Mini-Review: Angel Burn, Shadows on the Moon, Cinder

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Time for some mini-reviews! What are mini-reviews, you ask? As the title suggests, these are short reviews, consisting of one paragraph tops, about a book. It’s a way to catch up on the books I’ve read a while ago, but never got around to reviewing.

Angel Burn

Title: Angel Burn

Author: L.A. Weatherly

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance

Rating: 3,5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

They’re out for your soul.
And they don’t have heaven in mind…

Willow knows she’s different from other girls, and not just because she loves tinkering with cars. Willow has a gift. She can look into the future and know people’s dreams and hopes, their sorrows and regrets, just by touching them. She has no idea where this power comes from.
But the assassin, Alex, does. Gorgeous, mysterious Alex knows more about Willow than Willow herself does. He knows that her powers link to dark and dangerous forces and that he’s one of the few humans left who can fight them. When Alex finds himself falling in love with his sworn enemy, he discovers that nothing is as it seems; least of all good and evil.

Review: L.A. Weatherly gives a nice twist to the world of angels in this novel, and main character Willow definitely has a spark and attitude. However, the writing itself was mixed at best. At times, I wanted to quit writing, other times I was completely engrossed in the story. The pacing isn’t consistent – it picks up, slows down, picks up, slows down. The angel world and lore here intrigued me though, so I may have to pick up the sequel.

Shadows on the Moon

Title: Shadows on the Moon

Author: Zoe Marriott

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

A powerful tale of magic, love and revenge with a strong female lead set in fairy-tale Japan; this is “Cinderella” meets “Memoirs of a Geisha”. Trained in the magical art of shadow-weaving, sixteen-year-old Suzume is able to recreate herself in any form – a fabulous gift for a girl desperate to escape her past. But who is she really? Is she a girl of noble birth living under the tyranny of her mother’s new husband, Lord Terayama, or a lowly drudge scraping a living in the ashes of Terayama’s kitchens, or Yue, the most beautiful courtesan in the Moonlit Lands? Whatever her true identity, Suzume is destined to capture the heart of a prince – and determined to use his power to destroy Terayama. And nothing will stop her, not even love.

Review: What a divers, creative book. Shadows on the Moon is heavily focused on a fairytale set in a fantasy version of Japan, and the setting is unique and enthralling. Suzume is an enticing main character. She’s supposed to be this Cinderall kind of girl, but she’s anything but. She’s flawed but strong, and has severe anger issues, and struggles with her mother’s cold attitude toward her. This book is definitely more intriguing than the regular Cinderella story.

Cinder

Title: Cinder

Author: Marissa Meyer

Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Steampunk

Rating: 5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

Review: What an amazing read! Cinder is a cyborg in New Beijing, a dystopian world overrun by steampunk creatures. Fairytale meets science-fiction, and it’s amazing. The writing is great, Cinder is a wonderful heroine, the book has elements of Sailor Moon (only one of my favorite animes ever) and elements of Cinderella (only one of my favorite fairytales). An excellent read, recommended to anyone who likes young adult.

Mini-Review: Boots for the Gentleman, Traitor’s Daughter, Wayfinder

minireview

Time for some mini-reviews! What are mini-reviews, you ask? As the title suggests, these are short reviews, consisting of one paragraph tops, about a book. It’s a way to catch up on the books I’ve read a while ago, but never got around to reviewing.

Boots for the Gentleman

Title: Boots for the Gentleman

Author: Augusta Li and Eon de Beaumont

Genre: M/M Romance, Steampunk, Fantasy

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Hired by a mysterious faerie gentleman to steal seemingly worthless artifacts, Querrilous Knotte is seen as a traitor by the humans of Halcyon. But as long as he’s getting paid, Querry doesn’t mind. When his client makes a cryptic comment about a certain house, Querry contacts his old flame Reg—a former street rat who now works in the Royal Archives—to learn if the property contains anything of value.

Though Reg has no answers for him, Querry learns there is indeed something precious in the house, something Reg is convinced will bring nothing but trouble. The armed guards that attack the thief prove Reg’s prediction true, and he can’t leave Querry to face it all alone. Not when Reg’s feelings for the man may not be as extinct as he’d thought.

