise.

OK - so on to the good stuff. I really liked Nora. I did, but I liked Bram better. Nora was very bold for a time period where women were supposed to be meek and mild. I admire that but it went against the world that Habel had created.  She's pretty bold though and the relationship she has with Bram, especially the trust she has in him, after she develops it, is sweet.

Bram - I love a zombie. I do. Call me crazy. I liked him because he was old school chivalry, though he did want to eat Nora. You could tell from the very beginning that this teen wanted nothing more than to be normal, and then he meets Nora, and then he wants nothing more than her. He's very sweet, charming, and in an old school way. Can zombie's be hot?

One problem I had - all the POV. There were five that happened within the book - and the tricky thing with POV is that you have to make each voice VERY different. It's hard. A lot of the POV, blended together for me. The characters did not, but the POV did.

I thought this was a refreshing read. I think if you are willing to get through the beginning - you'll really enjoy it and then at the end - you feel sad and heartbroken for the couple. I mean how can a zombie and a human be together? Remember - sucker for romance here.


  1. POV is a big thing for me, too. Multiple POV either works or it doesn't, unfortunately. I am glad that beyond that, you enjoyed this book. I need to read it already because the whole Victorian angle, and y'know, the zomie thing DOES sound pretty cool!

    Molli | Once Upon a Prologue

  2. I'm not sure. I think I'm torn but your review gave me a lot to think about.

  3. Hmmmm, undecided on this one. I don't like books that flip POV too often, as it interrupts the story flow (in my opinion). But, on the other hand, this does sound interesting, so will add it to my TBR list.