Friday, July 13, 2012

Zombies and Steam Powered Parasols

Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel

Summary: 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.

Review: A mish mash of genres, a bratty girl, zombies, and a case of near instalove.

I'm so sick of instalove in young adult fiction! I don't care if you met under unusual circumstances. You don't fall in love in a couple of weeks! You barely know the person. Also, zombies rot. Even with the best technology, the zombies in the story only have a shelf life of five years. They will rot away. You can't stop decay. I can't find zombies attractive. I certainly enjoyed a number of the zombie characters (better than the two main character anyways), but I cannot buy Habel's version of zombies, including some keeping their sanity about them. Zombies are not sexy.

There were too many genres squashed into this book: romance, zombies, steampunk, young adult, and science fiction. The info dump in the second chapter (thinly disguised as a history paper) was unnecessary and hindered the book. The book would have been fine as a Victorian Era type age with technology and zombies (more traditional steampunk) instead of what it actually was. Also, I found Nora to be a girl who was playing at being strong. She was actually just a spoiled brat. My favorite character was Pamela even though she was obsessed with her friend. 


Recommendation: I would recommend this book to those that are big fans of zombies, steampunk, or Victorian Era settings. 

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