Friday, December 30, 2011

Review: Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel

Published by: Del Rey, an imprint of The Random House Publishing Group
Number of pages: 480
How I got this book: eARC from Netgalley
My rating: 2.5/5
First, a big thank you to Netgalley and Random House for the opportunity to read this eARC!
Summary on Goodreads:
"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."
I thought the cover of this book was beautiful, and it made me really excited to read this book. However, I was a bit disappointed. I'll get to that in a minute. First, a little about the characters...
Nora Dearly, the daughter of the man who created a "vaccine" to prolong the "unlife" of the zombies, was really a cool girl. She was petite, but feisty, and pretty good with weapons. I liked her loyalty to her best friend, Pamela, and the fact that she was able to see past Bram', zombieness? who he really was. I loved Bram. He may have looked slightly scary, being a zombie and all, but he was very gentle. He was willing to help rescue Nora's friends simply because it was what she wanted, even if it did put them all in danger.
The story itself was good, and the writing was good. I LOVED the humor that Habel injected into the book. This particular passage made me literally laugh out loud...I think I may even start quoting it - "All of our lives suck right now, okay? You might think yours is an extra special sparkly rainbow unicorn fart type of suck, but it's not." HA!!
Alright, now I have to go on with what I didn't like. Honestly, I thought it was WAY too long. I felt like there was a lot of rambling, and it made me quite bored at times. If it was cut down to about 300 pages, I think it would have been much better. I also thought there were too many perspectives in the story. It kind of got confusing. It would go back and forth between Nora and Bram, and then all of a sudden Victor Dearly's perspective would pop in, then Pamela, and one time even Wolfe...I would have to stop and think - wait, who is this again? I prefer having just 2 perspectives in a story.
I am curious as to how a romance between an undead man and a living girl would work. And I do want it to work, because I loved Nora and Bram together...for this reason, I will probably read the next book.
This review is also posted on Netgalley, Amazon, and Goodreads.


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