Saturday, October 29, 2011

Book Review : Dearly Departed

"Vampires are just zombies with good PR" 
                    - Dearly, Departed

Synopsis :  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. . . 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. 

Dearly, Departed is my first foray into the world of zombies and steampunk. It tells the story of Nora Dearly a 22nd century girl living in a 19th century Victorian world. The novel starts of slow and picks up quickly. As expected there is a lot of information to take in to fully understand the world. 

It is the kind of novel that takes ideas such as race, class and war and recontextualzes them in a fascinating way and that is one of the strong points of the novel.

There are defined  switching point of views that reminded me of Dan Brown and John Grisham novels. The POVs weave together nicely, but with so many characters knowing one thing while the other knows something else made the moments at the end of the novel confusing.

The zombie aspect of the novel provided were not consistent and given a hand-wave of an explanation. It seemed to rely on reimagingng zombies, while also throwing in a lot of zombie apolcalypese steroptypes.

As with most  teen paranormal books this  does have a smattering of romance, but I liked how it wasn't the central part of the novel. Nora isn't  just dragged into the story, but wants to become apart of it. There was a fair amount of  well written action, suspense and nightmare fueled scenes.

Bram is our second main protagonist. He is a likeable character and comes across as strong and confident without being domineering. He has a well written group of friends who play off him very well.

I liked how the book featured a diverse cast, that did not completely resonate into sterotypes.

Dearly, Departed mixes quite a lot of genres including zombies, steampunk, Victorian and sci-fi and I do wonder if the Victorian aspect of the novel was really necessary  Habel is a fan of New Victorian and I found the future setting did away with the authenticity of the Victorian speech, semantics and culture; which  was d disappointing. I also wish we could have spend more time in Nora's world  instead of being catapulted into a more modern setting. I do however have high hopes for the sequel, Dearly, Beloved.

On a side note I despise the synopsis for this book for focusing so much on the very small relationship aspect of the novel.

Recived by as a Galley via Netgalley

Yay ! I finished The Spooktacular Paranormal Reading Challenge ! I read about Casters, Angels and Zombies !

October Paranormal Reading Challenge


  1. good review. I think if it had been the POV of just Nora and Bram..this could have been a 5 star.

  2. I totally agree with the above comment - while I LOVED Pamma, I think the book would've been better with just Nora and Bram.

    And I agree with your comment about the synopsis too! What is that? Did you see the other cover for it that's all vaguely Gone with the Wind crossed with Harlequin romance? Thank goodness they went with this parasol one!

    I'm stopping by through the Spooktacular Paranormal Reading Challenge list because I had to say I love your blog title! :D

  3. I read this book recently and totally loved it. I do agree with you that it started out slow. It actually was very nearly a DNF, but fortunately it picked up in the nick of time for me to keep going and I really enjoyed it.

    I liked the multiple POV set up and felt that Lia HAbel did a great job of weaving the varying plots. I definitely *preferred* the time with Nora and Bram, but I felt that some of the insight from the other characters was useful, and Pamela's plot was pretty cool.

    I also feel that a bit too much weight was put on the romance in the synopsis. However, I feel that Habel did a fantastic job at mixing it in with the plot, rather then having it kill the plot. I will be recommending this to my boyfriend and my brother. If it was too romance heavy and not action oriented enough, I wouldn't.

    Overall, great review! :) I'm glad to see that you enjoyed the book and feel that you gave some very interesting insights.


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