Dearly Departed

Dearly Departed

Book rating: 05 Paperback Dearly Departed

By (author) Lia Habel

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  • Publisher: Doubleday Children's Books
  • Format: Paperback | 464 pages
  • Dimensions: 136mm x 214mm x 34mm | 522g
  • Publication date: 29 September 2011
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0857530003
  • ISBN 13: 9780857530004
  • Edition statement: Trade Paperback.
  • Sales rank: 415,091

Product description

This is a pacy, bloodthirsty, hugely entertaining teen zombie novel with an unconventional but tender love story at its heart. From the ruins of a cataclysmic ice-age a new society has emerged, based on Victorian customs. Nora Dearly, a feisty teenage girl and apparent orphan, leaves her exclusive boarding school for the holidays to return home - only to be dragged into the night by the living dead. Luckily for her, this particular crack unit of zombies are good guys - sent to protect her from the real nasties roaming the countryside and zeroing in on major cities to swell their ranks. Nora must find a way to defeat the evil undead with help from Bram, a noble, sweet and surprisingly hot zombie boy for whom she starts to fall...

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Author information

Lia Habel was born into a time of unparalleled ugliness - it was called 'the Eighties'. It was horrible - but yet it brought Lia the video for Thriller by Michael Jackson, and a burning interest in zombies followed. A self-described 'zombie anthropologist', Lia has seen every zombie movie ever made. She lives in Washington DC with her three cats, Ebeneezer, ZZ and Bloody Mary. DEARLY, DEPARTED is her debut novel.

Customer reviews

By Laura Williams 05 Jun 2012 5

I really loved this book! I wasn't sold on the idea of a love story that involved a zombie. The premise seemed... kind of icky! However, if the whole "vampire" thing can become a romantic phenomenon, then why not Zombies? The book puts this quite well when it says, "Vampires are just zombies with good PR". That made me laugh.

A Zombie love story isn't an entirely new thing. The very first book review I ever posted to this blog was on Isaac Marion's "Warm Bodies", which is basically an undead-reimagining of "Romeo and Juliet". I thoroughly enjoyed Marion's book, but the zombies in it were a lot closer to the traditional idea of shambling corpses. In comparison, "Dearly, Departed" is a lot less yucky. Habel's zombies are dead, but not rotting or slow-witted. They're very much like vampires actually, except they don't heal and they don't live forever. They get a few years of decent brain activity before finally becoming more like the traditional George A. Romero creatures. I'm sure this is going to up the conflict of the next book!

"Dearly, Departed" is told in the first person but from a variety of different narrators. I enjoyed this more than I thought I would at first. Usually when secondary characters are given too much focus, I find myself longing for the moments when I can get back into the thick of the main plot. However, in Dearly, Departed, this wasn't the case. Sure, I wanted to see more of Nora and Bram, but I enjoyed the other perspectives too.

I have enjoyed the recent trend of Steampunk in YA literature and Lia Habel weaves Victorian ideals and futuristic technology together with aplomb. I loved the juxtaposition of corsets and tablet-computers. It's a world I could rather enjoy! And...that made me sound a bit dodgy, didn't it? Oh well!

Overall this book was very enjoyable. The unusual world was built fluidly, without there being too much exposition. The characters were rounded and strong. The narration was engaging and excellently-paced. This is a story I was able to submerge myself in and I was beyond thrilled to get an ARC of the sequel from NetGalley earlier this week!

I'm going to award this book five stars. It was original and dark and funny all in a nice 470 page bundle! I whole-heartedly recommend this fabulous read to all fans of steampunk and distopia!

By Suzanne Finnegan 19 Jan 2012 5

This book is just amazing,fantastic, awesome, brilliant....you get the gist. I could not stop reading it and yet I didn't want to come to the end.

It is the year 2195 and the world as we know it has changed. It has taken on the manners and fashions of Victorian times and is now known as New Victoria.

Nora Dearly's father has been dead a year and the time for mourning is over. School is finished for the Christmas and she is returning home to her aunt who is now taking care of her. On returning, she discovers that her aunt has got them into debt and now plans to marry Nora off to money. Until the night that Nora is kidnapped by zombies and everything changes.

