Dearly, Departed, by Lia Habel

I'm a big steampunk fan, so, on my usual trawling through recommended books I found this. THIS being Dearly, Departed, by Lia Habel. THIS being steampunk meets zombies meets post-apocalyptic in one crazy sounding mash-up. THIS being the best book I've read all year.

Blurb: 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.

The Good: Zombies in the future mixed with steampunk? Yes please! Other than being original, the plot itself was fantastic. Fast paced, intriguing, and with a nice dose of romance. Speaking of romance, it was subtle, and didn't make you as squeamish as you might expect, considering its a zombie-human relationship:

“The fact that she made this beeline for me both warmed my soul and made me want to turn around, walk out the door, and find a cliff to fling myself off of.”

The Bad:I did find it odd that it's written from the first person perspective of about five characters, but given the writing style, it worked well so it's not really a "bad".

Extra tid-bits: There's a sequel! And I shall be eagerly awaiting its publication.

The Verdict: A wonderfully funny, riviting read for anyone who likes paranormal, zombies, steampunk, and/or romance. Highly recommended to all!

Writer's Block NZ's Verdict: 10/10



Sarah Pearson said...

Given how many Zombie stories there seem to be, it's wonderful to come across a completely fresh take on the subject. This sounds interesting and different.

Dawn Embers said...

Sounds like a good book. Interesting how we both had zombie books. :-) The two I've reviewed on here are the only zombie things I've read but I added this book to my list of books to read. The cover is beautiful, and the description made me think of Mia (who I blogged with on a character blog and she writes zombies). Can't wait to one day read. Great review.

Stephanie Asbridge said...

That's a gorgeous cover!
P.S. I nominated you for a blogger award

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