The trouble is, Querry’s heart doesn’t just belong to Reg anymore, and surprisingly, Reg’s heart no longer belongs only to Querry. In the end, it may not even matter, because if Querry, Reg, and their hearts’ desire can’t stop Lord Thimbleroy from draining Halcyon’s magic, they won’t live long enough to regret their unresolved romance.

Review: The writing is…chaotic, to say the least. The editing is non-existent, and the book is riddled with errors and typos. The plot’s originality and creativity makes up for a lot of that, but ultimately I felt the book could’ve been better had there been more attention to detail.

The Traitor’s Daughter

Title: The Traitor’s Daughter (The Veiled Islezs Trilogy #1)

Author: Paula Brandon

Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Historical Fiction

Rating: 2 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Here’s the beginning of a lush, epic, wholly original new trilogy that shines with magic, mystery, and captivating drama.

On the Veiled Isles, ominous signs are apparent to those with the talent to read them. The polarity of magic is wavering at its source, heralding a vast upheaval poised to alter the very balance of nature. Blissfully unaware of the cataclysmic events to come, Jianna Belandor, the beautiful, privileged daughter of a powerful Faerlonnish overlord, has only one concern: the journey to meet her prospective husband.  But revolution is stirring as her own conquered people rise up against their oppressors, and Jianna is kidnapped and held captive at a rebel stronghold, insurance against what are perceived as her father’s crimes.

The resistance movement opens Jianna’s eyes―and her heart. Despite her belief in her father’s innocence, she is fascinated by the bold and charming nomadic physician and rebel sympathizer, Falaste Rione—who offers Jianna her only sanctuary in a cold and calculating web of intrigue. As plague and chaos grip the land, Jianna is pushed to the limits of her courage and resourcefulness, while virulent enemies discover that alliance is their only hope to save the human race.

Review: Bland protagonist, who I couldn’t connect with, even though I tried. The blurb is misleading – things like the zombies are only mentioned briefly. All the characters were unlikeable, and some of them showed only little personality.

Wayfinder

Title: Wayfinder

Author: C.E. Murphy

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE—IF IT DOESN’T KILL YOU FIRST

Lara Jansen is a truthseeker, gifted—or cursed—with the magical ability to tell honesty from lies. Once she was a tailor in Boston, but now she has crossed from Earth to the Barrow-lands, a Faerie world embroiled in a bloody civil war between Seelie and Unseelie. Armed with an enchanted and malevolent staff which seeks to bend her to its dark will, and thrust into a deadly realm where it’s hard to distinguish friend from foe, Lara is sure of one thing: her love for Dafydd ap Caerwyn, the Faerie prince who sought her help in solving a royal murder and dousing the flames of war before they consumed the Barrow-lands.

But now Dafydd is missing, perhaps dead, and the Barrow-lands are closer than ever to a final conflagration. Lara has no other choice: she must harness the potent but perilous magic of the staff and her own truthseeking talents, blazing a path to a long-forgotten truth—a truth with the power to save the Barrow-lands or destroy them.

Review: The cover persuaded me to give this one a shot. This is the second book in a series – which I didn’t know, but I could follow easily enough. Lara is an intriguing protagonist, and the whole ocncept of her gifts, and of truthseekers, is original and creative. The book was a blast from start to finish.

Book Review: The Sunken by S.C. Green

the_sunken_coverwebsmallTitle: The Sunken
Author: Steff Green
Genre: Steampunk Dark Fantasy
Age Group: Adult
Rating:  5 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

 In the heart of London lies the Engine Ward, a district forged in coal and steam, where the great Engineering Sects vie for ultimate control of the country. For many, the Ward is a forbidding, desolate place, but for Nicholas Thorne, the Ward is a refuge. He has returned to London under a cloud of shadow to work for his childhood friend, the engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

Deep in the Ward’s bowels, Nicholas can finally escape his strange affliction – the thoughts of animals that crowd his head. But seeing Brunel interact with his mechanical creations, Nicholas is increasingly concerned that his friend may be succumbing to the allure of his growing power. That power isn’t easily cast aside, and the people of London need Brunel to protect the streets from the prehistoric monsters that roam the city.

