February 13, 2012

Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel {Review}

Publisher: Del Rey
Publish Date: October 18, 2011
Source: Library
Love can never die.Love conquers all, so they say. But can Cupid's arrow priece 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.

Since first hearing about Dearly, Departed, I’ve been a bit wary. For one, the thing is humongous, I mean 466 pages can be a lot, especially when you’re not all gung-ho about it in the first place. Second, I’m a tad frightened of steampunk. Yes, yes, I’ve heard that this isn’t really classified as steampunk, but that’s what I’m going with for the time being.
Never fear though, I adored this book.

Seriously, how could I ever have doubted myself loving this book? I mean, I don’t believe I’ve come across a zombie book I’ve disliked before! I’m glad this one didn’t break the streak.

So, characters. They were all pretty fantastic. Of course Nora is awesome, but considering she already has a dislike for the society when the story starts, we could totally see that one coming. Now, what I couldn’t see coming was her best friend, Pamela. That girl was fantastic! I don’t want to give anything away, but suffice it to say that when the time comes to be tough, Pam definitely steps up.

The story itself was great. Though I found it a little slow at times, I loved it overall. The New Victorian setting fascinated me. I’m not a big historical fiction fan, so I never really read about Victorian times with their pretty dresses and whatnot, but Dearly, Departed delivered me the whole package: Victorian setting with awesome futuristic technology! Plus, you know, zombies, which happen to be my favorite.

The Nutshell: I’ve already gushed all over the place, so let’s try to keep it short. Dearly, Departed is a fantastic story which will likely surprise you. If you’re afraid of steampunk, dystopian, historical fiction, or zombies, I suggest giving this one a go anyway. It blends all these different genres together so well, you won’t even realize your reading something you’d normally turn your nose up at. (I’m not completely sure that sentence makes sense, but I think you still catch my drift.) In short, go read this book.

Pages: 470
Series: Gone With the Respiration #1
Rating: 4 stars


  1. So glad you enjoyed it! I had been a bit wary about this book, too, but I loved it in the end. :D Great review, Jasmine. :)

  2. Oh yay! I loved this one too. I particularly loved the New Victorian setting - like you - and I ALSO loved the back story where we learned about how the world was built that way. Good world-building is always a plus for me. PLUS, I adored the cover.

    Overall, I just thought it was a fun, fun book and how about the name of the series?? "Gone With The Respiration"? LOVE IT. I'll definitely be reading book two when it comes out.

    Great thoughts, Jasmine!! ;)

    1. I totally love the name of the series! I can't believe I forgot to mention that.

  3. Oh, I just wrote my review for this (coming at ya on Wednesday)! I agree completely with you on your review... although I wasn't that hesitant to read it. Zombies in a post-apocalyptic Victorian society? Yes please! You're spot on about Pamela though. She really stepped up and out of her prissy girl self and was a total hero in this book. Great review!

  4. I'm really looking forward to reading this novel! Seen it around the blogosphere quite a bit, but haven't read it for myself. Thanks for the review!

  5. I've had this one sitting on my shelf for a bit, but I have been a little wary about reading it, too. I'm glad to hear that there isn't anything to worry about! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I'll definitely be moving it up on my reading list :0)

  6. HA! Told you! Lol. Glad you liked it.


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  8. Dearly, Departed is a wonderful read that would appeal to a wide variety of readers. It has romance, adventure, zombies, action, science, and war. The only thing I didn't like about the novel was that the world building took a while and a lot was told to us rather than shown. Since the world has already been established, I predict that the second book will be even better as I eagerly await it.

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