Friday, October 26, 2012
Review: Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel
This book has been on my radar for awhile because of the Victorian elements but I was a bit hesitant about the zombies. Though after reading this post on Kristilyn's blog, I decided it was time I gave it a shot. While I liked the book, I didn't love it as much as I had expected; though I did like it enough that I am planning on reading the sequel.
I really liked the Victorian aspect and that there is such a thing as sentient zombies who are in control of their sickness and don't harbor cannibalistic tendencies and then there are other zombies that truly define zombie apocalypse. I thought that was absolutely brilliant.
The book was told from several different perspectives throughout the book which I liked for the most part. However, it was a bit confusing in the beginning until you started to really get a sense of who the characters were. It took me awhile to figure out that Victor and Mr. Dearly were the same person. My second qualm is that the perspectives weren't even.
I identified more with Pamela than with Nora (and I think Nora was meant to be the lead). I really liked that Pamela started out as a somewhat rigid Victorian girl who prided herself on following the rules and doing what was expected of her. Yet as the story starts to unfold, she starts going against societal rules to do what she thinks is the right thing, even if it is dangerous or her parents forbid it. I really loved her for that and liked that she started being a bit of a badass.
I liked the evolution of Nora and Bram's relationship, but Nora was just kind of blah to me. She was a bit too stubborn and whiny for my taste for too much of the book. She gets better near the end, but I preferred Pamela's storyline. Bram was the perfect Victorian gentleman, even though he was a good zombie. I really liked Bram and his backstory was fascinating. I love that he genuinely cares for people and wants the best for everyone and would rather die (again) than see good people (dead or alive) come into harm's way.
Though I did like a lot of the plot twists, the were some "surprises" that I was able to see coming. I felt like the story did drag some, but once it picked up again, it was impossible to put down.
Overall, if zombies are you're thing and you like Victorian or steampunk as well, this would be a great book to pick up. Though it wasn't exactly what I was expecting, I did like it quite a bit despite the flaws that I though it had. In the end, the flaws weren't that big of a deal and I am looking forward to the sequel because I genuinely came to care for these characters.