Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel
Release Date – October 18, 2011
Publisher – Random House
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 480 pages
My Rating- 8.5/10
**obtained from the publisher for an honest review**
Here is the Goodreads synopsis
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.
Ever think you would fall in love with a zombie? I never thought I would. Lia Habel has managed to make me do just that with her fun, intense debut novel.
Lia Habel’s writing is addictive. She hooks you right from the beginning and keeps you invested to the very last page. She has incredible descriptive narrative that helps with her world building. The world Lia’s created is so complex, and complete. It’s easy to imagine it. I loved that society decided to go back to a simpler time in some ways when they were rebuilding. It gave the story a little something extra and I enjoyed learning about New Victoria. This novel has it’s funny moments, it’s touching moments, moments that will scare you and others that will make you sigh.
The characters were interesting. Nora, a young high society lady who is more comfortable studying military history than preparing for parties. I loved her. She was funny, had fire, and I adored that she was short (like me!). She gave the impression of being delicate in looks, but was someone that was capable of taking care of herself and others. She is also someone who is willing to get to know someone before making decisions about them.
Her love interest Bran Griswold is infected with a virus that causes it’s victims to come back as “zombies”. With help from doctors, and modern science he is able to live a pretty decent life. Bram is a soldier, and can only be described as a gentleman. He’s so gentle, and understanding. He gets why Nora might be apprehensive and tries to make he feel at ease. He is the type of guy you will swoon over. I can already tell you I will be bawling when it comes time to say goodbye to him (hopefully some cure can be found). I just loved how his and Nora’s relationship progressed without it happening too fast. She learned to trust him, and THEN she fell for him. The lock game made me chuckle!
The other characters are just as well developed and charming. The bad guys are ones you really love to hate, but still very well developed. I am looking forward to getting to know each of them more. Nora’s best friend Pamela was one of my favourites. I kept picturing this proper lady in full gown rushing a zombie with her parasol. Bad ass, and awesome. Chas, a female zombie who is a soldier with Bram, is also awesome. She loves giving people a make over, but can shoot a gun with the best of them. I found the women to be really powerful, and that was awesome to read.
Lia Habel has made me want to fall for a dashing zombie, and has left me anxious for the follow up book in this series. If you’re looking for beauty, and something unique in your next zombie book than this is one you should pick up!