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.
Rating: 4 out of 5
Review: The thing that was so amazing about this book was that the plot and the detail was so different and interesting than any other book I had ever read, that I had no choice but to get right into it. Who else would have come up with a way to interpret the future, the past and an apocalypse all in one era. Nora’s world is so diverse. Habel interprets the technology of 2195, the society of the 1800’s and the imagination of 2012. Simply amazing. I love this world.
I was really swept along with the turn of events. There were no breaks in this book, just event after event. In the beginning, Nora is finishing school for the holidays and in a matter of days she has been kidnapped by zombies and falls in love with one.
I really like how Habel changes perspectives every few chapters. She alternates between Nora, Bram, Pamela (Nora’s bestfriend), Victor (Nora’s father), and Wolfe (the general in charge of the zombies). This way you always know what is happening in every aspect of Nora’s kidnapping. The victim, the kidnapper, the family, the villain. you know everybody’s thoughts and everybody’s motive. Which is great, but sometimes slightly frustrating because the other characters don’t know what is going on.
Habel had a way of piecing all the untied ends together at the end. Picture it like a water slide. You get faster and faster down the slide and then when you least expect it, you reach the end and a big, drenching splash is created. That is how I would describe this book in a nutshell.
Habel was good at playing with Nora’s skepticism on the “good zombie” subject. When Nora was kidnapped, Bram was ordered to lock her in a dorm and keep her there until further notice without any sort of contact to the outside world. Bram had thoroughly opposed to that request so he, instead, put her in his own room. Nora stayed there for days on end, terrified of what stood on the other side of the door. Bram, knowing that she must be confused and scared, began playing a game with her, a little like twenty questions. Nora asked questions about her situation and about Bram’s former life, and slowly but surely, the connection between the two grew very deep. At one point in the book, Nora begins having a panic attack because she wants to talk to Bram and he isn’t outside her door. She starts screaming and shouting at all the doctors who are trying to calm her down (the only alive people for miles) and didn’t stop until she heard Bram’s voice. It is oddly ironic yet quite cute.
In most books, the end of the bookholds a big battle and the death of the enemy. In Dearly, Departed, Habel has made the fighting quite limited, which is nice. Sometimes too much fighting is annoying. The climax is mostly Pamela’s rescue from the “bad zombies” and a very intense phone call with the enemy (Wolfe). It is more intense and suspenseful than death-filled and tragic.
I am so very excited to read the second book of the series: Dearly, Beloved. I have a hunch that it is going to be more action filled and more passionate than the first one.
review by: dharmaayla
- Next week, read the review of City of Bones