Monday, December 5, 2011

Review: Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel

Dearly, Departed
By: Lia Habel
Pub. Date: October 18th, 2011
Publisher: Random House Publishing
Pages: 480
Source: Netgalley
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.

 Dearly, Departed is one of those books that starts off with a BANG, and then just gets better and better. Seriously, this book is awesome. It's completely original, the characters were great and the writing kept my attention the entire time.

I think what I loved most about Dearly, Departed was the setting. It's set in a futuristic Victorian era. I loved it!! Buggies, corsets, televisions AND cell phones!! How cool is that?? 

Dearly, Departed is told in multiple POVs, and sometimes this can be confusing, but I think Lia Habel did a terrific job not making this confusing! Each character had their own voice. The only problem I had was even though I was enjoying the story, for the first half of it, I was just lost. I really didn't understand what was going on. I think this was because Habel created such an original world, that I was taken back. So really, Habel, in my opinion, is a creative genius!

Nora Dearly is your average teenager. She is an aristocrat whose father died a year ago. Since it is technically the Victorian age, girls are seen as weak and in need of protection. But Nora is anything but weak. She has a passion for military and political history, and really isn't like other girls her age. I really loved her! She didn't have to grow on me like other female protagonists. She was just awesome from the very beginning.

Nora's best friend is Pamela. She is the opposite of Nora, in that she is a typical Victorian girl. She wants to find a suitor, and she follows the rules. But she and Nora are the best of friends and I loved their chemistry and relationship. The two of them protect each other like no other would and I loved how faithful they were too each other. When zombies start to take over her town, Pam can hold her own. She definitely becomes a kick ass character!

Then there is Bram. Lovely, amazing, and dead, Bram. Bram's a zombie, but due to modern technology he is able to hold onto his memories and mannerisms. He doesn't walk around eating flesh. He is actually a very sweet, brave, thoughtful and interesting guy. I never thought I would say this about a zombie, but I definitely have a crush on jim.

Bram and Nora together was so special and sweet. I loved them! They were adorable and I enjoyed watching Bram get Nora to trust him.

Even the secondary characters were great. I loved Bram's entire zombie crew. Each one had their own personalities and voices, even if they were missing body parts!

Many times throughout the book I found myself laughing out loud. This book was amazing, and I am extremely excited for the rest of this series and what Habel has in store for us! I definitely recommend this read!!



  1. Great review. I recently finished this book. While I wasn't a fan of the different perspectives but other than that it was a fun read.

  2. Futuristic Victorian era? That kind of does sound like a fun setting :)

    Great review, Kristina!

  3. While I thought 5 perspectives was a bit much, I did think Habel did a good job of differentiating their narration so I wasn't confused. And the world was so great-I'm happy here but this was one of the more exciting settings I've read.

  4. Omg I loved this book! and i agree that its originality.

    btw, thanks for following me thru FF and sorry that i responded late. im following u now and thought id comment here instead! great review.

    Hope to see you again on my blog.


  5. I love reading enthusiastic reviews like these. It's why I love reading to begin with and am so happy to have come across this glowing review. I'm really eager to read this now, more so than i was before.

    - Asher (from Paranormal Indulgence)


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