King George III has approved Brunel’s ambitious plan to erect a Wall that would shut out the swamp dragons and protect the city. But in secret, the King cultivates an army of Sunken: men twisted into flesh-eating monsters by a thirst for blood and lead. Only Nicholas and Brunel suspect that something is wrong, that the Wall might play into a more sinister purpose–to keep the people of London trapped inside.

Imagine King George III as a vampire. Now, imagine a steampunk, dark fantasy world, in which people worship the gods of Industrialism, as opposed to the rest of Europe, which still practises christianity.

The novel starts off by introducing us to the three main characters as youngsters: Nicholas, James and Isambard. When something terrible happens, Nicholas and James are shocked, but Isambard gains a strange connection to the machines that rule their world. He becomes an engineer, and gains royal favor as a result, while he works with the mechanical creations that have him mesmerized.

Numerous years later, Nicholas returns to the Engine Ward, a district in the heart of London, where he starts to work for his childhood friend. But as Isambard wants to set up a Wall, that would shut out the dragons (yes, you read that out) that threaten the city, and he gets the approval of the King, he begins to suspect something is wrong. He informs Nicholas of his suspicious that the king wants to use the wall not to protect the citizens of London, but to keep them locked inside while he unleashed an army of Sunken: flesh-eating monsters.

You can’t say that The Sunken doesn’t have an element of originality – it’s easily one of the most original books I’ve ever read. And the most amazing part is how skillfully S.C. Green manages to combine all the elements of this book: flesh-eating monsters, vampires, alternative history, steampunk machines, and dragons. When you read it like that, you’d never think it works, but it does. The London the author creatures is a dark and threatening place, but at the same time it’s also vibrant and lively, and one of the most thrilling fantasy settings I’ve read about.

I loved Isambard – he was my favorite main character, because he’s just so complex. It ward hard to think about what he’d do next. That’s not to say the other characters aren’t complex either, for example, Nicholas has a few struggles of his own and has some tough choices to make.

The writing was excellent, the characters engaging, the plot suspenseful from start to end. There aren’t enough words to say what an amazing read this is – I’d recommend you just pick it up and see for yourself.

Mini-Reviews: Firelight, The Mystery of Drear House, The Crown

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Time for some mini-reviews! What are mini-reviews, you ask? As the title suggests, these are short reviews, consisting of one paragraph tops, about a book. It’s a way to catch up on the books I’ve read a while ago, but never got around to reviewing.

Firelight

Title: Firelight (Darkest London #1)

Author: Kristen Callihan

Genre: Steampunk, Paranormal Romance, Historical Romance

Rating: 5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Once the flames are ignited . . .

Miranda Ellis is a woman tormented. Plagued since birth by a strange and powerful gift, she has spent her entire life struggling to control her exceptional abilities. Yet one innocent but irreversible mistake has left her family’s fortune decimated and forced her to wed London’s most nefarious nobleman.

They will burn for eternity . . .

Lord Benjamin Archer is no ordinary man. Doomed to hide his disfigured face behind masks, Archer knows it’s selfish to take Miranda as his bride. Yet he can’t help being drawn to the flame-haired beauty whose touch sparks a passion he hasn’t felt in a lifetime. When Archer is accused of a series of gruesome murders, he gives in to the beastly nature he has fought so hard to hide from the world. But the curse that haunts him cannot be denied. Now, to save his soul, Miranda will enter a world of dark magic and darker intrigue. For only she can see the man hiding behind the mask.

Review: What an amazing book! Firelight is a great read, filled with historical details and original steampunk elements. Archer and Miranda make an interesting couple. Archer has been cursed, and Miranda has a powerful gift to control fire. The characters match well together, and they have an unique style to interact. This is one of the few historical romances that stands out from the rest. It’s really good, and has solid writing.

The Mystery of Drear House

Title: The Mystery of Drear House

Author: Virginia Hamilton

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Amazon

A black family living in the house of long-dead abolitionist Dies Drear must decide what to do with his stupendous treasure, hidden for one hundred years in a cavern near their home.

