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Thursday, October 6, 2011

ARC Review: Dearly Departed {Dearly #1} by Lia Habel

11 Lovely Comments!

 

Dearly, Departed


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, steampunk meets 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.

From Goodreads.

YA ZONE slide framed 

  • Publisher: Del Rey Books
  • Release Date: October 18th, 2011 
  • My Copy: ARC received at AAD 2011.
  • Pages: 470
  • Series: Dearly Series
  • Genre: YA Romantic Steampunk Dystopian Urban Fantasy
  • Author's Website
  • Buy The Book:
Dearly, Departed

 

*NO Spoilers

YES! I was so not expecting such brilliancy! Dearly Departed is definitely finding its place as one of the best if not THE best novel of the year! Lia Habel, you are a Queen!

I believe I have said this a couple times before, but I am not a huge Zombies fan. I mean as generic villains they tend to be interesting enough, but as the lead in a romantic relationship? Weird was the least of my thoughts when I considered the possibility.

Well, I am not embarrassed to say that I have been proven wrong tenfold by the adorable Lia Habel. I met Lia at AAD this year (Pic at the bottom of the post) and was lucky to get a an ARC for her upcoming YA Paranormal Debut and after watching her read from it at the Lady Jane Salon event at the con, I was hooked!

“The moment he saw what I was carrying, he shooed a petitioner away and came over.
“Oh, poor Miss Dearly,” he sighed. He reached out and lightly
touched her cheek.
I was surprised by the growl that wanted to well up in my throat when he did this, and fought it down. I told myself it was stress, not my illness’s way of saying, Get your own  take- out.” – Bram

I am happy to say that Dearly Departed more than lived up to the expectations by actually surpassing them all so much.

Lia has created a dystopian future world where society as we know it has fallen and rebuilt as a mirror to more civilized times, the Victorian era. That’s right, we have a futuristic world with a Victorian feel to it… BRILLIANT!

Nora Dearly finds herself just coming out of an 1-year mourning period and still grieving her dearest father. She and her best friend, Pamela are going back home after another school year and Nora has to deal with her self-centered aunt.

"I was jealous of her at first, because she had prettier dresses and the naturally curly hair that had been my ultimate worldly desire at that age. In fact, when our mothers initially introduced us, I had chosen to greet her by yanking on a fistful of her hair to see if it was real. Her response was to deck me in the nose.
It had been love at first sight." – Pamela

However Nora and Pamela’s world turns upside down when Nora is attacked and subsequently taken from her home by creatures that are nothing more than zombies but that are actually the good kind and are just trying to protect her from the “bad kind” that want to take her for nefarious reasons. From then on the story takes a wild turn and Nora and Pamela’s lives are forever changed.

We then meet Bram, who is a true hero and so swoon worthy that I recommend reading the book lying down and yes, he is a zombie =P

I LOVED Nora, I LOVED Bram and I REALLY LOVED both of them together! They are amazing people all on their on, strong, intelligent and prisoners of a life they did not chose. Though, together they are a force to be reckoned with. They are special, lovely and they make each other better people than they already are.

Bram and Nora have instantly become one of my favorite couples of all time and even the real threat that his un-life will not last much longer, can’t dampen that fact. In fact, it just makes me wish harder for the next books in the series and hope Lia Habel will make everything right!

"I hope there are zombie sharks in there and they bite you and you die!" – Pamela

I cannot forget to mention how Bram’s friends and Pamela make amazing secondary characters that will be just as compelling as the lead ones.

All in all, Dearly Departed is not only an amazing read, but it is actually THE MUST READ OF 2011! After this unbelievably superb read I can absolutely imagine why its manuscript caused a bid-war amongst publishers… Whatever Del Rey got it for, it deserved more, I guarantee it!

Lovey_5

 

 P8120026

Me, Jess Haines, Leanne Renee Hieber and Lia Habel

P8130075Lia Habel


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11 Responses so far.

  1. The cover alone makes me want to read this book. But after your review I really want to read it. I think I need to order a copy. Who would have thought of a zombie as a romantic lead, not me.

  2. Danielle says:

    YAY! So glad you loved this one - I have requested it from the publisher. Yippee!

  3. Blodeuedd says:

    I enjoyed it but I guess I wanted a bit more

  4. Deea says:

    Wow! Awesome review! I haven't even payed any attention to this book before, I'm not a big fan of zombie books. But you convinced me to check it out, it really sounds amazing! And zombies being the good guys? That should be interesting! Everything about Dearly, Departed sounds so unique and captivating! Yup, I'm adding it to my TBR list!:D

  5. @Nicole

    I agree! The cover is awesome! hahahah you totally do! I didnt either =P

    @Danielle

    YAY! cant wait to read your thoughts!

    @Blodeuedd

    Awwww oh well, it happens LOL Glad you at least enjoyed it =D

    @Deea

    Thanks!

    Im totally with you and I am glad I was wrong!

    Hope you love it as much as I did!

  6. Melliane says:

    I'm glad you like this one it sounds so great !I'm very curious to read it ! thanks for this awesome review !

  7. The idea of a dashing zombie had me laughing, then intrigued. Obviously he isn't the flesh hanging off, rotting kind, or at least I hope he isns't. I love the sound of the world. Thanks for the review, I'll check this one out some more.

  8. I just went to buy this and discovered that it was $24.95 for the ebook!!! I'm glad her publishers didn't publish my novel, I'd be so embarrased to have that sort of price on my ebook. What are these publishers thinking? Seriously do they have their heads on the sand?

  9. I am anxiously waiting to read this book. Victorian era revamped in the future, pure awesomeness. Thank you for your review. I love the pics.

  10. @Melliane

    My pleasure! hope you enjoy it!

    @Tahlia

    Hope you like it! and damn thats pricey! wow!

    @Fivealarm

    definitelly worth the read!

    Awww Thanks1

  11. Great review Larissa! I loved this one too! Envious that you met Lia along with Jess and Leanne! Love those authors!!

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