Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Book Review: Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel

I read an advanced reader copy of Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel and now I am mad because that means that I have to wait even longer between finishing it and when the sequel comes out. Because Dearly, Departed was really good.

(Image from . Which you should check out anyway)

Main Characters: Nora Dearly, 16/17 years old, parents dead, likes to watch war films; Bram Griswold, 18/19 years old, dead/undead for a few years, military captain

Setting: In the future, which has gone back to a Victorian steampunk-type of society, but with internet. And zombies. But most people don't know about zombies, including Nora.

Main Plot: Bad zombies are trying to kidnap Nora, so good zombies, led by Bram, take her first. Obviously, Nora is a bit weary of the zombies and their whole desire to eat human flesh thing. And really, I feel like you should read the book without knowing much of the plot because that makes it more fun.

What I liked:
Nora--She was a strong lead character. She didn't tend to rush foolishly into things, but she did act with instinct. She seemed to make good decisions, the decisions that I would have made in her place.
Bram--I liked him, too. There was definitely some undead/living romancey type stuff going on, but it didn't feel nearly as creepy as Twilight. There was even a scene where Bram ends up watching Nora sleep. But he is just checking on her, puts a blanket on her, and leaves. Not creepy.
The love story--It is always a bit of a gamble to have one person in a relationship be dead, but it really works here. I think it works here because Bram and Nora are close in age and they both realize how dangerous the situation is. Also, Nora does not fall in love right away as many many many teen heroines do. I thought the whole love story angle felt pretty organic.
The side characters--All the side characters were super fun! The other zombies on Bram's team were unique and fun. And Nora's best friend, Pam, was awesome. Pam started out as the normal best friend who follows societies rules girl and then she does some stuff that makes her my favorite character.
The zombies--I liked the zombie lore that Habel created. It seemed well thought out and there is even a reference from one of the characters about how the zombies are a bit like the romantic vampires that are currently so popular.

What I didn't like:
So many characters--maybe I was just reading fast or not paying attention, but I kept having to go back and find character introductions again. For some reason the names were just not sticking with me and the book would mention someone and I had no idea who they were.
Very tame--I suppose this isn't really a negative so much as I would have rather had this book as a slightly less teen book. For a romance with zombies there was very little romance and very little blood/guts/gore. I suppose being a book for teens it can't be too graphic, but I could have done with some more traditional zombie descriptions.

Overall, I thought Dearly, Departed was a great read. If you are a fan of Twilight, you will love Dearly, Departed. If you are not a fan of Twilight, you will also love Dearly, Departed. I would recommend anyone who enjoys reading YA, paranormal, steampunk, romance, action, or zombie books to get a copy of Dearly, Departed. It is scheduled to be released on October 18.

And if you need more incentive, Lia Habel has apparently watched well over 100 zombie movies. I mean, that is hella awesome and I am highly jealous.

No comments:

Post a Comment