Dearly, Departed is probably the only book even mildly related to Halloween and horror I've ever read. The reason? I'll admit that I am pretty squeamiDearly, Departed is probably the only book even mildly related to Halloween and horror I've ever read. The reason? I'll admit that I am pretty squeamish when it comes to horror so I try to avoid it at all costs. Which was why Dearly, Departed was such a great read. It wasn't exactly horror (and not even that scary!) because the zombie aspect of this could be compared to the aspect of vampires and ghosts in other books, but it was a small start to what might be me overcoming my fear.
First of all, I love the world Lia Habel created - from the technology to the thought of the Victorian Era in a modern state. It was unique and I loved how she merged the Old Victorian style with high-tech modern technology. The world she created was fascinating and I would have loved to see it for myself.
Nora was a strong capable character and while she did break down a couple of times, I couldn't fault her for it. She had reasons to cry and weep. As a reader, I could imagine myself in her shoes and I would probably have broken down as well. Bram was a male lead that I at first had trouble liking because of his initial interest in Nora but once I delved deeper into his story, I liked him alot. His and Nora's relationship was realistic and believable. At first the whole zombie-human love relationship might seem strange but as the story progresses, you don't see them as zombie's but as humans. I loved how Bram got Nora to warm up to him. It was a cute way and I found it was a lot better than the insta-love that I read about in so many other YA books these days.
While the POV is mainly between Bram and Nora, it switches out occasionally to some supporting characters, namely Wolfe, Pamela and Victor. I found this to be a good way for us readers to get to know other characters though I didn't understand why they included Wolfe's POV to be honest. At first, I wasn't too fond of Pamela. I thought she was just the typical best friend who was only into the girl stuff of the New Victorian Era but as we read her POV, I came to like her possibly even more than Nora. Her bravery and intuitive was admirable and she didn't back down even when her parents had doubts about her. Though I so called what would happen at the end with Pamela and Michael Allister, I couldn't help liking the pairing. Hopefully we'll see more of them in the later books.
The aspect of zombies is one I've never come across before so, much-like Twilight and all it's vampire glory, this will probably be what I base my image of zombies on in the future. I never thought that I'd enjoy reading about the grotesque lives of zombies but I found each zombie in this book unique and funny. Bram's zombie friends made me laugh a lot! Despite their odd appearances, I could see Nora through my own eyes as she gradually become friends with them just because of their personalities.
Overall, Dearly, Departed is a book that most fans of paranormal and historical would enjoy. While not exactly set in the past, it takes a unique take on a historical world set in the future which fans of historical fiction would find fascinating and intriguing. I would also recommend this to readers who are squeamish like me but want to slowly edge their way into the genre of horror....more