Dearly, Departed: A Zombie Novel by Lia Habel (Kindle Edition) – Read April 12, 2012
Cost: $9.99 (As of This Post)
Official Description: (This is book 1 of the Gone With the Respiration series)
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, 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.
I have been looking forward to reading this book for some time now, I LOVE zombies, I like campy, serious, scary whatever as long as there is some Zombie action. Also this has some steampunk elements in it as well, granted it didn’t feel as steampunk as some other novels, but it has the Victorian, techy, and a zeppelin stuff, so there is just a lot that made me excited about this book. However the book just missed the mark, it missed it oh so slightly but I wasn’t in love with it as I had hoped.
First off there are multiple points of view, which, done well, can enhance the story, the way the multi-POVs were done in this book just dragged the story down. I think we could have completely wiped out Wolfe’s story line and it would have helped a bunch. The world building was a bit slow as well, but since this is a series, that means the beginning of the next book won’t have that lag time (hopefully). Mostly the big issue was the pacing, it would drag, then get really good, then it would be dull and then interesting. I would rather build and build than ride a pacing roller coaster. The writing is great, the characters are interesting, and fun.
Oh another theme that is becoming popular in the Zombie universe is zombie love. I’ve heard about many books that involve Zombie protagonist, but this is the first I’ve actually read. I must say, it’s weird, I thought I’d get used to it but I just think of dead flesh and all of that and it creeps me out. However if I pretend that the zombies aren’t zombies (which is pretty impossible because they don’t let you forget). The zombie romance is not so bad. Still, I kept thinking about the ickyness of it…
All of that being said, I thought the book was OK, I think there was a lot of potential there and I’m hoping that the next novel doesn’t have the same pacing issues, but I do look forward to picking it up.
“All of our lives suck right now, okay? You might think yours is an extra special sparkly rainbow unicorn fart type of suck, but it’s not. Just get on with it!”