Review: Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel

Dearly DepartedAlmost two hundred years in the future, Nora Dearly lives in a world of bustled gowns, fake manners, watery tea, and uppity lords and ladies.

Thank God the zombies came to rescue her.

Dragged into the night by the living dead, Nora soon finds herself fighting for the father she thought long gone, the friend she was forced to leave behind – and the love of a handsome, noble young army captain.

Who just happens to be a walking corpse.

First, a note on thee cover. The copy that I read was an E-Galley using the US cover, however since I'm a UK reviewer and prefer the UK cover, it's that cover that I'm using.

Okay, now for the book. What was I expecting with Dearly, Departed? I was expecting to be overwhelmed with the world, I was so curious about how Habel was going to pull off the steampunk/zombie/romance genre that I heard that this book was. I needn't have been worried, the world was written so well and it was amazing to read this world with manners and tea and corsets and parasols as well as cell phones and holograms. It took a while to get my head around the setting because it was so new, but I still really enjoyed it.

I knew there was a romance aspect, I knew it was between a human and a zombie and to be honest I was not expecting to enjoy it - the whole undead guy and human girl thing creeps me out a little. good thing Bram is the most amazing book zombie ever. I totally loved him, and I loved that we read through his point of view and also Nora's, so the romance seems well developed. I also really liked Nora, she was a Victorian girl that didn't fit in with the Victorian ideal, the was strong and witty but vulnerable at the right times.

What really detracted from the novel was the narration - the writing was fantastic. Habel ties in modern day wit with the Victorian way of speaking. The issue was that there are about five narrators and some of them sounded the same, the narrator switched so often that i often got lost with whose story I was following. At times it was written well and built up tension, but most of the time it was just so distracting and pretty annoying.

As well as this, the zombies were a little inconsistant. At first, Habel is describing some of them as revolting, with bits hanging off all over but later she seems to forget this and pretty soon all of the zombies are cool and barely scary and I'd have liked the zombies to be a bit more... zombie-esque.

Overall, a well balanced but with amazing setting, plot and characters. The issues were with the narrative mainly, but this is something you may get used to. As well as this, pacing is slow at times.

Overall Rating: B

This book was originally released in the UK by Doubleday on September 26th 2011, and was released in the US on October 18th.
this book was received for review through NetGalley.


  1. Wonderful review!
    I'm actually quite partial to the UK cover myself =)

    -Wendy from A Cupcake and a Latte: YA Reviews

  2. Ooh, I much prefer the US cover to this one. I almost cried when they changed it! :P. Hehe. Glad you enjoyed this one overall - it's reassuring to hear the romance isn't all creepy, I've been worrying about the whole zombie/human aspect. Great review!

  3. hmmm, I want to read this one and its on its way to me but you have put me off a little now! I'll still read it, obviously! but I dont know if I'll rush to it!


Tell me your thoughts on the post, the book, the world. I like volcanoes, feel free to tell me about volcanoes.