“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 recontextualizes them in a fascinating way and that is one of the strong points of the novel.
There are defined switching points-of- view 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 reimagining zombies, while also throwing in a lot of zombie apocalypse stereotypes.
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 likable 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 with stereotypes.
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 spent 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.
Received as a Galley via Netgalley
Yay ! I finished The Spooktacular Paranormal Reading Challenge ! I read about Casters, Angels and Zombies !
1/2 of the blogging duo at Books and Sensibility, I have been blogging about and reviewing books since 2011. I read any and every genre, here on the blog I mostly review Fantasy, Adult Fiction, and Young Adult with a focus on audiobooks.