Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Review: Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel

Dearly, Departed by: Lia Habel
Source: NetGalley
(Del Rey 2011, 480 pages)

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.

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 the first zombie love story I have ever read and the best introduction into an interesting genre that I could have ever imagined. I requested this book to review because the stunning cover caught my eye and the blurb (above) snagged my interest. Though I am not a prolific reader of young adult books, I have read most of the popular publications (i.e. Harry Potter, Twilight, The Hunger Games), and I am glad I decided to read this one.
I love the world the author created. This is one of those books that while you read it you keep saying to yourself, "Wow, this would be great as a movie!" It would be interesting to see how this steampunk / zombie / dystopia society would look on 'the big screen.'
The main characters felt genuine and I feel like I was able to watch them grow and learn as the story progressed and the love story that blossomed during impossible circumstances made my heart ache while I followed their courageous decisions.
I highly recommend for anyone looking for a unique, imaginative, and tender story that will keep you up past your bed time.

At A Glance:
1= Could not finish the book
2= A struggle to read to the finish
3=Meh. Average with all the elements I like in a book but nothing notable
4= I ended it with a smile on my face
5=Excellent. I want to read everything this author has ever written and when I
finish all the books on my wishlist I will reread it.


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