Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wednesday Reads: Dearly, Departed

A few months or so before Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel was released, I stumbled upon it on Goodreads (if I remember correctly). But I was in a rush and didn't write it down. A few weeks later, I was still thinking about it. I couldn't remember all the details so I tweeted, rather frantically, looking for the title and author of a "futuristic steampunk... maybe with zombies?" Lia, the sweety, somehow saw my tweet and cleared it up for me. And, to my delight, I HAD remembered correctly.

Loooove, by the way
Futuristic steampunk with a Victorian society AND zombies.

If that isn't the coolest genre mash-up ever, I really don't know what is.

Synoctopus: (yes, I did just say synoctopus)
The year is 2195. The place is New Victoria—a high-tech nation modeled on the manners, mores, and fashions of an antique era. A teenager in high society, Nora Dearly is far more interested in military history and her country’s political unrest than in tea parties and debutante balls. But after her beloved parents die, Nora is left at the mercy of her domineering aunt, a social-climbing spendthrift who has squandered the family fortune and now plans to marry her niece off for money. For Nora, no fate could be more horrible—until she’s nearly kidnapped by an army of walking corpses.

But fate is just getting started with Nora. Catapulted from her world of drawing-room civility, she’s suddenly gunning down ravenous zombies alongside mysterious black-clad commandos and confronting “The Laz,” a fatal virus that raises the dead—and hell along with them. Hardly ideal circumstances. Then Nora meets Bram Griswold, a young soldier who is brave, handsome, noble . . . and dead. But as is the case with the rest of his special undead unit, luck and modern science have enabled Bram to hold on to his mind, his manners, and his body parts. And when his bond of trust with Nora turns to tenderness, there’s no turning back. Eventually, they know, the disease will win, separating the star-crossed lovers forever. But until then, beating or not, their hearts will have what they desire.
First Line: (prologue) "I was buried alive." The prologue is from Bram's--the love interest--POV, and this is a prologue I really enjoyed. He dies in the prologue. But, of course, from the back cover blurb, you know he's not actually "dead" (just mostly dead).
Kinda like this, but with no magic nut in sight to save him. Dum dum duuum!

First Line: (first chapter) "I slipped a white hand between the heavy velvet drapes." Okay, not terribly exciting as first lines go. BUT. I like how the first scene really paints the world in which Nora lives. You get a great picture of who she is expected to be, who the people are around her, what the world is around her, and the true self inside of her that can't be free (it's New Victoria after all).

Brownie Points: The relationship between Nora and Bram. Hands down, one of my favorites. It wasn't love at first sight (cue gagging). It was slow and steady (more or less). Built on trust above all else. They connect on a deep level (not just hormones because, well, I did mention the mostly dead part, right? And not as in Vampire sparkly mostly dead. Rotting from the inside mostly dead--but don't worry, it's tactfully done and not at all gross).

Recommendation: If you've never read a zombie book, a post-apocolyptic, dystopian, steampunk, etc, this is the one to start with. Also, I just think everyone should marvel at the genre mashing.

Would I represent it? So fast it'd make your head spin. I would love a great genre mash. In my inbox. Now.

Happy reading!


A.J. Locke said...

I was able to meet Lia at Comic Con last summer (she's very nice!) and got a signed ARC of Dearly, Departed. Loved the genre mash and also loved the steady build up of romance with Bram and Nora.

Adam Gaylord said...

You had me at zombies...

Jess said...

Whoa, that sounds really good! I'm actually not that into zombie books (never read one, actually,) but this one sounds worth it to me. I'll check it out!

Mary Weber said...

Ahhhhh you said “synoctopus”!!! That brought the hugest grin to my face. And then…then, you throw some Princess Bride in there? Who ARE you? I honestly don’t know which I’m more excited over…the references contained in your review, or how amazing this book sounds (steampunk, zombies, and slow romance build-up? Yes please). Obviously, I need it.

*runs off to buy book*

Carrie Butler said...

What a compelling synoctopus! Going on my TBR list. :)

Mart Ramirez said...

This one sounds interesting! Thanks for sharing!

Joyce said...

I LOVED this book! I'm not really into zombies but the jacket cover totally intrigued me and then I was a goner. One of my favorite books I read last year.

Andrea said...

Sounds great. Not enough good zombie stuff out there.

Kimberly said...

ooh, I am totally hooked. I will be getting this one for sure.

PK HREZO said...

wow sounds outstanding. I'm marking it down to read ASAP.