Review: This is a great mystery novel for young adults. The most interesting part was Drear House itself. It’s a labyrinth with secret tunnels and hideouts. The pace is quite fast, and the main character Thomas is the kind of protagonist kids can easily relate to. An intriguing, quick read.

The Crown

Title: The Crown (Joanna Stafford #1)

Author: Nancy Bilyeau

Genre: Historical Mystery

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Amazon

In this debut historical thriller, an aristocratic young nun must find a legendary crown in order to save her father’s life and preserve all she holds dear from Cromwell’s ruthless terror. When novice nun Joanna Stafford learns her rebel cousin is condemned by King Henry VIII to be burned at the stake, she makes the decision to break the sacred rule of enclosure and run away from her Dominican Order in Dartford to stand at her cousin’s side. Arrested for interfering with king’s justice, Joanna, along with her father, Sir Richard Stafford, is sent to the Tower of London. Joanna’s father is brutally tortured by Stephen Gardiner, the Bishop of Winchester who leads the Catholic faction bent on saving England’s monasteries from destruction. In order to save her father, Joanna must submit to Gardiner’s will and become a pawn in the struggle between religious extremes. Gardiner forces Joanna to return to Dartford Priory with a mission: find the long hidden crown worn by Saxon King Athelstan in AD 937 during the historic battle that first united Britain. Gardiner believes the crown itself to possess a mystical power that will halt the Reformation. Uncovering only dark betrayals and murder at Dartford, Joanna flees with Brother Edmund, a troubled young friar, and with time running out, their hunt for the crown leads them through royal castles, to Stonehenge, and finally to the tomb of the mysterious King Athelstan under Malmesbury Abbey. There Joanna learns the true secret of the crown, a secret tracing all the way back to Golgotha and the Relics of the Passion. Now, as Cromwell’s army of destruction advances, Joanna must finally determine who to trust and how far she is willing to go to protect a way of life that she passionately loves.

Review: The Crown was just an ‘okay’ read. The writing wasn’t all that great, and the book seemed to try too hard to hold on to historical events, and mix them with the plot, as if the plot was predicted by the historical events, and the other way around. The back cover compares this book to Philippa Gregory’s work, but Gregory has a lot more attention for detail, and manages to provide better character sketches. All in all, just okay.

Mini-Review: The Peculiars, More Beauty Less Beast, Alias Dragonfly

minireview

Time for some mini-reviews! What are mini-reviews, you ask? As the title suggests, these are short reviews, consisting of one paragraph tops, about a book. It’s a way to catch up on the books I’ve read a while ago, but never got around to reviewing.

The Peculiars

Title: The Peculiars

Author: Maureen Doyle McQuerry

Genre: Steampunk, Fantasy, Young Adult, Historical Fiction

Rating: 5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

This dark and thrilling adventure, with an unforgettable heroine, will captivate fans of steampunk, fantasy, and romance.
On her 18th birthday, Lena Mattacascar decides to search for her father, who disappeared into the northern wilderness of Scree when Lena was young. Scree is inhabited by Peculiars, people whose unusual characteristics make them unacceptable to modern society. Lena wonders if her father is the source of her own extraordinary characteristics and if she, too, is Peculiar. On the train she meets a young librarian, Jimson Quiggley, who is traveling to a town on the edge of Scree to work in the home and library of the inventor Mr. Beasley. The train is stopped by men being chased by the handsome young marshal Thomas Saltre. When Saltre learns who Lena’s father is, he convinces her to spy on Mr. Beasley and the strange folk who disappear into his home, Zephyr House. A daring escape in an aerocopter leads Lena into the wilds of Scree to confront her deepest fears.

Review: Steampunk is either hit or miss with me, and this one was definitely hit. Lena is a great character with an interestin personality. The world-building is solid and the writing is great. This is one of those books that’ll leave you thinking even after you finish reading.

More Beauty, Less Beast

Title: More Beauty, Less Beast

Author: Debora M. Coty

Genre: Non-Fiction, Inspirational

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Amazon

If you ever wrestle with that out-of-control inner ogre that threatens to destroy the divinely beautiful princess hidden within, this witty and wise book is for you. With simple, practical tips for taming that nasty, unsightly beast, you’ll discover how to transform its unattractive snarl into inner and outer beauty—refashioned, revitalized, and renewed.

