November 4, 2011

Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel

Release Date: October 18, 2011
Publisher: Random House
Pages: 480
Series: Gone With The Respiration
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.

My Thoughts:
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.

The Cover:
Pretty spectacular! Love the font.


Find Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel on Goodreads, Book Depository, & Amazon.


  1. I like when books are told from the perspective of the female and male lead - any more than that I feel a bit lost - unless it's just a few lines.

    This year I've read quite a few good zombie books, and I'm glad that you like this one. If you're looking for another zomibe read I highly recommend Hollowland by Amanda Hocking! =)

    - Renu @ the page turner

  2. I totally understand the multiple-POV problem, but maybe I'll read this just to see how the world is. Plus I've been looking forward to this one for a while, so... :P

  3. Sounds like the over all idea of the book was better than the narrative. :P I think I could put up with that. I just need to be in the mood to read some zombie stories, even though they aren't my thing.

    Thanks for the review, :D

  4. Great review. Personally, I loved everything about this book but I can see where the multiple POVs can get annoying and I find the zombie/human thing a little unbelievable but still cute. I just really liked Bram and Nora together. I can't wait for the next book! =)

  5. Aww, I'm sorry you didn't like it as much! I agree with you on the cover though - its gorgeous! I'm not sure if I'll be reading the book, but we'll see :) Great review, Ashley!

  6. That's a lot of perspectives from which to read a book. This method of narration is difficult to pull of well.

  7. I've never had it explained quite like you did, which just makes me even more curious about it. I just got it for review and cannot wait to give it a go!

    Sorry you didn't like it too much though! Too many POVs can be negative yeah, especially when not all of them are interesting. I'm curious to see how I'll find it! Great review. :)

  8. I was just not a huge fan of this book. In fact, it took me a really long time to finish it because I kept putting it down and picking it up. Too many POV's, especially from characters that I didn't care about (Pamela--uhg.).


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment; I appreciate each one!


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