Steampunk? Zombies? Awesome! Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel

[amazon_link id="0345523326" target="_blank" container="" container_class="" ]Dearly, Departed: A Zombie Novel[/amazon_link]In Dearly, Departed, the world as we know it is gone and the survivors have split into two camps, the Victorians, who have somewhat more advanced technology, cities, and a very conservative moral code, and the Punks, who are more mobile, rely less on most technology but have retained more computers, and are more socially progressive. There are constant battles between the two factions.

Enter our heroine, Nora Dearly, the teenaged daughter of a ‘mad scientist’ who died about a year ago and left her in the care of her aunt, who has squandered the family fortune. Her best friend, Pamela, is the daughter of a baker whom Nora’s family has elevated to attend the same exclusive school as Nora. The two lead a perfectly ordinary life in the Elysian Fields, an underground city built in the aftermath of the disasters that had ended the previous civilization.

As the two girls try to live their lives, frustrated in their goals by rigid codes of conduct and harried by Vespertine Roe, the wealthiest girl in school, things start falling apart. First, there are reports of war on the southern border, then rumors of unrest above ground, where the poorest people live. Finally, there is a kidnapping attempt on Nora, and she flees with a young man, Bram, who has a mellifluous voice and a horrifying visage.

More mysteries follow, and romance, and adventure, and much is revealed in this delightful book by Lia Habel with a fresh new twist on the zombie craze. In Dearly, Departed, Nora, Pamela, and Bram are thoroughly wonderful characters and you find yourself truly caring what happens to them, and on the edge of your seat as things go badly. Even Vespertine becomes more interesting as the story continues.

[amazon_link id="0345523342" target="_blank" container="" container_class="" ]Dearly, Beloved: A Zombie Novel, sequel to Dearly, Departed[/amazon_link]Well written prose with just a hint of Victorian grandiosity makes for an enjoyable experience, and I was happy to learn that the second book in the series, Dearly, Beloved is also out. Ms. Habel says on her website that she has more books in planned in the series, and I look forward to reading all of them.

Technically, this is classified as young adult,and certainly the romance is tame enough to qualify, but it is appropriate for anyone who enjoys a good story. Take the time to pick up Dearly, Departed at the store or as an ebook, and support yet another wonderful independent author today — and then, go back in a week or so and pick up Dearly, Beloved, as I plan on doing.

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About Maureen O'Danu

Maureen O'Danu is the webmistress of Am I the Only One Dancing? where there is a new discussion every day on any one of dozens of topics and ideas, as well as reviews, geekery, family, fun, and enough politics to season the pot.
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