Review: Dearly, Departed

10.14.2011
Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel
Publish date: October 18th, 2011 by Random House Publishing Group
//Amazon//B&N//The Book Depository//

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.
Zombies! I love zombies, whether they're the eat-your-brain kind of way or the misunderstood way. (Though I will admit that I like the eat-your-brain type a little better.)

I will also admit that while the prologue was amazing, when I started the first chapter, I didn't think I was going to like this novel. I was just too confused - I had no idea what anyone was talking about, and I had no idea if Mink and Vespertine were the same person. It made my brain hurt. And then the entire beginning of the second chapter was basically just the info-dump. So I really thought I wouldn't like it.

But then it got better. The world that Dearly, Departed is set in is fantastic - and it's something fairly new, too, so I wasn't bored with it at all. The writing, most of the time, was great. It wasn't full of unnecessary details, but at the same time, it didn't leave anything out.

The place I really had a problem with was with the conflicting narrations. Most of the book is narrated by Nora and Bram, the two main characters, but there are a few other characters in there, too. It's simply too many people narrating for me. I really think most authors should just stick with two as a maximum, maybe three if they can pull it off, because it's too easy for characters to blend together. It was fairly easy to distinguish the difference between Nora and Bram's narrations, but when you add in the others, their narrations started to sound the same.

And the ending did not make sense to me. At all. >_>

Despite that, I still really liked the book. It didn't have a totally futuristic feel to it, and I liked that because we weren't overwhelmed by new technologies or other unfathomable things, but you could still tell that it wasn't definitely in this time period. I also loved the relationships in this book - not just the romance between Nora and Bram, but the friendship between Nora and Pamela and some of the negative relationships between some of the characters.

Ah, the romance. FINALLY, NO INSTA-LOVE. Well, there may have been insta-love, but it wasn't all "OMG FIRST-SIGHT I MUST HAVE HIM/HER." The pace of the romance was nice. Very nice, especially considering some of the books I've been reading lately. Sometimes Nora was a bit too innocent/shy for my tastes, but her and Bram have some adorably-awkward moments that I absolutely loved.

Also, this book gets an extra star just because Bram was not an acts-tough-and-has-slept-with-every-girl-but-is-actually-really-sweet character like Noah Shaw. Remember when I asked where all the sweet and innocent virgin boys are? Well, Bram comes pretty close to that. YAY.

Overall: While I was not a fan of the beginning and I wish the amount of narrators had been cut down, the plot was fantastic, the characters even more so, and Dearly, Departed was fairly original. 4 1/2 stars.

1/2

~Zoey~

*Thank you NetGalley for the ARC*
11 comments on "Review: Dearly, Departed"
  1. IT'S GOOD! :D
    That makes me happy. Hmm. Now when does this come out?

    ReplyDelete
  2. October 18th. It says so right at the top of the post xD

    It's not a really deep and emotional read, but I think you'll like it. Maybe not love it, but like it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've seen this book cover quite a few times last week and heard good things about it. I'm not a big fan of paranormal romance, but it's good to know someone who likes to read and review them. This is my first time visiting your blog. It looks nice!!

    See you around!

    Samual

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm glad you enjoyed this one too. I also liked that the love wasn't miraculously instant. I agree some parts were a bit confusing when there was a lot of info thrown at you, but I still really enjoyed it as well. Great review!

    Giselle
    Xpresso Reads

    ReplyDelete
  5. Zoey: Shush. <_<

    Books don't have to be deep and emotional for me to like them. I really like the sound of it, so. :D

    ReplyDelete
  6. I really want to read this book! The cover is adorable, and the pitch is making me go even more insane... (:

    ReplyDelete
  7. Yay! Thanks for this review! It's one of my to read books in Goodreads. :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. I WANT TO READ THIS SO BADLY!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I do believe that this review has convinced me to read this book. I had it on my maybe list for some time now. I have been questioning zombies and not sure if it is something I would like. But, I think I will give it a try.

