Im sat here trying to figure out the best way to review this book because nothing I say can possibly explain what it’s about, it’s vastly complicated, there is huge world building and it’s very confusing and it does take a while to get into it but once you do, it blows you away.
Set in the future, dearly departed begins by explaining that the world as we know it has ceased to exist.
The only way I can possibly explain this is to use the authors words themselves so here is the synopsis in the author’s words:
150 years ago the world was a terrifying place, a long list of horrors had assaulted the human race.
The poles of the earth had disappeared beneath deadly mantles of ice and winters had become long and hard for a number of nations.
Humanity had been forced to migrate south towards the equator; entire countries had been wiped off the face of the earth by catastrophic storms, Cuba, Indonesia, England, and Japan. Gone.
The entire planet suffered but none more so that America, refugees from Canada bought with them a new strain of flu that killed one of every four people it infected, famine followed, then the American second civil war, then nuclear destruction.
Then the eruption of the super volcano under Yellowstone national park finally emptied the USA and in a desperate attempts for survival the strongest tribes united and striked southward to South America.
Within a few decades, people had officially fastened onto the Victorian era as a model of civility, order, and prosperity and when it came time to ratify, they named the country New Victoria.
New Victoria had peace, trade flourished, technology became plentiful and cheap, the culture grew in leaps and bounds, traditions were established that continued to this very day.
Then the punks came along, they retaliated against the aristocracy created, they fought against increasing use of computers and mass produced goods, they fought because they believed that society was creating another class system, they burned houses and businesses but were driven back south by the armies of new Victoria, to either eke out their own civilization or die, however fighting continues to this very day.
Nora, the hero of the story if you like is 16 years old, her father Doctor Victor dearly dies and she is left to the care of her aunt in a city called the Elysian Fields…
The ef as they are so valiantly called are a city filled with homes that have been created underground to control he ever growing population crisis.
The underground city, has homes with trees and gardens and artificial sunlight, they are bristling with trade and commerce, with business striving under the roofs.
One day when Nora gets home from school, she is approached by a man with glassy eyes who tells her that she is in grave danger and she must accompany him immediately, obviously she doesn’t go and ignored his warnings and then one night some people break into her house and try and kidnap her.
She tries to run and climbs onto the roof of her house in a bid to escape but the men that are chasing her, strangers in dull Gray uniform are Zombies.
She screams and then out of nowhere the mysterious man who tried to warn her comes and rescues her and says you should of listened to me and helps her to flee the city to safety, oh and he is also a zombie.
There is so much going on I found myself going back and rereading things but that’s only because I read so fast that I had missed stuff out.
This book is fascinating for several reasons.
The detail is phenomenal, you are at times confused to the contrast because you are not entirely sure if you are reading the past or the future and yet it all blends so seamlessly well.
I found myself laughing at the old fashioned-ness of it at times, with the girls wearing full dresses and bloomers and not being allowed to do certain things because they had reverted to a Victorian way of life. Gentlemen callers asking permission to come and visit at the ladies houses only to sit there in stony silence until the host initiated conversation.
Yet it is brilliant, I have never ever read anything like it in my life and that is where it soars for me because it is so utterly unique.
In a time where the paranormal is becoming the genre of choice for most writers, you can find millions of books about vampires and werewolves because of an increased popularity splurge from twilight which I don’t necessarily feel is a good thing because it has weakened the stories, anyone can type out a romantic vampire or werewolf book but what Lia has managed to do here is incredible.
She has made Zombies likeable and sympathetic characters, she has made them romantic, which im still trying to wrap my head around, and not only that but the entire story is suitable for anyone from the age of 12 up, no mean feat I can tell you.
Utterly utterly brilliant!!!!
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