Nora discovers that there are "good" zombies, who have managed to keep their mental health and with the help of medical assistance, are managing to maintain their bodies. They work with the army and help to protect against the "bad" zombies whose only interest is eating human flesh. They have been kept a secret to society.

Nora meets a young, handsome, dead soldier named Bram and discovers that her world will never be the same again.

I absolutely loved this. The characters were so well written, even though there was a lot of them, I felt I got to know them all. Nora was a brilliant character who showed strength and courage throughout the book. Bram was amazing, I loved him. He will definitely be added to my book boyfriend list. He was brave and caring but tough when he needed to be.

This was fast paced and action packed throughout. I felt sadness at the situation that these characters are in and what is to become of them but also at times really happy for things that were happening for them in the moment. I was on the edge of my seat at times and hitting myself in the head with my kindle at others. There was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster close to the end where I could not believe what I had just read.

I would have no hesitation in recommending this book and I cannot wait for the next in the series.

By annmarie ager 25 Sep 2011 5

Dearly Departed By Lia habel
Story:
The book is set in the future in a place called new Victoria while the new world is more advice in technology the people seems have taken to becoming a new world where ladies talk proper and men that are gentlemen. Nora Dearly is well known thanks to what her father did while he was alive, know Nora has lost both her mother and father is now under the care of her aunt. Nora does not mind her life but her aunt wants more for them to marry and be higher classed but Nora wants nothing of the sort. While Nora life seems simply now she is soon throw into something to crazy to understand she is kidnapped by zombies and hidden away. Nora soon comes to see that more is going on in this world then she could ever imagine the things she thought were real were lies and the home she once loved is in grave danger. War rages and the people Nora loves are about to die can she save them and work out how she feels before it's too late.

My review:
When I got my copy of this book in the post I knew after reading the back that I would love this book. As a book blogger I see lots of books about vampires and werewolves and I have fallen in love with my fair share but this book did not have ether this book was different and new which grabbed you and sucked you in with every word. I loved that the book was based about zombies and while most zombie book I read are evil this book showed a different side to the undead. While you still had your evil one's that would kill anything that still had a beating heart you also had a different kind of zombie ones that thought and felt and talked. I pretty much fell in love with the book from the first page the book was built up in a way that was brilliant and different. The people of new Victoria are great to read about and while the book is based in the future it's like the character really are still in the Victorian age which is a really interesting. One of the reason they stood out was because of how advice there technology was but even with all these the people seem happy to live such an old style life. The whole story was original while there was horror in the book to me it was more like a twisted love story set in a post apocalyptic future with more action then any book I have read.

Dark and fresh read it you will love it!

I give the book a massive 5 stars and recommend other read the book.

Final thought: Put down your vamp books and take a taste of the undead you will not be disappointed.

Review quote

"A romance between a guy who will rot away in the end and a girl who knows it. Yes I can't see a future, can you? But romance will always conquer and when the book ends I still not know how it ever will work. But there are more books to come and I am intrigued." -- Serendipity Review http://www.serendipityreviews.co.uk/2011/10/dearly-departed-by-lia-habel-guest.html 20121013 "Lia Habel has managed the impossible and I have to admit to having a slight (OK possibly more than slight!) crush on a zombie! The story is action packed with plenty of twists and turns that keep you gripped to the pages and I have to mention how much I loved Nora's friend Pam (just wait until you see what she can do with a parasol!). The romance is sweet and believable but is by no means the main focus of the story and you'd be missing out on a treat if you don't give it a try." -- Feeling Fictional http://www.feelingfictional.com/2011/09/arc-review-dearly-departed-lia-habel.html 20110919

Back cover copy

I parted the curtains. A skeletal face peered back at me, blackened eyes rolling in sockets seemingly unsupported by flesh. It smiled... It should be game over for Nora Dearly when she is ambushed and dragged off into the night by the living dead. But this crack unit of teen zombies are the good guys, sent to protect Nora from the real monsters roaming the country and zeroing in on cities to swell their ranks. Can Nora find a way to kill of the evil undead once and for all? Can she trust her protectors to resist their hunger for human flesh? And can she stop herself falling in love with the noble, sweet, surprisingly attractive, definitely-no-longer-breathing Bram...? A sharp, slick, blisteringly paced debut novel, with an unconventional but tender love story at its heart.