Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel
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Source: Blog it Forward
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: October 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover, 470 pages
Love can never die.There are quite a few things that make this book the fantastic read that it is. I mean, a) it's like a combination of past and future, with old-fashioned ideals set years after our time, b) there are zombies and c) the main character, Nora, rocks.
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.
I love zombies. I think they're fascinating creatures, no matter how gruesome, and I love the different ways they're being portrayed now. Lia Habel has definitely put a unique spin on them in Dearly, Departed. While the classic I-will-eat-you-now zombies are still very much apart of it, there is also a seperate sector of more sympathetic zombies. These zombies are very much like the humans they once were, save for a few physical disadvantages. I had such a fun time reading about these zombies and it was nice to be surprised along the way by how much I liked them!
Dearly, Departed is told from 5 perspectives, with 2 that I would say are the main ones. All of these storylines tie in well together and it's refreshing to be able to switch into a different character's mindset. Each voice had a distinct tone to it, which helped it from getting overwhelming. Of course, it helped immensely that I found all of the characters so interesting.
Firstly, we have Nora, the MC of this novel. As I said before, there are some more traditional views on how society should function in this novel. A huge part of this has to do with women and their role (in other words, Nora is expected to be a gentle, soft-spoken lady). This is all fine and dandy except... Nora would rather watch war videos than plan tea parties. Nora is stubborn, brave and determined - I loved her.
Along with Nora, there is Bram (AKA Zombie Love Interest) and a whole bunch of other diverse characters. There is some spark to Bram that I can't quite describe - perhaps it's his refreshingly bright outlook on life? All I'll say besides that is that I really did like him, especially with Nora where the pair form a fabulous team. The other characters are memorable and fun, from Pamela - whom I was iffy about at the beginning but was definitely CHEERING ON by the end - to Ren - that geeky boy you just have to love.
Topped off with magnificent writing and some hilarious one-liners, Dearly, Departed is a zombie novel you won't want to miss.
Cover Comments: I like it! It has that Victorian feel but then I think the colour scheme brings out the futuristic side as well. Plus, as my friend pointed out to me, there is a GRAVEYARD in the background, which is all sorts of cool.