Monday, October 31, 2011

Review: Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel

Dearly, Departed (Dearly, #1)


Love can never die.

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. (Goodreads)

Book Details

Title: Dearly, Departed
Author: Lia Habel
Hardcover: 480 pages
Publisher: Del Rey
Release Date: October 18, 2011
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0345523318
ISBN-13: 978-0345523310
Source: NetGalley


Dearly, Departed is one of those books you hear about and you start anxiously waiting on the release date. I was so excited when I saw that NetGalley had review copies I literally had a fan girl moment:) So did it live up to all the hype? Read on…

Ok, so I loved this New Victoria that Lia Habel has created for Dearly, Departed, She has such a well thought out history of why the world went back to this era after all the bad went down. You get to see everything to were people live and why they live there according to their station in life (yes this is set in the future). I thought the setting was a very original concept in contrast to the year. I thought the same of most of the characters in Dearly, Departed.

I loved Nora Dearly! She goes to the right school, has the right family, and she does not care one bit what society thinks of her. Nora has been in morning over her father’s death for a year and is still hurting from it, but when she has to go home to her aunt who is non-sympathetic she stands up for herself. Even though Nora is small and always dressed like a lady, when trouble comes her way she fights like there is no tomorrow, how could you not love her. When Nora meets Bram her world is turned upside down. I all kinds of fell for Bram! This zombie is everything you want in a man…Ok so he is stitched up in a few places, but he is still hot! There is this one scene when Bram is trying to make Christmas special for Nora, it will melt an undead heart.

As much as I loved the zombies, the setting and the storyline itself, I really did not care for the POV change every chapter. It just didn’t work for me in Dearly, Departed. If it had just gone back and forth from Bram and Nora it may have been fine, but I didn’t find the villains in the story that compelling so their chapters didn’t keep my interest.

Overall I enjoyed Dearly, Departed I am very excited for the next in the series Dearly, Beloved.

Happy Reading,

It's good. I had fun for the most part.

Recommended For
Teen and up: For language, and violence.


  1. Re: the POV changes -- I said pretty much the same thing in my blogpost. I don't typically mind alternating POV's, but I think in this case (were I to change anything) I would prefer it being only Nora and Bram. Other than that, I thought this book was SO charming and SO fun. I loved it! And I loved the cover so much.

    I'm also excited about the next in the series. Loved your thoughts.


  2. Wait-what? Next in the series? Oohh... That's such great news!

    Okay, actually I've yet to read the first one (cough, cough, it's first thing on my wishlist) but after checking out the reviews it has overriden my initial reticence of a zombie as a paramour.

    And now I'll be back to speak properly. Like someone from this century.

    POV complains have also been quite common. I usually like the switch, but I think you nail it when you said that the villains weren't interesting. If you want the thing to work, everyone needs to be equally developped!

    I think.

    Anyway, thanks a lot for the review!

    Ron @ Stories of my life

  3. First, thank you for dropping that NetGalley has offered copies. I liked type-smashed the keyboard in my anger, and then ended up spewing trashy cuss words.

    Second, I'm only more looking forward to reading this. Victorian London is by far my favorite time period and I love the sound of Nora Dearly and accompanying man-candy :D

    - Asher (from Paranormal Indulgence)


Thanks so much for the comment love!