Monday, October 24, 2011

Review: Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel

Dearly, Departed
(Dearly #1)
by Lia Habel
Publication Date: October 18th, 2011
Publisher: Random House Publishing
Pages: 480
ISBN: 9780345523310

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)
Dearly, Departed is a book that starts off strong, and keeps you on the edge right until the very end. After hearing so many good things about this book, I just knew I had to read it. I’m so glad that I did!

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!

Happy Reading!


  1. I think it helped to have chapters from Bram's point of view and I loved how we got to see so much of the other zombies in Z company so you feel like you get to know them and they seem like regular people (except they are falling apart physically). I had a hard time seeing Bram as a zombie too especially since he is more whole and in control than some of the others. I agree with you about Nora. She is a great protagonist but she isn't perfect or without fear which made her more believable.

    This book is being marketed for adults and I've noticed a lot of libraries have cataloged it that way instead of teen fiction which I find interesting. I think it works better as a YA book though adults would enjoy it too! I certainly did :)

    Fantastic review-though you did call him Gram a couple of times ;)

  2. I've heard a lot of good things about this book and I like how you describe Nora. It's time I read a book with zombies. Great review :-)

  3. Christina- Good grief! That's what I get for writing reviews when the kids are around! Thanks for bringing that to my attention!

    Thanks Petra!! I hope you enjoy it as well!

  4. I've seen this one floating about the blogosphere and I have to say I am intrigued. The cover alone makes it a must read for me! I'll be interested to see how Bram is portrayed because a zombie love interest is so unbelievable for me right now!

  5. Thanks for this great review! Another book to add to my wishlist. I didn't realize it was about zombies :)

  6. Yay I'm glad you enjoyed it. I thought the world building was awesome and very creative. Great review!!

    Xpresso Reads

  7. I love this one's cover and I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I must get this one as soon as I can :)

  8. This sounds like a pretty interesting take on zombies, I think I might read it sometime.
    Glad to see what you think, I like seeing different people's points of view on the new books.


  9. Awesome review, Christy! You've made me even more eager to read this book. I'm glad that I already have it on my shelf. Perhaps I will turn to it once Bump in the Night is over. I am very intrigued by the zombie love interest angle and definitely can't wait to see how it is all put together. Thanks for the review!

  10. I'm SO glad that you enjoyed this one. I have this from Netgalley and since it's so long I was debating if I should read it or not. But now I know I have to!

    Nora sounds like a great character, I love that quote!

    Amazing review!

  11. This one sounds really good and I've been hearing great things about it. I'll definitely be picking this one up soon. Great review!

  12. I've stalled out on this book. I don't know why. It's a good story, I like the characters, I want to know what happens... But sounds like I'll have to pick it up again! Thanks for the review.

  13. great review! just makes me want the book THAT much more!

  14. I just got this book in the mail. The story sounds really awesome. Great review.

  15. Yay! Another fan of this book :) So glad to hear you enjoyed it. I loved Nora for the same reasons you mentioned - she's fiesty and has spirit. Something I much prefer over a damsel in distress. And oh Bram, he is such a sweetie! Psh. Vampires? Zombies are totally the next big thing :D

    Awesome review!

  16. The more I read about this book, the more I really really want it. I guess when I think of zombies, I think of rotting flesh and that image is just so unsexy. But I'm determined to give the romance a chance in this book because it sounds really good. I'm so excited to read this now.

  17. Oh, my Gosh, I really, really have to read this. Like, what am I waiting for? This has been on my TBR forever and I've been so anxious to get to it. Makes me wonder if the library already has it. Ah, but I still have so many left to read before I can return... Oh, sorry, I'm rambling. Thanks for getting me all excited and hopped up on the hype, because I'm sooo on board with this book.

    - Asher (from Paranormal Indulgence)

  18. I'm reading this now and truly enjoying it! So far so good. Dearly is quite ingenious. It's everything I've always wanted in a book.

  19. Oh I can't wait for my copy to arrive! I won Lia's launch day gift basket - *squeees in delight*
    Pabkins @ Mission to Read


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