First of all, I normally don't read anything even remotely scary! I get scarred easily and have nightmare for ages. And always when I think I'm finally old enough to have outgrown this problem and watch/read something like horror/zombie/ghosts I fail miserably. But this book intrigued me quite a bit. So, I braved myself and ... wasn't disappointed at all. I love this book!
This book is classified as steampunk, but could also easily be a Victorian dystopian novel. I loved how Lia Habel creates a world where this ancient society rules a re-woken and are mixed with very modern/futuristic technology. Quite fascinating. I had no problems at all to get into this book. It was enthralling from the first page and so many things happened that I didn't want to put this book down for even a minute.
The main characters especially excited me. Nora is a young but willful (stubborn) high society girl, which has not interest at all for the high society. Her nickname, Nono made me laugh. I so liked her bravery, forwardness and loyalty, which she shows trying to rescue her best friend later in the book. She is amazingly open-minded. After she got kidnapped and learned some bitter truth about the whole situation, she had a small meltdown and then she put it together. She asked for weapons and went on with life. I loved this attitude, especially under these circumstances. Or how would you behave in a zombie camp? In general I liked the whole zombie business. They were drawn very differentiated and liked that there was a scientific background. And I absolutely adore Bram. He is the perfect nobleman, keeping his honor even in difficult conditions. I loved how he took care of Nora and became her friend. And I really liked his zombie friends. They were funny and occasionally a bit creepy. I liked that each of them got a background and that they weren't just wallpaper. And of course I was very fond of the romance between Bram and Nora. It's a very dramatic star-crossed lovers romance, which for once didn't annoy me at all. Both of them were acting so noble and thoughtful, they were obvious to the difficulties but decided to brave them together. There was no cliché, just sweet and a bit sad love.
The plot is full of suspense, romance, and plenty of action. The dialogues are very amusing. And for me the end wasn't predictable at all. I liked the character development as well. They were not static at all. People grew with the challenges and some failed. Just like in real life. This book is the start of a series but the end offers enough closure to let me sleep peacefully, while waiting for book #2. Which I will read for sure!
*** ARC courtesy of NetGalley in exchange for a honest review ***