    Brittany Koenig

    ReplyDelete
  10. I've been hearing so many different views of this book. It only makes me want to read it more! Plus, I'm a huge zombie fan :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Wonderful review! :D I just started listening to my audio-book copy of it. And so far I have to kind of agree about the narration but its still quiet good :)

    ReplyDelete

10.14.2011

Review: Dearly, Departed

Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel
Publish date: October 18th, 2011 by Random House Publishing Group
//Amazon//B&N//The Book Depository//

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.
Zombies! I love zombies, whether they're the eat-your-brain kind of way or the misunderstood way. (Though I will admit that I like the eat-your-brain type a little better.)

I will also admit that while the prologue was amazing, when I started the first chapter, I didn't think I was going to like this novel. I was just too confused - I had no idea what anyone was talking about, and I had no idea if Mink and Vespertine were the same person. It made my brain hurt. And then the entire beginning of the second chapter was basically just the info-dump. So I really thought I wouldn't like it.

But then it got better. The world that Dearly, Departed is set in is fantastic - and it's something fairly new, too, so I wasn't bored with it at all. The writing, most of the time, was great. It wasn't full of unnecessary details, but at the same time, it didn't leave anything out.

The place I really had a problem with was with the conflicting narrations. Most of the book is narrated by Nora and Bram, the two main characters, but there are a few other characters in there, too. It's simply too many people narrating for me. I really think most authors should just stick with two as a maximum, maybe three if they can pull it off, because it's too easy for characters to blend together. It was fairly easy to distinguish the difference between Nora and Bram's narrations, but when you add in the others, their narrations started to sound the same.

And the ending did not make sense to me. At all. >_>

Despite that, I still really liked the book. It didn't have a totally futuristic feel to it, and I liked that because we weren't overwhelmed by new technologies or other unfathomable things, but you could still tell that it wasn't definitely in this time period. I also loved the relationships in this book - not just the romance between Nora and Bram, but the friendship between Nora and Pamela and some of the negative relationships between some of the characters.

Ah, the romance. FINALLY, NO INSTA-LOVE. Well, there may have been insta-love, but it wasn't all "OMG FIRST-SIGHT I MUST HAVE HIM/HER." The pace of the romance was nice. Very nice, especially considering some of the books I've been reading lately. Sometimes Nora was a bit too innocent/shy for my tastes, but her and Bram have some adorably-awkward moments that I absolutely loved.

Also, this book gets an extra star just because Bram was not an acts-tough-and-has-slept-with-every-girl-but-is-actually-really-sweet character like Noah Shaw. Remember when I asked where all the sweet and innocent virgin boys are? Well, Bram comes pretty close to that. YAY.

Overall: While I was not a fan of the beginning and I wish the amount of narrators had been cut down, the plot was fantastic, the characters even more so, and Dearly, Departed was fairly original. 4 1/2 stars.

1/2

~Zoey~

*Thank you NetGalley for the ARC*

11 comments:

  1. IT'S GOOD! :D
    That makes me happy. Hmm. Now when does this come out?

    ReplyDelete
  2. October 18th. It says so right at the top of the post xD

    It's not a really deep and emotional read, but I think you'll like it. Maybe not love it, but like it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've seen this book cover quite a few times last week and heard good things about it. I'm not a big fan of paranormal romance, but it's good to know someone who likes to read and review them. This is my first time visiting your blog. It looks nice!!

    See you around!

    Samual

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm glad you enjoyed this one too. I also liked that the love wasn't miraculously instant. I agree some parts were a bit confusing when there was a lot of info thrown at you, but I still really enjoyed it as well. Great review!

    Giselle
    Xpresso Reads

    ReplyDelete
  5. Zoey: Shush. <_<

    Books don't have to be deep and emotional for me to like them. I really like the sound of it, so. :D

    ReplyDelete
  6. I really want to read this book! The cover is adorable, and the pitch is making me go even more insane... (:

    ReplyDelete
  7. Yay! Thanks for this review! It's one of my to read books in Goodreads. :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. I WANT TO READ THIS SO BADLY!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I do believe that this review has convinced me to read this book. I had it on my maybe list for some time now. I have been questioning zombies and not sure if it is something I would like. But, I think I will give it a try.

    Brittany Koenig

    ReplyDelete
  10. I've been hearing so many different views of this book. It only makes me want to read it more! Plus, I'm a huge zombie fan :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Wonderful review! :D I just started listening to my audio-book copy of it. And so far I have to kind of agree about the narration but its still quiet good :)

    ReplyDelete