I was worried when I started this book that Dearly, Departed would be just like every other 'pretty cover' book out there - a big fat disappointmen I was worried when I started this book that Dearly, Departed would be just like every other 'pretty cover' book out there - a big fat disappointment. I'm so glad I was wrong! This story is full of adventure, ingenuity and creeptastic goodness!
It's very hard to put this book into a singular category. We have a mix of Neo-Victorian (a re-imagined Victorian age with nifty gadgets, technology and holograms), Steampunk and Dystopian all woven together with a pretty scary zombie plotline. Dearly, Departed is a genius mix of things you've never read before - and for that, I was grateful. I always love my books new and unique, and this one certainly delivered!
I particularly liked the new 'world' Dearly, Departed was set in. Set in our future, on one of the only existing pieces of above-water land there is left, humanity has seperated into two 'nations', the Punks (a Steampunk-inspired group of people who are considered nothing more than 'rebels' by their opponents) and the New Victorians (citizens who have decided to re-inherit the Victorian way of life, with a few technological perks!). While this is a story enough on its own, Lia Habel throws in a wicked 'Zombie Plague' to turn everything upside down.
The world Nora Dearly lives in is expertly crafted. I particularly loved learning about the ins-and-outs of it all. It's hard to believe that this is Lia Habel's first novel! As I said, I was floored that the story within these pages was exciting and good! Many debut authors are given beautiful covers, but not often do the books live up to the expectations of the reader!
I was able to breeze through Dearly, Departed quite quickly, as the action is unrelenting and will keep you turning the pages. The one thing that threw me off, however, was the changing POV every chapter. I loved reading the chapters by Bram and Nora, but then Pamela got thrown into the mix and I found my interest wavering a little. While I did grow to enjoy Pamela's chapters (seriously, near the end, I was LOVING her chapters and the character she'd become) I still didn't find myself happy when faced with a chapter by Wolfe or Nora's father, Victor. I understand and appreciate that their chapters were necessary for the reader to understand the turns and twists the plots was taking, but I just didn't enjoy them as much as the others.
Still, there is a whole cast of characters within Dearly, Departed that readers are sure to enjoy. Instead of annoying cardboard cut-outs, we have a whole slew of personalities that make for an interesting story. You really do care what happens to each character in this book. There are sure to be some interesting interactions in the coming books that I can't wait for (particularly more between Mink and her surprise chess partner!)
If you're on the fence about this one, I highly urge you to give it a go! I can't wait for the next one in the series, Dearly, Beloved, which comes out next year!
Recommended to: If you want a new and unique series with an intriguing plot, try Dearly, Departed!...more
**spoiler alert** I loved going ‘back in time’ in the Shadowhunter world; hearing all the familiar names and characters was fantastic. You can’t mis**spoiler alert**
I loved going ‘back in time’ in the Shadowhunter world; hearing all the familiar names and characters was fantastic. You can’t miss this one if you’re a fan of The Mortal Instruments!
What can I say? I have been awaiting this book’s release since I first heard it announced. Everything about it enticed me; Victorian London, shadowhunters, a descendent of Jace as one of the main characters, steampunk clockwork creatures… the list goes on!
I can do nothing more than praise Cassandra Clare’s writing. Wow. She really puts you in the same environment as her characters! And she makes you absolutely tear yourself apart when choosing between the two male leads! Yup. While I don’t think it’s a huge, obvious love triangle, the reader finds themselves unable to resist picking either Will Herondale or Jem Carstairs as their preferred gentleman.
I still don’t know what side I’m on *shifty eyes*
While Will is all sexiness and raw lust, Jem is gentle and kind. We all know I’m a sucker for the bad boy with his deep, midnight stares… so that’s probably why I haven’t thrown Will to the wind just yet. It’s obvious he’s broken inside and therefore decides to take this out on others, believing he’s ‘protecting’ them from himself. Yawn. We’ve heard it all before… but that doesn’t mean we wouldn’t take Will up on one of his many enticing offers ;)
Jem, on the other hand, is the ‘white knight’ to Will’s ‘black knight’ as Tessa observes. You want to snuggle up to him like a puppy and have him gently touch your hands with his glass-like fingers. I wouldn’t mind watching him play the violin, either. His steady voice is the only one able to reach Will in the moments that matter.
Yup, I’m torn. I don’t even know who I want Tessa to be with.
The tension between her and Will is so palpable (one nobody can deny) so I think in the end I’m team Tessa/Will… BUT… it’s so very obvious Jem has feelings for her, too. She cares for him as well, but I don’t think the romantic feelings stretch further than a bit of wonderment about him. She’s constantly worrying about Will and how he feels about her, leaving little space for worry about Jem’s feelings.
I actually loved Jessamine. I’m really interested in seeing if she will accept her Shadowhunter destiny or continue with her desire to leave the life of a demon slayer. I loved how she totally owned that goblin (?) in the park.
As for Tessa, I liked her a lot more than Clary from The Mortal Instruments. I’m so curious about the clockwork angel she wore around her neck. Why did it power up and fly away, only to come back? The case of her origins is also a mystery I’m eager to uncover.
I can’t believe the book ended like it did. Yes, it was a cliffhanger… but it was less than that, too. I was expecting another paragraph of speech from Will. Something that made us gasp, not simply Magnus asking a question.
It was a great read, but something stopped me from giving it a full five stars. I think it’s because I didn’t feel we got enough answers for all the questions that were given. There wasn’t a huge ‘ooohhhh, duh! that’s why ….’ moment where all the hints seemed to click into place for me....more