Goodreads Summary: 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.
Goodreads rating: 3.87 stars from 6,600 ratings
Genres: Science Fiction, Steampunk, Horror, Zombies, Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy, Paranormal, Dystopia
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I'll be honest, I wasn't sure how a Steampunk Zombie world was going to work out, but I was impressed. I was worried that the combination of Zombies, romance, and Victorian Steampunk themes would become tedious to read. Lia Habel made these ideas work well together.
The story follows Nora, a student at an all girl's academy, but instead of being interested in what all of the other girls at the academy are interested in, Nora is interested in History. She is constantly going over her father's old war documents and films. This leads us as readers to being allowed a lot of history about Nora's world, why things are the way they are, and we get to know Nora and her friend Pamela.
Nora's life is forever changed when she's kidnapped by Zombies. In this Steampunk Victorian world, there are several levels of Zombies. The ones that have kidnapped Nora are at the highest level, where they've kept their humanity. During this kidnapping, we're introduced to Bram, who has made it his mission to protect Nora.
Lia Habel provides a lot of amazing details for the world she's created and even includes some sense of humor. The only thing that bothered me is that each chapter is in a different character's point of view. For most of the book the character switch isn't bad, but towards the end, it makes things confusing. I had to read some chapters multiple times because of it. I enjoyed the story, however, and look forward to reading Dearly, Beloved.