Dearly Departed by Lia Habel

The world has changed and life as one knows it has reverted to a futuristic time mixed with the beauty and grace of the Victorian era. Fancy dress and high tech gadgets are the norm for seventeen-year-old Nora Dearly. The term at her finishing school has come to an end and she awaits her aunt’s carriage with patience and slight dread. Orphaned from the recent death of her father, Nora finds comfort through best friend Pamela as they venture home to New Victoria.

It was supposed to be a quiet first night back. Determined to find comfort in one of her favourite war films she shared with her father, a commotion outside derails her thoughts as the walking dead burst into her home. As Nora scampers to the roof, strangers rescue her but she’s horrified that even the handsome Bram is dead as well. Alone and surrounded by zombies, Nora must find strength within if she’s going to escape and return home.

I’ve never read anything steampunk before and I found myself pleasantly surprised how well this YA romance with zombies worked. Zombies aren’t all hungry monsters, but some have been given five years of an undead kind of life before succumbing to the final death. The idea is well executed and for those that need depth within a YA, look no further for Habel has thought of everything!

Steampunk fans will enjoy this book, and for those that don’t understand the genre will enjoy it just as must. There are excellent settings, cool gadgets and zombies falling in love. It was an exciting read that didn’t have my heart beating in fear but thrilled as I turned the pages in wonder about the fate of the characters. I can’t wait to read more from Habel and the next installment in the series.


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