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.
First off, it’s so refreshing to have a zombie novel rather than a vampire one! I found this novel a breath of fresh air and yes... zombies can be sexy!!! Habel has created this fantastically developed world where zombies can have treatment to help them stop decaying! So we have no smelly zombies ruining our love for the characters!
Bram is our resident zombie (don’t get me wrong there are tonnes more... but for the purposes of no spoilers he’s our main guy) I have to say I found myself warm to him just as I would a normal character if not more because he had an element of sympathy in his role. I really enjoyed his character development and for the most part he was the main protagonist, as a Captain he really doesn’t do much as he’s under command. I particularly love that zombies don’t roll their eyes because these are the first muscles to ‘go’ and therefore they are frightened of their eyes falling out!
Nora, I found to be a likable character but seemed to carried slightly in the novel by Bram and others. In contrast her friend Pam I found to be really energetic and a can do girl, even if she is in Victorian dress for the most part. Don’t get me wrong Nora is a great character but she is, as a general rule much less kick-ass than Pam. Nora dresses in a shorter dress during the novel and considers herself embarrassed as she is almost naked! I found this really funny as I expected just the Victorian dress had been applied in the book but it is in fact all the mannerisms of the culture/time as well! I loved this futuristic element with the past thrown in it’s wake, resulting in a nice balance of morals and attitude.
The story was definitely unique, I hadn’t read anything like it before! The story line was fast paced and flicked between the POV of four main characters, Pam is back in Nora’s hometown almost reporting on what’s happening over there, Nora and Bram are at a secret location which I will say no more about and Victor is also away somewhere reporting on how the situation takes effect. There are so many revelations during this novel it’s very difficult to write without spoilers! Overall this book is excellent and really worth a read! I can’t wait for the sequel which Habel is currently writing now!