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Good As Gone
Douglas Corleone
Timothy Miller

Dearly, Departed

Dearly, Departed - Wow! What a wonderful, surprising story! I was a bit apprehensive when I read the blurb for this one. I thought the author might be trying to do too much - science fiction, steampunk, Victorian mores, and zombies - but Lia Habel pulled it off masterfully. This story is filled with interesting and very likable characters. It didn't take me more than a few pages to fall in love with Nora. She is such an intriguing character with a quirky sense of humor and unique viewpoint.I loved the touches of humor in this rather grim story. The basic story is an adventure. These people are fighting a war against a disease that is turning large number of people into zombies but the general public doesn't know it. The government is trying to keep the whole zombie epidemic secret from the populace of New Victoria who are living their lives according to Victorian values. Nora doesn't really fit in. She isn't really lady-like. She likes watching holos of wars. She is mourning the death of her father who had died the previous year and is in the guardianship of her aunt who is a social-climbing spendthrift. When she is kidnapped by zombies her whole life undergoes readjustment. She finds out that there are good zombies (those who have kept their minds) and bad zombies. She also finds out that her father is still "alive" but a zombie himself. Her father is searching for a vaccine that will keep normal people from becoming zombies. There are a number of factions who want him to succeed and another number who want him to fail.Nora is captured by Bram and his unit. They are all zombies and are working with her father to keep the bad zombies away from the normal humans. Bram is upright and honorable and, except for the being dead thing, a wonderful romantic hero. He treats Nora like a human being with a brain which immediately wins her over. Nora quickly comes to trust him.The story is told from a variety of viewpoints. Each chapter is told from one of the characters perspective. Some of the viewpoint characters are Bram, Nora, Pamela who is Nora's lower-class best friend, Wolfe who is the human officer in charge of Bram's unit and the other good zombies, and Victor who is Nora's father. Seeing the story through all these sets of eyes illuminates the world and the problems.This story is an exciting adventure and a sweet, touching romance. Don't let the zombies scare you off from a wonderful reading experience.