Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel

Title: Dearly, Departed
Author: Lia Habel
Pages: 470
Genre: YA/ Teen
Source: NetGalley
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. [via GoodReads]
A Steampunk - Zombie - YA novel?!  Be still my heart.  I was thrilled to see three genres that I enjoy all rolled up into one.   Even more interesting than the genre mix, I also found it surprising that although the year is 2195, society is living in a Victorian society while using technology that we can only dream of having.

There were many things I liked about Dearly, Departed.... the earlier paragraph for instance.  I enjoyed the world building, the zombies, the characters, etc.   I liked Nora and Bram - and their unique romance.  You know, it is a first for me to find a girl in love with a zombie.  I even enjoyed reading of the war with the Punks.  But it took me almost 200 pages to actually get into the story.  The first chapter was awesome but I had a hard time fully getting immersed in the story... I'm not really sure why, I just felt that I had to try to hard.  I think the main problem might have been the oh-so-many points-of-view.  Even more disconcerting was the fact that they are told in the first person.  And although the characters differ in age and sex, I still found myself wondering several times whose chapter it was that I was reading.  While I do enjoy a book told using various perspectives, I found that five different narrators (Bram, Nora, Pam, Wolfe, and Victor) may have been a bit much.  The Wolfe and Victor chapters quite frankly felt unnecessary.  I found that those story lines could have been told using other methods and cutting down on the constant character changes and possibly in my confusion.    

All in all, I found Dearly, Departed to be a good start to the series.  While I didn't love it and most likely will not run out to immediately buy the next installment in the series, I will undoubtedly get around to reading it.

My Rating:


Kailana said...

I felt about the same about this book.

Candace said...

I liked this one more then you did but yet the things you disliked are the things that bothered me as well. I guess they just bothered me less. Very creative story though! Glad you still enjoyed it!

Krazzyme(Young Readers) said...

I'm currently reading this one! AND I'm not able to really get into it :(

Krazyyme @ Young Readers

Lola said...

I seem to be in the minority when it comes to the alternating points of view. I enjoyed them, but understand how they can become confusing. Glad you gave it a try! :)

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