Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Dearly, Departed By: Lia Habel

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.

So, a zombie/romance/action novel set in the future.  What a great idea!!   Now I must admit upfront that I was a bit nervous about a book with possible kissing of a zombie....  This book starts out with Nora, her mother died when she was younger and her father passed away just last year.  She attends a boarding school and when she comes home she finds that her aunt has spent all of her father's money and there isn't much left.  One day while home alone her house is surrounded by zombies.  They are chasing her and she is having to flee to the rooftop while trying to fight back. Just when you think that they are going to catch her she is saved by a military unit with masks on their faces. It turns out that they are zombies as well....

Naturally being surrounded by mostly "undead" dead people is a little hard to put your head around.  She had locked herself into Bram's quarters (he has a lot of locks on his door) and Bram is trying to convince her that she is safe.  Through the closed/locked  door they start to get to know each other and she learns a lot about her father that she thought was dead.  Slowly she gains trust in Bram and slowly leaves the safety of his room to meet the other nice, dead people. 

I don't want to give away too much information but there is a lot of action, a traitor, rescue missions and trying to save the world from an outbreak of "the laz".

I liked that this book was told from multiple points of view.  Most of the time we are in the heads of Nora or Bram as they talk to each other and develop their relationship.  We also get to see into her fathers mind, her best friend and a bad guy.  Seeing the other peoples experiences we can see the whole picture without relying on a he said/she said situation and we get to see more details as well. 

I really liked the supporting characters.  First there is Nora's best friend/brother and school mates.  At the beginning of the story you really care for her best friend but not really anyone else.  Then we meet the other zombies and they are great!  They are a military unit and also a great set of friends.  They banter and play and tease and it is fun to read.  There are also two that are dating each other and it is cute how they speak to or about the other one.   Once things start going really downhill we get to see into Nora's friend's mind and she is such a strong female character.  She sees a bad situation, learns to read signs and tries to save her family and others from threats.

Overall this was a great book and I can't wait to lend it out to others.  Great Job Lia on a wonderful debut novel!!


  1. I'm glad you enjoyed this book. I haven't had a chance to read it yet but it's on my bookshelf. :)

  2. A zombie/romance/action book set in the future? You had me at zombie.