Review: Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel

Title: Dearly, Departed (Gone With the Respiration #1)

Author: Lia Habel

Release Date: October 18th, 2011 by Del Rey

Read: May 17th, 2012

Pages: 470-Hardcover


  1. Dearly, Departed
  2. Dearly, Beloved


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.

What I thought:

The setting is in a futuristic world, where everyone had been ravaged by war and the survivors decided to start over in certain groups, and try to keep the peace. They model themselves after the old Victorian age, since they see it as the Golden Era where things were better, with the long dresses and classes and grace. They do however have modern, if almost better technology than we do now.

The Punks, a group living past the border does not agree with their ways, and thinks that eventually they will end up recreating what has happened in the past, so they fight each other. Unknown to the innocent people of New Victoria, their real enemy is their own dead, after the Laz virus decided to start spreading.

One thing I liked about this book was the Zombies. The author made some of them still act human. They are still technically dead, but some could still speak, think, and with certain medication and care their decomposition could be halted for years. They even had their memories from before too. There are still the mindless zombies who went insane and would sooner eat you, but I like the contrast.

Each chapter is seen through the eyes of the different characters: Nora, Bram, Pamela and more. I’m glad the author decided to do it this way, as there were multiple events folding at once that came together in the end. The characters themselves were awesome, Nora with her boldness and being really short, Bram being an awesome Zombie in uniform, and Pamela the friend who kicks butt. I even have a favourite quote from her in the book that just had me laughing!

Pamela: Two for two. I am the zombie-hunting queen! Engrave that on a plaque.

This was highly recommended to me by Shirley at Creative Deeds, after I mentioned that I needed to catch up on my Zombie Challenge for the year, and I should have read this sooner! Now I can’t wait for the next book to be out!

For those that don’t like Zombies, this one isn’t bad on the scary factor, and there’s a bunch of humour, and like I mentioned the good Zombies. So try it out, because there’s a mix of Victorian era, Steampunk, and romance mixed in too.

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11 comments on “Review: Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel

  1. I always bought this recently but decided against it… now I’m regretting that a bit! I don’t think I’ve read any zombie books before but this one does sound interesting. I’m glad to see there’s some humour in it! Awesome review, Kelsey. 🙂

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  4. Hey Kelsey! Did you see the new one on NetGalley? I requested it today. I’ve been trying to stay away from NetGalley because of my never ending TBR piles, but some books you just can’t resist and Dearly, Beloved is one of them. 😉

  5. Pingback: Review: Dearly, Beloved by Lia Habel | Kelsey's Cluttered Bookshelf

  6. Hmm, this actually sounds really interesting! I’m not really big on zombies but this sounds like it could be really good for non-zombie lovers. Thanks for sharing this one on TGIF!!

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