Monday, October 21, 2013

Book Review: Dearly Departed by Lia Habel

Dearly Departed

Lia Habel

470 Pages

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 was a unique and memorable take on the subject of zombies, something I seem to have really gotten into lately. Our story follows Nora, a girl who blends in well with the rest of high society but is secretly just a bit different than all the other frou frou girls she goes to school with. Nora is tough and thinks for herself and has a fascination with the rebels and all areas of history - she's a free spirit and a character I truly loved.

The book was told from multiple points of view, and while I didn't particularly care for this in the beginning, the style quickly drew on me. By the last page I had really enjoyed hearing different bits and pieces of the story through multiples peoples perspectives, especially from that of Bram. Ah.. Bram. Such a... different tye of character. A zombie!

Now as if hearing a story told from a zombie's point of view wasn't cool enough, imagine thinking that said zombie sounded pretty yummy. Yeah, that was a new thought process on my part. He seemed very much alive thanks to the work of a very important and influential scientist in Nora's world. Because of him there are many perfectly intact, absurdly coherent undead men and women roaming around Dearly Departed, all spouting off their witty come-backs and such. It was amazing.

There were a lot of interesting twists and turns, and I really enjoyed every direction the plot ending up taking. I felt like I was immersed in multiple worlds at once; one being a post-apocalyptic society full of zombies both creepy and enchanting, another being Victorian society at its peak, and another being the future with vast amounts of highly advanced technology. Not many authors could have pulled off meshing these three worlds together, but somehow Lia Habel has managed to do it with grace and charm.  Looks like it's high time I invested in the sequel!

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