Zombie… Zombie… Zombi..e…e….e… Sorry, I know I used that one before, but my God, it’s hard sometimes to think of fun and witty intros. It’s a hard life I tell ya… A hard life…
And, our wonderful Strumpet… The Novel Strumpet… has just sent in this wonderful review of a book that she… Cough… Cough… Whored herself out at Comic Con to get a hold of. Now, I whore myself out on a daily basis, but that’s really a whole other story… One that involves flashcards, but I digress…
This book has Zombies! Apocalyptic Disasters! And More! Yes! MORE! So hold onto your fanny packs kids as The Novel Strumpet reviews Dearly Departed by Lia Habel!
After the jump! HEH HEH HEH…
Dearly Departed by Lia Habel
I am not a zombie fan in any way shape or form. They’ve just never been the monster of choice for me, but I admit I shamelessly whored my badge out at Comic Con to get a chance to read this. I was honestly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Lia Habel has managed to blend the perfect parts of teen romance, action adventure, and moral ponderings without any of it getting too preachy or cheesy.
The year is 2195 and humanity has rebuilt after the apocalyptic natural disasters that have destroyed most of North America. We’ve moved to Central/South America and there have reestablished our ideas of morality and society with two main sides; those who decided to rebuild taking the Victorians as their models and those who have decided to take a more anarchistic approach- known as the Punks. Needless to say both sides see the other as a threat or so society at large would believe.
Nora Dearly is our heroine and through a lot of unexpected events winds up being kidnapped and taken to a military base far from her home. Here she learns that there are people walking around who are dead but not. Zombies. On one side are those who are trying to protect society at large from the infection and on the other are those who seem to be bent on spreading the disease. She suddenly finds out that she is caught in the middle because her father hid some secrets about his past, one of those being that he discovered Nora is naturally immune to the zombie virus.
The world built up in Dearly, Departed is part steampunk, part nouveau Victorian, part post-Apocalyptic and they are well blended. Most of the story is predictable. You know Nora and the zombie boy who has helped to rescue her, Bram, are going to fall in love. You know there is going to be moral back and forth about whether zombies should all be eradicated or the sane ones allowed to live. You know that characters fighting on the “good zombie” side are going to prove how this is a humanity problem and not just a New Victorian/Punk problem and how we should all just get along. But somehow it doesn’t really get…well…blah, blah, blah.
I hope you don’t get squeamish, because the sane zombies can literally pull parts of their body off, or it’s rotting off, etc which is what takes this from sappy to a pretty good monster tale. Plus, Nora and her friend Pamela are some serious kick *ss female characters. Yeah, there was a moment when I was like “Oh great, another teen love match where they can’t really consummate (I mean really they can’t Bram’s body is dead after all…ahem…don’t make me spell it out people), but it’s really such a minor point considering all the guns, steamships, and conspiracies….OH…and evil author leaves it on a nail biting cliff hanger! HOW DARE YOU!!!!
Does it read a little YA, yes. Is that a problem? No. If you enjoy the genre and are tired of Vampires (as if you ever could be)/Werewolves/Fairies/Etc. or are just looking for a Zombie ‘light’ book, you know not too hardcore on brain eating, then I recommend this first in a trilogy (I believe…it could be more…).
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