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Dearly Departed
by Lia Habel
Ballantine, $16.99, 471 pp
Release Date: October 18, 2011

This is a debut novel.

The year 2195, a Victorian steampunk future set in New Victoria. Nora Dearly is a human teenager in high society who falls in love with a handsome lieutenant. He in turn has "the Laz” which is turning him into walking dead. He is still going strong now, able to take on Nora, killer zombies and treacherous humans.  For now... But what can Nora do to make a life with her love? What can be done to save the lovable undead?

This is essentially romance in a scifi millieu. With young adult protagonists, an action adventure with its share of macabre comedy.  It is a fun read. The characters, including Zombies and traitors are well-drawn, the steampunk universe believable, the action paced well. Could we have another Rowling budding ? Think I'll stay around to see what is next. Top this if you can. ~~ Pam Allan

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