November 17, 2011

Dearly, Departed – Lia Habel

A cyber-Victorian/steampunk romance – with zombies.
Almost two hundred years in the future, Nora Dearly lives in a world of bustled gowns, fake manners, watery tea, and uppity lords and ladies. Thank God the zombies came to rescue her. Dragged into the night by the living dead, Nora soon finds herself fighting for the father she thought long gone, the friend she was forced to leave behind – and the love of a handsome, noble young army captain, who just happens to be a walking corpse – Synopsis from the book

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** This book was provided to us by the publisher, and we were in no way paid for our review. 
The review was done simply because we support and believe in the author’s works**

This book was just *le sigh* awesome! You know how you can kinda tell how a book is going to be from the first few pages? What about the first few lines? “I was being buried alive” – That’s all it took! Just after reading that first sentence, I was so excited to see what was going on.

Habel’s writing style is wonderfully descriptive. She has created and described an interesting future that is an imitation of the Victorian past. She does an excellent job describing the events and timelines allowing the reader to understand the history of how the world, as we know it, changes.

Habel puts in so much emotion into her writing, as well as in the development of her characters. The scene where she describes Nora’s father’s death was so utterly heartbreaking and beautifully written. In all honesty, I had to break out the tissue fairly early in the game. I have a weakness for father/daughter moments. Pulls at the heartstrings, big time! There was so much emotion poured into the words used to describe Nora’s relationship with her father and the time leading up to his death. In a matter of a few pages, the reader is familiarized with the close relationship of Nora and her father. That is such a feat in itself, as it is pretty rare that this can be successfully done in a few pages. I’ve read books where the attempt to bring forward the back story of characters had lost my interest.

The writing that was put into the scene with the invasion of the undead was so action packed, I was glued to the pages. There was so much going on that I was on the edge of my seat. (well, more like sitting up in my bed, but same thing) Habel puts in just enough detail to allow the reader to envision the entire situation. I could see the whole picture in my mind, as the events progressed. And because it was written in the first person point of view of a handful of the characters, it was even better! I was seeing the whole picture through their eyes! I felt closer connection to Nora, Bram, Pam, among others. I loved that each chapter brought forth a different point of view of a different character, and would then jump from character to character to allow the reader an opportunity to see what is going on in that part of the world. Seriously, this book was totally squeee worthy.

As the story progresses, you come to love each of these characters. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the descriptions of the different undead characters. Such an amazing visual description, with an attention to detail. Habel has given so much personality into each character, you can’t help but feel a little something, something for each of them. Watching this love story unfold was so addicting!

Another favorite of mine is the humor that was thrown in throughout the book. I found myself constantly sniggering, or snorting as I was reading. The relationship between Nora and Bram was written at a perfect pace. Not at all rushed. You can pinpoint the littlest details where you can see the changes in the relationship. I found it so sweet and endearing when Bram would second guess Nora’s feelings for him. Seriously, I couldn’t help but crush on him – big time! He is the sweetest zombie EVER! (Now that is a line I never thought I would ever say). And speaking of lines, Bram is in close competition with Patch (Hush, Hush fame) when it comes to the one liners. Oh yes, Bram made me smile, giggle and swoon many a time throughout this book. I love that Habel created him!

I recommend this book to fans of paranormal romance, action and zombies. This is a must have for any YA fan’s bookshelf. Pick up this book, and see what I mean about Bram…

Dearly, Departed is definitely an original read and one that I won’t soon forget, after all who doesn’t love a good romance- wait, wait, wait! Did I forget to mention that it’s not just any type of romance? Thought so. Well here we go, Dearly, Departed is a steampunk romance that takes place in our future, one where the beautiful Nora Dearly finds herself falling for a boy who is tall, dark, gorgeous and uh… undead. You heard me, undead as in not alive but alive anyways.

The novel starts with a fast paces prologue from the POV (Point- of- view) of a man who we don’t know yet named Bram who is lowering himself in a mine shaft hiding from these things that sound an awful lot like zombies. I absolutely hate zombies, but I began hoping that this would be one of those novels that changes my mind and after the prologue ended, I knew that it would be. As I continued through the novel I started to find myself very interested in the life of Nora Dearly, especially when she ends up finding herself in a place surrounded by the undead. I have to give her some respect, she does handle being surrounded by dead people who want to eat her, relatively well especially when she ends up becoming close with Bram.

Oh Bram…what can I say? He’s just amazing! The way he treats Nora, the way he thinks of her- especially when he finally knows that he’s falling for her. He’s so willing to risk everything for Nora, it’s so romantic. I was constantly demanding (in my head of course) to know when he would just tell her how he feels for her. He’s even pretty cool with his Laz illness and his zombie instincts, of course that might just be me. Did I forget to mention that he’s also Captain Abraham Griswald? He’s a man in uniform :)

I did enjoy the way the author changed from POV to POV, especially in Pamela’s point of view when (SPOILER ALERT!!!!!) you saw the spoiler alert and if you don’t want me to ruin this for you then I would suppose to just wait until the next paragraph to start up the review again. Just saying. Anyways, in Pamela’s POV after the Laz outbreak in the Elysian Fields I found myself screaming at my book whenever she would say that they just simply had to save somebody who was about to be eaten by the living dead, I always think that the most logical thing to do is let somebody else die instead of risking death itself. Very heroic Miss Roe, very heroic…

I recommend this to anybody who wants a steampunk meets, zombie romance type thing. I mean come on, who doesn’t want a boyfriend who will eat them alive.

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