Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Review: Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel

10048874Title: Dearly, Departed
Author: Lia Habel
Publisher: Del Rey
Publication Date: October 18th 2011
Pages: 470
Genre: Young Adult Sci-Fi Steam punk  
Series: Gone With the Respiration #1
Source: Audio


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..

I have been looking for a great zombie book for a while now. Well, I have found it. This isn’t your average zombie book, zombies bad, humans good, apocalypse is here story. Black and White does not exist in this book, just a big huge gray area. I really love the authors take on zombies and her love story between a zombie and a human. 

Nora is a teenage girl who is living without any parents, her mother died from the virus, and her father has been missing, now she lives with her aunt. Nora is trying to abide by society rules and live the way she needs but all that is put on hold when she is stolen in the middle of the night by commandos. Nora is then thrust into a world of zombies, good and bad, and she finds she lives in a world of secrets, some even her father kept. In the middle of the war on zombies, unraveling secrets, and trying to stay alive, she falls for a zombie.

Loved the plot, the writing, and the world building. A virus has come in to play and when you die, some shortly after and some years later, will reanimate. Sounds simple right? Not really. In this world, in the future, in a “New Victoria Era” reanimation does not mean you will become some violent flesh eating monster. For reasons unknown, some will go crazy and lose their mind and others can stay sane and keep their soul remembering who they were before and remaining that person, well for the most part. They are of course dead and their bodies react differently to “life”
Lia Habel does a great job in painting us a world of steam punk. She is very descriptive without it getting boring, (you know the boring that makes you want to skim through the paragraph) and the descriptions made everything so vivid in my mind.

I also love all the characters. The story is told from 5 points of view. Yes that is a lot, but it made the story so real. I have always loved books with alternate points of view. I love to get in the head of as many characters as I can. I admit I did at first think that this many points of view would be challenging to keep up with, it was well worth it. The Characters are all so amazing in their own way and are quite different from each other. 

Nora was a little difficult to get into at first. She seemed a little whiny and clueless. After getting into more of the story I did start to understand her personality more and the reasons she seemed this way. She does mature and starts to think clearly, It just takes a while. She was a great character but not my favorite. My favorite was her best friend Pamela. She seemed smart, brave, and very independent. The two really did compliment each other well. The other main characters were great too. Bram is easy to love and it’s really hard not to feel for him and his situation. He is sincere and gentle which I really did appreciate. Nora’s father did not stand out as much, but is really important to the story. The last character that had a point of view was Wolfe, I will not say much for this character. I would hate to give anything away.
This story goes beyond what we perceive is good and bad or right and wrong. There isn’t always an easy way or even an easier way. And, of course there is the love story… You will need to read to find out more. 

I cannot wait until the next installment goes out as I will be reading it right away. I Love This Book!!! By the way the cover, just gorgeous!

Lia Habel

I'm an author, and consequently spend the majority of my days locked up in my own head. When I'm actually actively participating in the groundbreaking experiment in groupthink known as "reality," you'll find me designing and sewing costumes, trying to teach myself to play roller derby (I do not tackle pedestrians, contrary to popular belief), planning trips, and watching zombie movies.


  1. Great review! I really want to read this one. The different take on zombies really intrigues me. :)

    Angie @ Pinkindle Reads & Reviews

    1. I highly recommend it as you can tell from my review. :) let me know what you think when you do.

  2. I really want to get this one, it sounds fantastic, especially judging by your review!

  3. Well, to be honest, zombies are not usually my cup of tea. However, I did make an exception in the case of "Die For Me", because the zombies in that novel are not your typical, robot-like, flesh-eating ones that are half-rotted. Ugh!

    I might very well make another exception for this book! It sure sounds as if Bram is a great character! Besides, the plot is really very interesting!

    Thanks for the great review!! : )

    Maria @ http://anightsdreamofbooks.blogspot.com/

  4. I agree, this story goes well beyond what we normally can expect from a zombie story. Did you ever think that you could cheer for a zombie? I didn't until I read this one. Wonderfully detailed review.


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