Monday, November 12, 2012

Book Review: Dearly, Departed (Gone With the Respiration #1) by: Lia Habel

Release Date: October 18, 2011 from Del Ray
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"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? 
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."
My Thoughts:
Zombies are my most recent obsession and even more so after reading this book. Dearly, Departed takes steampunk, dystopian, and paranormal elements; then mashes them all together to make a highly original and captivating novel. The writing is fluid and the story is simply wonderful. 

Going into Dearly, Departed I was not sure how I was going to feel about it. I mean, a zombie as a love interest? Zombies are usually limping, groaning, skin melting off bad guys. While the story does contain what I will refer to as normal zombies, there are also zombies that are pretty much nothing like normal zombies. They are intelligent, caring, and are pretty much alive, except that they are dead. I fell in love with all the zombie characters, especially Bram. 

Bram is an absolute sweetheart and he makes it incredibly easy to love him. He is smart, strong, and determined, despite the upheaval that his life has recently endured. He does not view his situation as a curse and feel sorry for himself, rather he is grateful for the extra time he has been given and keeps moving forward.

Then we have Nora who is an amazing heroine. She was nothing I expected her to be; she was so much more. She takes all the proper lady rules and throws them out the window. She is feisty and strong and never backs down. She refuses to let anything keep her down, not even dead guys. In my personal opinion, she is one of the strongest heroines out there. Before I move on from characters, I need to mention Chas. Chas is another zombie and I just found her to be very spunky and hysterical and I really developed a soft spot for her. 

I absolutely loved the world Lia Habel created in Dearly, Departed. It had crazy advanced technology but embodied Victorian morals and lifestyle. The world created is genius and original. All I kept picturing was Scarlet O’Hara walking around with a cell phone. As a side note, Gone with the Wind is one of my all-time favorite books along with Wuthering Heights and The Picture of Dorian Gray. Anyway, now that I think about it, Nora kind of reminds me of Scarlet. Both are strong and dependable and refuse to stay down. I mean Scarlet complained more, but both were strong and are not the typical proper Victorian lady. 

If you drop by regularly, you probably know that I really enjoy books that switch up perspectives. However, this did not hold completely true with this book. I loved reading from Nora and Bram’s point of view, but in all honestly the other perspectives did not really hold me, especially Pamela’s. I just was not as invested in her story as I was Bram and Nora’s. Maybe I just wanted to get back to them and therefore I just felt like Pamela was getting in my way or maybe she simply bothered me; I’m not really sure. All I know is that I rushed through her chapters so I could get back to what I thought was more important. I also found the beginning of the novel to be a bit slow and it did not grab me immediately. However, once the zombies finally come into play, I could not put the book down. At this point, the pace picks up drastically and the story is just gripping.

All in all, Dearly, Departed is a great read that gets away from the vampires and werewolves. Who knew zombies could be so cute?


  1. Dearly Departed was such a fun, cool book. I'm really glad you enjoyed it. Bram is the best!!
    Great review!

    1. Yes Bram is the best! Cant wait for more of him in Dearly, Beloved!

  2. I am very very very curious about this book now. I have it on my TBR list but I wasn't going to pick it up anytime soon. After your review, I am definitely reconsidering. I haven't read any zombie books yet so this could break that bad habit of mine. LOL XD I am really liking the sounds of the characters and the plot. As for the different POVs...I'm not the biggest fan of multiple POVs, so I don't know how'll get over that issue...(unless it's done perfectly, of course) (very rare). Hopefully I can pick this up and enjoy it as well! The cute zombies definitely have me intrigued! ;p

    Brilliant Review, Teresa! :D Glad you enjoyed this!

    ~ Maida @ Literary Love Affair

    1. If you havent done a zombie book yet, I would start with SOmething Strange and Deadly, just cause that is more traditional zombies and it doesnt switch POVs. I do think you will enjoy this though because it does twist the norm for zombies! Thanks for stopping by


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