Saturday, October 27, 2012

Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel

Obviously, I'm a big steampunk fan, so, on my usual trawling through recommended books I found this. THIS being Dearly, Departed, by Lia Habel. THIS being steampunk meets zombies meets post-apocalyptic in one crazy sounding mash-up. THIS being the one of best books I've read all year (and given that I'm at 68 and a half books to date in 2012, that's saying something!).
Steampunk Zombie Book Review Dearly Departed by Lia Habel

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.

Zombies in the future mixed with steampunk? Yes please! Other than being original, the plot itself was fantastic. Fast paced, intriguing, and with a nice dose of romance. Speaking of romance, it was subtle, and didn't make you as squeamish as you might expect, considering its a zombie-human relationship:

“The fact that she made this beeline for me both warmed my soul and made me want to turn around, walk out the door, and find a cliff to fling myself off of.” 

Nora Dearly makes a wonderful protagonist, being able to take care of herself while still being realistically terrified of the undead when appropriate. Her banter with Bram is what really makes the book worthwhile, because despite being... well, dead... Bran makes a fantastic hero and his and Nora's developing relationship unfolds beautifully.

Dearly, Departed's style is a little odd because it's written from the first person perspective of about five characters, but it still manages to be a wonderfully funny, riviting read for anyone who likes paranormal, zombies, steampunk, and/or romance. And, best of all, there's a sequel! I shall be eagerly awaiting its publication.

Like the sound of this book? Check out Steampunk Princess's Best Steampunk Books.

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