Review: This book was nothing like I expected, in fact, it was a little dissapointing. Each chapter is short, and focuses on an inspirational message. The book tries too hard to be witty though, and somehow it doesn’t work that well if read all at once.

Alias Dragonfly

Title: Alias Dragonfly

Author: Jane Singer

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Historical Fiction

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Fifteen years old. Wanted: Dead or Alive.

“Don’t love a spy,” warns fifteen-year-old Pinkerton agent Maddie Bradford, a lonely, rebellious outsider with a mind on fire and a photographic memory. It is 1861, the Civil War has just started and this motherless teen must move with her soldier-father from New Hampshire to Washington, DC-a city at war, packed cheek by jowl with soldiers, Rebel spies, slave catchers and traitors of all stripes bent on waging a war of destruction against the Union, and President Lincoln himself.

Maddie’s journal, written in secret, of course, begins with her arrival at her aunt’s DC boardinghouse through the first year of the Civil War, a time, as Maddie puts it, full of “dips and dangers,” when she becomes a fearless Union spy. And then there is the mysterious, maddening Jake Whitestone, a young man who awakens something equally dangerous in Maddie: Love in a time of terror.

Civil War historian, author and lecturer Jane Singer brings her unique voice to Alias Dragonfly.

Review: Original plot, but predictable every now and then. Maddie is a likeable protagonist, and the setting was unique and entertaining and historically correct, as far as I can say. The ending is a bit abrupt though, and slightly dissapointing.

Book Tours: Starter Day Party for The Sunken

thesunkenbanner

I’m hosting the starter day party today for the book tour for dark fantasy “The Sunken”. I hope you enjoy the tour, and I’ll be reviewing the book on October 13, at the end of the tour.

Tour Schedule

September 13th: Starter Day Party @ I Heart Reading

September 14th: Book Excerpt @ Sunshine Book Promotions

September 16th: Author Interview @ Taking Time for Mommy

September 18th: Book Excerpt @ Realm Tramper

September 20th: Book Review @ Classy Cat Books

September 22nd: Author Interview @ Karen Greco’s Blog

September 24th: Guest Post @ Illusions of Intimacy

September 25th: Book Excerpt @ The Wormhole

September 27th: Author Interview @ Majanka’s Blog

September 29th: Book Excerpt and Giveaway @ Books and Tales

October 1st: Book Review @ All Sorts of Books

October 3rd: Guest Post @ Plain Talk BM

October 5th: Book Review @ Paranormal Romance and Authors That Rock

October 7th: Book Excerpt @ I’m an Eclectic Reader

October 9th:  Author Interview @ The Single Librarian

October 10th: Book Excerpt @ Fantasy Book Lane

October 12th: Book Excerpt and Giveaway @ Books Direct

October 13th: Book Review @ I Heart Reading

About The Sunken

the_sunken_coverwebsmallTitle: The Sunken

Author: Steff Green

Genre: Steampunk Dark Fantasy

 In the heart of London lies the Engine Ward, a district forged in coal and steam, where the great Engineering Sects vie for ultimate control of the country. For many, the Ward is a forbidding, desolate place, but for Nicholas Thorne, the Ward is a refuge. He has returned to London under a cloud of shadow to work for his childhood friend, the engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

Deep in the Ward’s bowels, Nicholas can finally escape his strange affliction – the thoughts of animals that crowd his head. But seeing Brunel interact with his mechanical creations, Nicholas is increasingly concerned that his friend may be succumbing to the allure of his growing power. That power isn’t easily cast aside, and the people of London need Brunel to protect the streets from the prehistoric monsters that roam the city.

King George III has approved Brunel’s ambitious plan to erect a Wall that would shut out the swamp dragons and protect the city. But in secret, the King cultivates an army of Sunken: men twisted into flesh-eating monsters by a thirst for blood and lead. Only Nicholas and Brunel suspect that something is wrong, that the Wall might play into a more sinister purpose–to keep the people of London trapped inside.

