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on December 19, 2013
SPOILERS! A great sequel to the first zombie romance I read! I love the steampunk/new victorian setting of these novels and of course the romance between Nora and Bram. I'm glad that it actually had a happy ending considering that the idiot publishers have decided not to publish any more of the author's work in this series. My only complaint about this particular novel is that Nora and Bram are apart for most of the novel. The novel was certainly great, I just can't get enough of their romance story and interactions! On a side note, the author takes the time to personally respond to questions and her facebook page is always full of wit and hilarious family shenanigans.
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on September 6, 2012
I loved this book. Never, ever in my life did I think that I could grow to love a zombie, a rotting, dead corpse. This book was such an exciting read. I couldn't put the book down. I loved how Lia Habel wrote this book too, making each chapter a character, while maintaining a first person dialogue. It helped me connect with each character, while not loosing me.

The lead character Nora and her best friend Pam were kick-ass heroines. Bram (zombie) was so sweet, caring, and gentle, yet protective. I couldn't help but love him. I would definitely recommend this book.

Favourite Quote:

For my mother, who taught me early on that real ladies can give orders, real gentlemen can take them, and real zombies don't eat brains.
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on January 1, 2013
The first time I saw the cover of Dearly, Departed my immediate thought was 'Ohhhhhh pretty!', then I read the synopsis - zombies, futuristic, steampunk - oh yeah, I was pulled right in and bought a copy straight away.

So did Dearly, Departed live up to my lofty expectations? Partly.

I loved the world-building - Lia Habel has taken an idea and done it full justice - the history, the steampunk elements, the whole idea of New Victoria, the science, the zombies - I couldn't find a single hole in any of it, and the presentation of all of those elements was, quite simply, perfect. Set in the late 22nd century, Dearly, Departed is both familiar and fantastical - ID chips, parasols, zeppelins, scary zombies, smart zombies.

Nora was an excellent main character - strong, smart and snarky, and Bram a perfect foil - their relationship (apart from the slightly icky zombie bit) felt natural and although it took place in a fishbowl setting, was enthralling - I felt a huge connection with both of them, and their scenes together had me completely sucked in. And the supporting zombie characters (Chas, Coalhouse etc.) literally jumped off the page.

Can you sense the BUT coming? Yeah here it is - the multiple POVs. And whilst I understand why they were there, I honestly found myself drifting the moment that the story shifted away from Bram and Nora. Pamela was an essential character, but Wolfe and the scientist just distracted me from a story that I was really enjoying.

Ms. Habel writes in a way that perfectly reflects the story - and the mixture of Victorian and modern language was a fun touch.

Overall I though this was an excellent story and very well presented, but the multiple POVs were just a little too much for me personally.
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on March 26, 2012
At first, I wasn't sure about this novel. Zombies? Post-apocalyptic, reinvented Victorian era? Um, okay?

I downloaded a sample to my kindle, and immediately fell in love with Bram. The prologue just about ripped my heart out. When the sample came to its all-too-soon end, I squirmed, broke down, and bought the whole thing. Not only was I not disappointed, I was stunned by how beautiful the story is. And funny. Some scenes made me crack up (and quote them to a friend of mine), they were so good. The mental strength of those like Bram and his Z Company gave me a whole new respect for zombies. Knowing their life is short, they still persevered, and with good attitudes to boot. Take a note, vampires. I love vampires, honestly, but these guys put them to shame.

Zombies? Heck yeah.
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on May 5, 2012
Characters This book is told from 5 alternating perspectives. Which I have come to learn some people enjoyed and others found overwhelming. I am of the latter opinion because I was not a huge fan of all of the characters. I had a hard time connecting with some of them, and jumping inside of their heads during certain chapters I came to find my mind wandered more often than others.

Originality As somebody who just recently read the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies trilogy I found myself flashing back on bits of those stories as I read through this one. But in Dearly Departed we are in a futuristic world of 2195 in which advanced technology and the re-immersion of the Victorian Era etiquette has reestablished itself in society. Then the added bonus of Zombies, but these zombies are technologically advanced as well. These twists is what brings the uniqueness to this story that is unlike anything else that I have read.

