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