By Lia Habel
Publisher: Del Rey/Random House
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
I was buried alive.
Welcome to the New Victorian era nearly two hundred years in the future. After the world descended into utter chaos following several disasters, humans migrated south to establish a new colony. They chose the Victorian era because they considered it a model of civility order and prosperity. These views are not shared by everyone and formed radical fighting groups called Punks who reject this new aristocracy. Although fighting has been going on for quite some time between the Victorians and Punks it now seems to be shifting and the fighting seems almost animalistic.
Nora Dearly, daughter of the late famous Victor Dearly, is an interesting character. From the start we sense she is just waiting to burst out of this mold of a proper woman whereas her best friend, Pamela Roe, is always trying to attain it. After returning home from school, Nora is set upon by what she thinks at the time as Punks. Bram Griswold swoops in and saves the day. Nora awakes in a secret location and is informed of what is truly going on. There are “good” zombies and “bad” zombies. These so called “good” zombies like Bram and surprisingly her father, are battling the “bad” zombies for the government who want this all to be hidden from its citizens. Nora starts to digest all this information and slowly comes to terms with it. She also discovers that her father created the serum that lengthens the life of a zombie and helps them retain their humanity for some time. Victor is also working on a vaccine to the zombie virus and apparently has been kidnapped because of it.
Bram is noticeably in love with Nora and will do anything to protect her. He defies all commands and knows that she will appreciate the truth given to her straight. Even though he is attracted to her, he knows to proceed slowly because what human woman would find a rotting zombie desirable. I agree with that completely but Bram had me falling in love with him. His strength and his struggle with his human side and his zombie side will have you cheering for him to overcome all the obstacles and get the girl.
The adventure these two embark on is exciting! The battles, the secrets and the revelations that they discover will keep you flipping the pages. Do not start this book unless you have time to finish, you will not want to put it down. The humor injected just enhances the ambiance of this story. Dearly, Departed is told from many viewpoints and Habel effortlessly does this with chapter headings of the person whose viewpoint we are reading.
I absolutely LOVED this book. The mixture of zombies, steampunk and romance made for an exhilarating read! I am not huge on the zombie genre just because there aren’t too many new ideas introduced into the storyline. Dearly, Departed is NOT one of those. You will fall in love with each and every one of these characters and will cheer on Nora and her pursuit to love Bram. Highly recommend for YA, steampunk, dystopian and zombie lovers everywhere.
PURCHASE DEARLY, DEPARTED