by Lia Habel
Publication Date: October 18th, 2011
Publisher: Random House Publishing
Where to Buy:
B&N | Amazon | The Book Depository
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. (Goodreads)
The main character in the story is Nora Dearly. Nora is not your average teenage aristocrat. Instead of caring about balls and suitors, she has a passion for political and military history. In the beginning, I was worried that Nora was going to be another of those weak, wimpy heroines that I am constantly rolling my eyes at. I’m so glad that she turned out to be the complete opposite. One quote in the book describes her perfectly: “Because I’m not a princess. I have a temper and I’m impetuous and I have series issues when it comes to keeping my mouth shut.” Love her!
Bram is an undead soldier that helped kidnap Nora in the night, to protect her from the zombies that are running amuck. I thought he was a really interesting character as well. He is definitely not what I think of when I think of zombies, and I had a bit of a hard time picturing him as a zombie. However, I thought he was a wonderful character. Strong and brave, noble and caring, he really had it all. I really liked the relationship between Bram and Nora. It grew at just the right pace, and was well written. I still have a bit of a hard time seeing Zombies as love interests, but they are starting to grow on me! (It works for vampires, why not for zombies???)
The secondary characters were really great as well. I really loved Nora’s best friend, Pamela. As if I haven’t mentioned it before, I really love awesome best friends! I also enjoyed Bram’s fellow soldiers, Chase, Tom, and the whole crew. They were great for a laugh!
The world-building in the book was really interesting. The author did a great job of describing not only the setting, but also the people. Some of the zombie descriptions were a bit too well described for my liking. HA!
Overall, this was a book I really enjoyed more than I thought I would. The characters and the story were really creative. I am looking forward to adding this to my collection!