Author: Lia Habel
Publication Date: October 18th. 2011
Genre: YA - Horror - Dystopian - Steampunk - Romance
"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." ~Goodreads
I had been waiting quite awhile to read Dearly, Departed, it was on my TBR list immediately after I read the synopsis and luckily for me I got access to it on NetGalley. I’m also extremely happy to say that I wasn’t disappointed with it!
I loved the world that Ms. Habel created! She combined the old fashioned and the futuristic which resulted in a setting that was unique and had a dark, yet beautiful quality to it. It was very apparent that a lot of time and thought went into the background of the story because it seemed very realistic. The characters were wonderful and very multi-dimensional. I was hooked from the very first page, it was gripping and action packed and I couldn’t get to the next page fast enough throughout the entire book.
I really liked how the author developed Pam’s character, I think that showing her growth throughout the story added more to her character and made her even more relatable. Anyone who knows me well can tell you I’m a sucker for romance as long as it isn’t cheesy, I was so very glad that the romance between Nora and Bram wasn't cheesy in the slightest. It was well paced and sweet, not over the top and it didn’t take away from the main story which can happen easily in YA books. I was also glad that there weren’t any love triangles!! I mean I don’t mind them every now and then but it’s becoming quite a common trend nowadays and I feel like it tends to be an overdone plotline.
I really didn’t have issues with the story, although I will say there are a lot of character POV shifts in the book. I know some readers don’t really like shifting POV’s too much, but it usually doesn’t bother me as long as I can follow along and don’t feel lost in the story.
Dearly, Departed was really an enjoyable read, it was dark and creepy, but humorous at the same time. And it was full of action and adventure, fantastically memorable characters, and wonderful world building. I would definitely recommend this book and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series!