Saturday, September 22, 2012

Dearly, Departed (Gone with the Respiration #1) by Lia Habel

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? Can a proper young Victorian lady find true love in the arms of a dashing zombie?

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.
A zombie romance? I mean is that even possible? I mean... ew? I have to admit my curiosity was much more than my ew response, so I started reading this book.

I was surprised how easily I got in to this book. It crosses several genres. It was part zombie (duh), Victorian, Steampunk, and Dystopian. Honestly, I didn't hate it nor did I love this fact. I think it would have been stronger to have just been a Steampunk zombie novel (sort of narrowing it down) only because I just could not believe that people were willing to go back to the way of Victorian society and all it's trappings, especially women. That part bothered me but that was more personal and I doubt it will bother others as much as it did me. It wasn't a big bother, but I did on occasion wonder WHY would they even consider it? An explanation was given... just not to my personal satisfaction. It was admittedly my problem and other people may absolutely love this part of the book's world. Despite this, I really did enjoy this world.

My only other criticism of the book is that it had multiple POVs. It did get confusing on occasion. I would read a section and forget that we changed POV and would wonder why someone was thinking "that" until I realized who I was with at the time. I think fewer POVs (I think there were 5 or 6 people we followed) would have helped. I would have loved some of the POVs as novellas in between books. I think that would have really solidified each story and made them all much stronger. I wouldn't have wanted to miss the POV, just have them a bit separate from the whole.

I have to say the most surprising thing about this book was the romance. Seriously... a zombie romance? Yep. I was throughly convinced that Bram was a suitable romantic lead, even with rotting body parts. LOL I'm still stunned at that fact and never thought it would have been so easily possible. I totally doff my hat off to the author for convincing me. Talk about original!

I give this book 4 stars. If you are curious if a zombie romance is possible... if you want to find some of the secondary zombie characters as delightful... if you want something different in the way of a zombie world... do pick up this book. I think you'll have some fun with this world and the characters!
I library booked this baby! ;)
PS note to the author: THANK YOU for making the doberman NOT evil. THANK YOU!! Oh and "woof" from my dobie baby... ;D


  1. I am glad that you enjoyed it :D Yes zombies and Victorian, awesome.

    Still for me something was missing

  2. I'm really curious about this book, all the story is very intriguing.

  3. OMG, I really want to read this book. I love zombie books, even though a zombie romance doesn't sounds really super romantic. It sounds a bit more disgusting, but I'm glad it worked out! ;) Curious! ;) Great review.

  4. I would definitely agree about the many POVs-it was just too overwhelming in the grand scheme of things but I still liked this and I just started the sequel today, which I hope to enjoy at least as much.

  5. Zombies! I must read this. I've seen this book aroudn but never got a chance to really look into it. Thanks for the awesome review.

  6. I have both books to read and I really want to get to them. I have heard over and over again about the PoV so I was suprised she added even more in the next book. You know another great zombie book with a suprising romance is White Trash Zombie!

  7. I'm not convinced!! How can you kiss a zombie? Wouldn't his breath alone kill you? LOL

    I met this author at AAD, and she's fantastic! I got the book, and have been curious about it. I think I'm gonna agree with you about the Victorian setting, but we will see. ;)

  8. Oh I've wanted this one since before it came out! LOL! I so need to get it. And glad to hear about the dobie as well. ;)


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