Title: Dearly, Departed
Author: Lia Habel
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Series: Gone With The Respiration, book one
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: A dark, hilarious novel that cleverly combines steampunk elements with the horror of the living dead, Dearly, Departed was great--though at times the narrative was a tad hard to follow, and the pacing didn't keep.
Nora Dearly is a woman of the future. New Victoria isn't perfect, but hey, it's the time she lives in. Still mourning the death of her father, she also must contend with her social-climbing horror of an aunt trying to sell her off to the highest bidder. But soon she's spirited away from her home by zombies--and soon finds that nothing is as it seems. Fighting for her life, she finds friendship, and love, which is all good and well.. But she might not live to reap their benefits..
What I enjoyed:
-The frightening, but stifling, atmosphere Habel paints, claustrophobic and repressed but still kind of beautiful
-Nora--she is one of my favorite heroines ever--so brave and kind and loving and stubborn
-Bram, and his growing relationship with Nora
-I really enjoyed how the romance progressed--the pacing of it was perfect for me
-The quirky cast of characters the reader is introduced to, living and dead, and all likable, and undeniably human--especially Bram, Renfield, Coalhouse, Chas, and Tom
-The multiple points of view gave depth to the novel--luckily the plot was easy to follow, so I didn't get confused too often
-The twists and turns that had me frantically turning pages
-The horror scenes were straight out of a Romero flick, spine-tingling and scream-worthy--I was practically biting my nails
What I didn't enjoy:
-The pacing stuttered a lot at the beginning--I almost didn't get into it because it faltered so much
-The multiple narratives at time were confusing
I really, really, liked Dearly, Departed--and I'm picky about my zombie novels! Anyone who wants a good horror story, a good romance, or just a dark, hilarious novel should snatch it up! Next on deck: Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly!