Thursday, November 24, 2011

Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel

Title: Dearly, Departed
Author: Lia Habel
Release Date: October 18th, 2011
Publisher: Del Ray
Pages: 470
Format: Electronic Copy
Acquired: ARC; Netgalley
Interest: Series
Age Group: Young Adult
Rating: 5 Stars

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.

As far as the end of the world goes, I would really, really, really hope that it wasn't through zombies. They scare me to death and reading this book just had chills running up and down my arms, and of course, reading in the daytime.

I am not a zombie fan, but just the fact that Lia had been able to make me feel this way through her characters and the story she was telling it most definitely puts her on top of my list. It's not many stories where I feel like I am being drawn in so deeply by the characters, and it's not every character that I feel something for.

From the beginning of the story we get into Nora's life and what its like to live in this New Victoria, really the history behind it is awesome (put that's the history junkie speaking) and I loved how real these characters were. In the beginning, I can freely say that I hate Nora's aunt. And Nora, our main heroine, is just great.

As far as the story goes this is my first steam punk novel, so I wasn't exactly sure what to expect, but as I was reading this I thought how great it was that this author was able to so easily intermingle the Victorian age with new technology. I have to say that the first half of the novel is what I'll remember most, because it really sets the stage, and brings to back to life this era of private school girls, society, best friends, and of course a guy after the heroine. I love how the author gives us girl's in dresses and carriages, and zombies.

What I really liked though is the different points of view. While I can't say that i am strictly against first person novels that only show that person, I have to say that one of the things I am really loving is how Lia was able to give us Nora's point of view and Bram's, and the villains point of view as well. That was incredibly interesting, and of course this love story between Nora and Bram.

I almost can't wait to read the second book.

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