Lia Habel, you're a genius. Seriously, I can not get over how awesome Dearly Departed is. It's this fusion of dystopia, history, paranormal and it totally works! When you read the premise you're probably thinking the idea is crazy, but you're also wondering if she can pull it off. I thought she did!
First, I want to say I think zombies are disgusting. Walking corpses, slowly rotting. It's unappealing to me, so while I'm sure they're all pretty good people I would not go near one. Ever. Miss Lia Habel challenged that. For the first time ever, I fell for a zombie. I'm still grossed out, but I love Bram and the crew. They didn't ask to be undead and they're clever, kind, and just the kind of people I admire.
You know those zombie books where the zombies have taken over and the humans are barely surviving? That was not Dearly Departed. The concept was so original that it deserves a genre of its own. The plot always felt like something I've never seen before was happening. It was action packed, and full of questions. Best of all it ends in a way that is satisfying. No cliffhangers or anything like that though there is indication that there is more to come.
The characters were all relatable and though some may appear weak in the beginning, they all had hidden strengths. I had a huge grin on my face after reading some scenes. The best part is that there are multiple perspectives. I've noticed either people hate that or love it. I love it; it shows much more character development and the story is often more complex and intricate when that happens. I loved being in other character's minds and seeing their part of the story and the action. It really made me relate to them all.
This review is kind of all over the place and I apologize for that. It's just that Dearly Departed is such a complicated, healthy sized book with a lot happening. I'm sure there's at least one character or storyline that will interest someone. There is sweet, taking it slow romance, (finally!!!) military level action, and great, lovable characters. The writing is pretty awesome too- it always left me hungry for more and I found the book very readable.
If you're looking for a book that has it all, look no further than Dearly Departed. I love this book and this is one of those series I'll be most excited to read of more in 2012. Definitely 5 stars,