Review: Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel

Cover of 'Dearly, Departed'.
Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel
Series: Dearly Book (# 1)
Publisher: Del Ray
Release Date:  October 18, 2011
Page Count: 480
Source: ARC won at Goodreads

Love can never die.

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.

Review: Warning, mild spoilers ahead

I started SUPER liking this book. The characters were great and the dialogue was believable. I was totally sucked into the book. I even developed a little crush on Bram. Until I found out he was already dead. He wasn’t dying, or alive and then bitten later in the book. No. He was dead. Already dead for about a year. Put the book down and didn’t pick it up for a week. I could not get over it. I am still not really over it. I don’t know what it is. Otherwise I TOTALLY would have given it a higher rating. This was my personal issue with the book. I doubt other people will be the same way. There’s nothing overly gross about it. It just.. weirded me out.

Anyway, the characters were great. Really great. And all very different from each other. The dialogue wasn’t forced. At all. It seemed very natural. The plot was crazy and well thought out. There were a couple scenes where I was a little confused as to what was going on. She was also in quite a few people’s heads so sometimes it wasn’t completely cohesive, but I got the early copy so maybe future prints will have cleared that up. All in all, not a bad book. The cover is even gorgeous. Read it. Let me know if you can get over the dead aspect.

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