Title: Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Release Date: October 18th, 2011
Genres: Horror, Action, Romance, Fantasy
Medium: Hardcover, bought
Dearly, Departed is a timeless love story set in the year 2193, in New Victoria, where ball gowns, bonnets, and carriages are reinstated. Graceful and beautiful, Nora Dearly and her family and friends live in a world where marriages are assigned, women are expected to agree and be tranquil, and daily life is to be peacefully, perfectly, boring. That is, until zombies begin to roam the world.
The plot is very intricate and well-planned in this novel. Similar to steam punk, this novel is a royal love story set 180 years in the future, featuring the Victorian age of simplicity and timeless beauty, and of course, the "ageless" beauty of zombies. War ensues between New Victoria and the Punks, a group of pro-zombie, good-guy-zombies who guard the borders. When a new breed of killer zombies attacks Nora and her family, she is kidnapped to safety by the Punks, as they hunt for her father, who may hold the cure to the zombie disease being spread. While war ensues, the women become strong and fight alongside the good zombies, fighting against the bad guys who have taken her father hostage. With an unbeatable army-themed plot mingled with family, romance, friendship, survival, and war, this novel is sure to keep you on edge.
The writing is very systematic and interesting. Great dialogue and switching of point of views. With an original plot and setting, and characters who demand your attention, it makes for a great zombie-action-romance. A perfect mix of Warm Bodies, The Walking Dead, etc. and Twilight. The romance in this novel is not that of Twilight, however, in the way that this romance slowly transforms from repulsion to attraction, and creates a hardened couple bonded through the apocalypse. The writing is very detailed and interesting, creating a whole new world and variation on the topic of zombies. I can't get over how detailed this plot is, and how thought out the sci-fi-turned-Victorian principle is. Action-packed and yet pretty at the same time, with both strong male and female main characters, it makes for a great unisex read. 3.5 stars.