Plot In 2195 after world wars and destruction, the United States no longer exists as well as several other countries. Survivors forced to reform societies and relocated closer to the equator. They have also come to reestablish the Victorian Era etiquette as standards to live by, but still maintain and advanced upon the technology we know today. The city we are introduced to is New Victoria, where war is common and the zombies (aka the Greys) are a common danger in the new world.

Writing: With this type of setting for this story there is no real boundaries when it came to sticking to a writing style. There is a mixture of proper English usage mixed with some more modern day speak. Not all of the characters are schooled in the "proper" way of behavior and speech as Nora is. With the combination of several different characters telling the story, there comes with that a variety of speech and behaviors that become accepted through the story. This perhaps is why in a society in which the female has been set back to having to marry to gain social status, we cheer when Nora picks up a gun and fights with several different types of weapons.

Krista's Rating: I really had high hopes for this story. Although I know that it was a personal preference on why overall I did not fall in love with it. I found my mind wandering in several places throughout the story. The story is not told from the same perspective, and I usually love alternating perspectives but some of the characters I did not like and could not get myself to care about what was happening to them, or having to read about what they personally about what was happening to them. The thing that did keep me reading and wanting to find out how it ended was the zombies, and I'm not even a big fan of Zombies. But the author was able to put such an interesting twist on the idea of how they become zombies and the wide range of differences between them that I found intriguing.
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on May 26, 2012
I am a huge fan of the young adult dystopian genre, but sometimes I feel like I'm reading the same book over and over again. That's what originally attracted me to Dearly, Departed; it seemed so different from everything else out there. And after reading it, I still agree. I've never read anything quite like it. A dystopian society based on the Victorian era with some steampunk on the side, and zombies too. And oh yeah, some of these zombies still retain their personalities and feelings, and which means we also get paranormal romance thrown in there. I love it. The originality is definitely what made this book work for me.

That being said, this book wasn't perfect. It moved pretty slow for a while, so if your thing is faced-paced action, you might not be able to get into this one. Also, switching between point-of views got a little old, especially because some of the narrators just weren't that interesting.

Also, I never really bought the zombie-human love story. It's funny though, I almost felt like this book was challenging me. It was saying "You can find vampires attractive, and they are dead, so why can't you feel the same way about zombies?" Well I tried. The author did do a really good job of trying to make it work, including explaining how they keep their dead bodies from decaying and all of that. But I just kept picturing those disgusting, rotting creatures from The Walking Dead, and I just couldn't do it. Sorry Bram, but even if you have a great personality, you're still stuck in a dead body. However, even though this book didn't quite convert me to a zombie romantic, I still enjoyed letting it try.

Bottom-line: If you are interested in something unique and original, and don't mind a slower pace sometimes, then Dearly, Departed is the book for you. If you are only interested in a action-packed page turner, then maybe skip this one.
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on October 12, 2016
This has lots of zombies - good and bad. A storyline that is both exciting and awesome. This is not your usual zombie book. There is love, sorrow and determination from both humans and zombies to create a world where they all can exist.
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on January 5, 2015
Parasols and petticoats and zombies, oh my!

I absolutely loved the world that Habel created. A Victorian life with high tech luxuries? I am SO there. And while I'm selective about what zombie books I read, I found this to be a breath of fresh air. Nora is a traditional New Victoria girl who loves to watch war holos, a past time frowned upon by high society. Things get really crazed when she is nearly kidnapped by dead soldiers, but is then saved by, you guessed it, more dead soldiers, including a hunky one named Bram. Thus starts an adventure, and romance, Nora will never forget!

The book ends with a wide open cliffhanger, so I'll be eagerly awaiting part two ... in my crinoline, of course.
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on March 26, 2018
Probably a little younger for me than normal. More of a youth love. But I thought it was great none the less.
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on February 4, 2013
My daughter loves this book and has the sequel. Lia Habel is a darling woman and has been generous and very kind every time we've spoken.

The novel takes place in a rather dystopian world where there are zombies roaming the outer lands. Our heroine lives in one of the "safe" places, an upscale area underground where everything is perfectly boring. Into her life comes a zombie, except this one speaks.

A delightful and charming tale quite unlike most zombie stories. You'll never think of zombies the same way again.
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