Author Bio

steffmetal-steampunk-wedding-celebrant4Steff lives in an off-grid house on a slice of rural paradise near Auckland, New Zealand, with her cantankerous drummer husband, their two cats, and their medieval sword collection. The first CD she ever brought was Metallica’s ‘Ride the Lightning’, and she’s been a card-carrying member of the black-t-shirt brigade ever since.

Steff writes about metal music, her books, living off-grid, and her adventures with home-brewing on her blog www.steffmetal.com. She writes humorous fantasy under the name Steff Metal, and dark, dystopian fantasy under S. C. Green. Her latest novel, The Sunken, explores an alternative Georgian London where dinosaurs still survive.

Stay up to date with Steff’s books by signing up to her newsletter at http://steffmetal.com/subscribe, or like her Facebook page at http://facebook.com/steffmetal.

Book Review: Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel

10048874Title: Dearly, Departed
Author: Lia Habel
Genre: YA, Paranormal Romance, Zombies, Steampunk, Dystopian
Publisher: Del Rey
Publication Date: October 18th 2011
Author Website | Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Review copy provided by the publisher through Netgalley.

Love can never die.
Love conquers all, so they say. But can Cupid’s arrow pierce the hearts of the living and the dead—or rather, the undead? Can a proper young Victorian lady find true love in the arms of a dashing zombie?
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.
In Dearly, Departed, romance meets walking-dead thriller, spawning a madly imaginative novel of rip-roaring adventure, spine-tingling suspense, and macabre comedy that forever redefines the concept of undying love.

Dearly, Departed is one of the most original, earth-shattering, ground-breaking novels I’ve read all year and I loved it. I absolutely loved it. It wasn’t perfect, but I did fall in love with the main characters, Nora and Bram, the society in which they live, the New Victorian era, and the delightful combination of zombies, dystopia, science-fiction and fantasy. This book is a must read. Even if you read no other books this year, you have to read this one. Before the zombies get you.

Nora, the protagonist of this story, is more interested in warfare, machinary and politics than she is in the things every respectable girl in the New Victorian society should be interested in – manners, etiquette and finding a suitable husband. Before he passed away, Nora’s Dad was one of the most prominent researches in the field of warfare and techonology, and she inherited this passion from him. But ever since he died, she’s been forced to follow her aunt’s ambitions and act more and more like the person she doesn’t want to be. When she has to go home for the summer – to the stately mansion owned by her aunt – being attacked in the middle of the night and being rescued by a horse of zombies almost sounds like the most exciting thing that could happen. Almost.

When she’s captured by the zombies who, instead of simply being marked as evil, turn out to be Nora’s rescuers, Nora finds herself slowly adapting to their world, the world of the undead. When she falls in love with one of her captors, Bram, who also happens to be a zombie. But it didn’t take long for me to look behind Bram’s zombie-ness as well and see what it was Nora fell for. He’s charming, witty, caring, considerate, everything a girl could wish for. I’m glad to see there was no love triangle for a change, and that the love interest, albeit being a zombie, wasn’t a “bad boy” or a troubled individual, but a guy any girl could fall for, in real life as well. I’m a big fan of Bram. He defied all the zombie stereotypes, being so much more than just a flesh-eating, meat-craving walking corpse, but an actual individual with a wide array of emotions and feelings.

Another big bonus for me in this book was the relationship between Nora and her best friend Pam. Now that’s one believable friendship I’d gladly cheer for. If Pam gets her own books, I’d definitely read them. I loved her.

The only thing I found disappointing about this book were the multiple POVs and the lack of explanation. While I think the latter is because we’re going to find more answers in the next few books, there’s no reason for the multiple POVs except to confuse some readers. While I didn’t feel confused, I did think it was hard getting into every character’s head especially because the POV changed so often. But that’s the only “bad” thing I could find about this book, which is saying something.

Dearly, Departed is an intriguing, original mish-mash of genres written by an author who certainly isn’t afraid to think outside of the box. Fantasy with paranormal elements, dystopian, zombies, science-fiction, romance, steampunk and some cyberpunk collided into a wonderful, fascinating story I would recommend to all YA fans. Add this to your TBR list. Right now. You won’t regret it.