Sunday 16 October 2011

A Review for Dearly Departed (Dearly #1) by Lia Habel

Posted by Jess
Published Date: September 29th, 2011
Finished Date: October 16th, 2011
Publishers: Doubleday
Source: ARC for Review
Format: Paperback
Pages: 451

The blurb from Goodreads: 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. 

The Review: "Bram folded his arms over his chest. He didn't fight it as I traced his lips, his chin, the top half of his throat. He did catch my hand before it ventured any lower, though. My tongue flattened against the roof of my mouth as I kept my eyes on his, letting him do what he wanted. He kissed my satin-robed wrist, over the glove's buttoned opening, and dropped my hand."

I LOVED this book. I'm so glad Donna passed this to me for review. I'm pretty easy when it comes to Victorian genres, I enjoyed Clockwork Angel which was Steampunk as well. Dearly Departed is just everything you could want...futuristic, Victorian Steampunk, Post-apocalyptic, good zombies, bad zombies, hot undead guy (yeah I know). It's just full of everything, things that shouldn't work in a book, but somehow Lia Habel pulled it off. It was wonderful.

Nora, our lead protagonist is amazing! She's so tough, and super, super strong. She's instantly likable. This book is full of amazing characters and Nora is just one of them. Her best friend Pam, is so incredibly sweet. She sticks up for what she believes in and can do amazing things with a parasol! Watch out for that Parasol. Bram, what can I say about Bram. He's incredibly sweet, a real gentlemen. He knows what he is, and knows that Nora will be repulsed by him so he keeps his distance at the beginning. Bram is hot too (yes you heard me...a zombie is cute), Bram has done for zombies what Edward Cullen did for vampires...made them extremely irresistible on so many levels; that it's hard not to fall in love with him.

The world building is incredible, I saw the whole thing play out like a movie in my head whilst I was reading. Everything is so vivid. The characters are well developed and a lot of them are incredibly funny (Tom and Chas). The romance was well done in this book. At first Nora can't stand Bram and is ultimately repulsed by him, but after a tender moment between the two involving 10 locks on a door and truth answers, they start to form a bond with each other, and Nora eventually comes out of her shell and gives Bram and the others a chance. The romance between both Bram and Nora is one of slow build, but one of greatest loves in the book.

The book is split into 5 POV's: Nora, Bram, Pam, Victor and Wolfe. Now I'm not one for multiple POV's, it just tends to get a little confusing at times. This is no different. And it's the only gripe I had with the book itself. I just think that the book would have worked just as well with just Nora and Bram's POV's. None the less, it was still enjoyable, and after the first 100 pages or so the story does start to pick up a lot more, and the multiple POV's becomes inconsequential because you get sucked in and eventually it turns out that all those POV's were pivotal to the story itself and without them we'd probably be slightly lost as to what was going on on the otherside of Comp Z (Good zombie base camp).

All in all this was a fab book, and if you haven't read it yet then go do it! For those of you that tried to read it but couldn't finish...I recommend you try again because once you are passed the first 100 pages or so, you WON'T be disappointed! I now can't wait to read Dearly Beloved the sequel to this...more Bram, that's fine with me.

Thank you to Doubleday for allowing me to review this

Side note: Don't let the idea of a zombie romance freak you out too much. Yes it may touch your 'ick' side a little. But believe me when I say that you completely forget that Bram is a zombie after a while because he honestly doesn't gross you out. He's wonderful...I can't stress that enough.


Candace said...

I just loved this book and am so glad you did too! Bram definitely made zombies more appealing, that's for sure! And the POV thing was my only issue as well. I think it was needed, but where I wish it was different was when the characters were together and the scene hadn't changed but the POV's did. I would forget who was narrating then. But really it was a minor issue because of how much I loved this book!

Mel said...

I'm glad you liked it! I just got a copy of it from netgalley but not been too sure as I don't really like the idea of a zombie love interest...don't know why that bothers me but vampires are fine! :)

Book Passion for Life said...

Oh Mel, don't let that put you off. After a while you forget that Bram is a zombie, and he doesn't actually gross you out. I should have mentioned that in the review. Honestly give it a go, you won't be disappointed. He's awesome :)

TG said...

This books is getting great reviews! I really want to read it.

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