Friday, September 14, 2012

Review: Dearly Departed by Lia Habel

Dearly Departed
Lia Habel
Publisher: Del Ray
Release Date: September 29, 2011

A classic romance, suspense thriller, rip-roaring adventure, and macabre comedy all at once, Dearly, Departed redefines the concept of undying love. 
The year is 2195. The place is New Victoria--a high-tech nation modeled on the mores of an antique era. Sixteen-year-old Nora Dearly is far more interested in her country's political unrest than in silly debutante balls. But the death of her beloved parents leaves Nora at the mercy of a social-climbing aunt who plans to marry off her niece for money. To Nora, no fate could be more horrible--until she's nearly kidnapped by an army of walking corpses. Now she's suddenly gunning down ravenous zombies alongside mysterious black-clad commandos and confronting a fatal virus that raises the dead. Then Nora meets Bram Griswold, a young soldier who is brave, handsome, noble...and thoroughly deceased. But like the rest of his special undead unit, Bram has been enabled by luck and modern science 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. 

I should not have waited so long to read Dearly Departed. I really liked this book. It was so creative, had awesome characters (one in particular), and was addicting. And it had zombies, which already made it awesome. 

I'm not going to lie, it took a while for me to warm up to Nora. She just wasn't my favorite character. In the beginning she just seemed spoiled and naive to me. But as I got see her in more situations throughout the book. And I loved how snarky she could be at times. 

I completely misjudged Pamela. When she was first introduced I figured she was a character who was really spoiled, completely ignorant, and would not play a vital role in this book. For whatever reason, I kept this image of her for a long time. I finally realized that she wasn't as bad as I originally thought of her. However, I do wish more of the focus on the book was put on Nora and Bram. 

Which brings me to my next point. Bram. Bram is my absolute favorite. He was so sweet, not just for a  zombie but just as a person. He was also really loyal, and... I just loved him. My favorite character, by far. 

This world combined two of my favorite things... steam-punk and Victorian. I was a little apprehensive about this combination. It seemed like a good idea, but would it play out? Yes, I really liked this world. It wasn't the most well-developed and riveting future world out there, but it was still interesting and creative.

And of course... the zombies. These are not like your typical brain-eating zombies. They have feelings and thoughts. In the book, they liken themselves to vampires, which is a pretty accurate description, except they have a need to eat flesh instead of drink blood. Most fight the need, but not all. Overall, this  was a very interesting twist on zombies. 

This book didn't suck me in from the first page. But in a fairly short time (about 40 pages) I was addicted. From then on I couldn't put the book down. The book may be over 400 pages, but I wanted more by the end. 

Dearly, Departed was just a great read. It was a perfect mixture of action, romance, and, of course, zombies.



  1. Great review, Kapri! I loved this one too. And Bram... who knew a zombie could be so swoon worthy :)

  2. Strange combination. The synopsis almost sounded ridiculous. And a dashing zombie? I didn't know those words could go in the same sentence.

    But then you raved about it, and my interest is piqued. Maybe I need to try this one out for myself.

  3. I totally agree with your review. The beginning was all blah... in my opinion, but it was addicting to read once I got used to it.

    However, I thought that some parts of the book were a little tossed in without any hint, such as the betrayal of a character. It was like "Oh no! (S)he's a traitor! Let's kill him/her!" Then that was the end of that problem. Otherwise, I loved it as much as you did.

    Angie @YA Novelties

  4. Enjoyed your review, but I'm still not sold on this one. Dashing, adorable zombies? Not a big steampunk fan to begin with, and now a new zombie mythology? But it does sound fun...maybe I'll check out a chapter sample. Thanks!

    My Saturday Situation

  5. Great Review! I just actually picked this one up today so I'm glad to see another positive review!

  6. I've been going back and forth between picking this book up now or waiting until the entire series has been released. Your review, and the consistent praise Dearly, Departed has been getting, are starting to win me over.

    Awesome review! I'm really glad to hear that the characters (or Bram at least) are so amazing.

  7. I LOVED this one as well! I think it worked so well!
    <3 Inky@ Book Haven Extraordinaire

  8. Amazing Review! I love the whole zombies idea in this book! :)

    Happy Reading!
    My Review -