Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel

Dearly, Departed 
Author: Lia Habel
Publisher: Del Rey Books (a part of Random House)
Release Date: October 18, 2011
Edition: ARC
*Won through a Twitter contest. 

Nora Dearly isn't like other New Victorian girls. After all, they don't know how to wield guns and they certainly haven't been abducted by a group of zombies. Wait, perhaps I ought to say "the group of individuals effected with the Lazarus." However, the members of Company Z are the least of her problems as the Grays are after her too and as far as zombies go, they're much less civilized.

Whenever I think of stories involving zombies, I picture mindless creatures with a taste for human flesh. Yes, the zombies in Dearly, Departed crave human flesh (and organs) but those from Company Z get their protein elsewhere--like from tofu. Yes, you heard me, tofu. And although not all zombies are perfectly preserved (so to speak) they're kept from being particularly smelly or terrifying to gaze upon. Did I mention that they can talk? Because they certainly do a lot of that--although not all are capable of doing so. However, not all the zombies in Dearly, Departed are like that; some are the classic depiction of zombies and it isn't pretty.

I'm warning you now, there are multiple PoV's in Dearly, Departed. This means that asides from Nora's point of view, you also get Pamela's and Bram's amongst two others that I won't get into. So yes, there are five different points of view. Nora's was obviously my favorite part although Bram's was a close second as it's always fun to see things from the boy's point of view.

Grays aren't the only problem in Nora's world though as the New Victorians are constantly at war with the Punks, who believe that the New Victorians rely too heavily on technology. Overall, Nora's world is certainly complex and I'm looking forward to seeing how things will develop in the next book.

But let's take a moment to talk about Nora and Bram because let's face it, their romance helps move the story along--and it's what drew me to Dearly, Departed in the first place. It's definitely not an instant attraction--I mean, how could it be when he's a zombie? However, as Nora grows to trust Bram, she falls for him and he's been head over heels for her since the start. The big issue that the two face is rather obvious; after all, he's dead and at best, he's got another five years to be with her.

Favorite minor character? Dr. Samedi without a doubt and once you read Dearly, Departed, you'll understand why. Let's just say that he doesn't always have his head on straight. ;) Chas, a female zombie, is pretty darn awesome too though and needless to say, she gets along with Nora.

Overall I loved the setting, the characters, and the story. My only gripe is minor and a personal preference--I usually prefer two points of view at most. Because of this, I'd definitely recommend Dearly, Departed to you. It appeals to my love of the Victorian era, strong female characters, and an unlikely romance. This is definitely a book to look forward to in October.

Overall Rating: ★★★★★


  1. Great review! This one sounds so good. I'll definitely be picking up a copy when it comes out :)

  2. This sounds even better than I thought it would be. I'll be looking for it come October.

    Thanks for the review.

  3. I don't usually like stories with more than one POV, but I like the story idea of tofu eating zombies, how oddly spectacular is that.

  4. Oh, this sounds great! I never would have guessed it was about zombies from the cover (which is gorgeous) and I love zombie books, so this is going on the list.


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