Release Date: October 18, 2011
Publisher: Random House
Series: Gone With The Respiration #1
Review Source: Netgalley
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
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.
I can honestly say this is not like any other zombie novel I’ve read or even heard of. What makes this book great are all the unique aspects to it. There are the typical killer horde zombies, but then there are also zombies who have retained their memories and intelligence. Take those and set them in a futuristic world where half the population is in a New Victorian age where there’s tons of digital technology, but fashion and social customs have gone back in time. The other half of the population? Well they’re punk (aka steampunk), shunning New Victorian technology. Sound awesome? Well it really is. The world building in ‘Dearly, Departed’ is fantastic because it’s believable, and there are all kinds of details to back up the author’s concept.
Where ‘Dearly, Departed’ lost me a bit is the narration style. I really liked Nora and Bram, and I kind of wish the book had just been from their perspectives. Instead we hear from three other characters as well, and while I enjoyed their POVs at times, mostly it just made the book feel a bit disjointed to me. As a result of all the back and forth I didn’t care about the story as much as I should have. The villain(s) of the story also seemed a bit one dimensional to me, and, well, despite Bram’s charms (like, I really adored him) I still have a hard time accepting a human/zombie romance. Overall, though, this is a perfectly decent book and well worth a read; I just didn’t click with it like others seem to have.
Pretty spectacular! Love the font.
Find Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel on Goodreads, Book Depository, & Amazon.