Review: DEARLY DEPARTED by Lia Habel

by Lia Habel
Hardcover: 480 pages
Publisher: Del Rey; 1St Edition edition (October 18, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0345523318
Source: Audible (very well done)
Rating: 5 stars
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.

My Thoughts:
Dearly Departed by debut author Lia Habel is just what the good doctor ordered. A fast-paced adventure filled with Zombies, romance and Steam punk elements that make this whimsical tale of true love from opposites sides of a beating heart, a brilliant read.

Dearly Departed is told from multiple points of view from pivotal characters, but the most memorable are Nora and Bram, the story's most unlikely of love pairings. The romance between these two characters is remarkably sweet and genuine, giving one the warm fuzzies.

Nora is a spirited orphan living with her aunt who is constantly reminding her that she is a spinster in need of a good man, but she can only think of the world that she is forbidden to explore. Bram is part of a secret government undead army created by Nora's father. After a near catastrophic event these two will cross paths and Nora will uncover a hidden secret that will seriously rock her world, but not before the two fall head over heals for one another. Meanwhile a seriously twisted mad man wants to expose and destroy the "secret" army and will stop at nothing until it is done.

Lia Habel did a fantastic job of creating a world that is well detailed, plausible and abundantly vivid with memorable characters that are well fleshed out (no pun intended) and entertaining to witness. I read the prologue I knew it would satisfy all the romantic goodness and adventure that I sorely crave and I was not disappointed. I highly recommend this delightful read to anyone seeking adventure, romance and something a bit more twisted than normal.


  1. I keep meaning to read this - I don't know why I haven't yet!

  2. Oooo! I haven't seen this cover version! I'm really looking forward to reading this one. Nice review.

    Magical Urban Fantasy Reads


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