Saturday, September 24, 2011

Futuristic Steampunk Zombie Romance

All it's missing are fallen angels and perhaps a generation ship. But, there are sequels coming, so I continue to hope.

Okay. You may well be asking how a book can be both futuristic and steampunk and it's sort of convoluted how it got there, but 'Dearly, Departed' by Lia Habel is, yes, a futuristic steampunk zombie romance novel for young adults.Briefly, the world as we know it has come to an end and the surviving North Americans have settled in Central America and latched on to the Victorian era as a model for their new society. Hence, futuristic steampunk. And, because the market isn't yet glutted, this is a zombie novel. And, in the best Romeo and Juliet tradition, it features an impossible romance between a society miss and a zombie soldier. Apparently, Ms. Habel wrote this book as a joke, and with that many elements thrown into the mix, I can believe it. For all of that, though, it actually works pretty well. Except for the names. There's a character named Vespertine Mink, for heaven's sake. Vespertine Mink. There's a Dr. Samedi. And the heroine is named Nora Dearly. Dearly? And, please, to all authors of YA, stop naming your heroines Nora(h)! It's not unique. At least Vespertine hasn't been used so much as to become cliche. And, for gods' sake, if you must use Nora(h), please stop making her a petite brunette.

Okay. Enough of my anti-Nora(h) rant. It just feels like every other YA paranormal has a heroine named Nora(h) and I'd like to see a little more originality in naming, but not to the extreme of Vespertine Mink.

Anyway, before I got distracted by the name issue, I commented that this book actually worked pretty well for all the mish-mash of elements involved. It was, however, too long, at close to 500 pages. And there were multiple character POVs, which could occasionally get confusing.But, the multiple plot threads were nicely developed and played out to satisfying conclusions. The relationships between the characters were believable and unfolded naturally over the course of the book. And, though this is apparently the start of a series, it had an ending that made it work well as a single volume. I probably won't seek out future installments, but I don't regret taking the time to read this one.

No comments:

Post a Comment