Dearly, Departed: A Zombie Novel

Dearly, Departed: A Zombie Novel - Lia Habel This is one of those books I'm having a hard time rating.

On the plus side:
- Zombies. A couple of years ago, I wasn't really interested in those, but other stories I read since then made this theme more interesting. Here, I liked that some of them were given a chance, and were able to prove that they could still remain "humane" in many ways (sometimes even more than some of the living).
- Girls take matters into hands. Not always from the beginning, but they quickly learn to. Nora could've been much more of a crybaby, given her circumstances, yet she didn't let herself sink. Pamela, too, grew to be more likeable. And Chas. How I loved spunky, mouth-running Chas.
- World-building. Granted, if we dig deeper into it, its bases are probably flawed, but no more than those of a lot of other dystopian/sci-fi stories. I'd say they're more believale than in, say, the Hunger Games, because the rest of the world is at least mentioned.
- There's an airship. 'Nuff said. A certain scene involving it and a church holds a special value to me, due to personal reasons.
- Quirky and crazy engineers, whose names I quite liked, by the way.
- Neo-victorian society, with reasons for customs to revert to those of what was perceived as a "Golden Age"—and said customs indeed correspond the Victorian ones (courtship, dress code, and a lot of tiny details too).
- There's a parasol involved in killing a zombie.
- Actually, parasols come with different lights to indicate the status of a lady: married, unmarried... and those who prefer women to men, too. Now that's one of those tiny little ideas I like.

On the minus side:
- Once again, the "steampunk" label is applied to a world that in my opinion is not so much steampunk in the end. Sure, they use coal, but reconciliating this with more modern technology (the local equivalent of iPads, holograms, data chips...) was a little hard. Too often I feel that books get labelled as "steampunk" because it's a fad, and this is getting annoying.
- The villains felt too cartoonesque at times.
- Some of the point of views weren't so useful. I don't mind juggling five POVs—I can juggle 20 if they're properly written. But at least two of them weren't justified. I'm not sure about the third one, since it also gives us on what's happening meanwhile, in the city. Also, at some point the POVs tended to become hard to distinguish from each other. I'd be reading Pamela's, and then suddenly I wouldn't know anymore whose "voice" it was, if it was Pam's or Nora's.
- Not enough of New London to my taste.

Probably a 3.5 stars on my scale, but I'm not sure I should up it to 4. So 3 it'll be for the time being. I will probably pick up the next volume, though.