Thursday, January 5, 2012

Dearly, Departed (Gone With The Respiration #1) by Lia Habel | Review

Dearly, Departed (Gone With The Respiration #1) by Lia Habel | ReviewDearly, Departed by Lia Habel
Series: Gone With The Respiration #1
Published by Del Rey on October 18, 2011
Genres: Steampunk
Pages: 470
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
5 Stars

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 have to start off by saying that this is one of the best books I have read recently and definitely my number one zombie book.  The page count made be 470 but don’t let that stop you because by the end you will be wishing it was longer.  It is just that good.

Lia Habel may be a debut author but from her writing you cannot tell.  The book is beautifully written, full of lush descriptions, and a wonderful, unique world.  Lia Habel doesn’t shy away from dark things.  Instead she takes them and makes the beautiful.  I’m sure you will fall in love with her zombies, just like Nora (and I) did.

The world Lia Habel creates is a very unique one.  It is a futuristic world that’s cultures revolve around the Victorian age.  New London has very high tech gadgets but also historical standards such as chaperones, parasols, and dresses that cover every inch of skin.  It seems rather odd at first but you are quickly given the history of New London and their customs begin to make sense.

The characters, each and every one of them, were fabulous.  Nora and Pamela and Chas and Beryl were all strong females that kicked some serious zombie ass.  Bram was the sweetest, bravest, most conflicted zombie out there.  Renfield, Coalhouse, Tom, Dr.Samedi, all the good zombies really were wonderful and unique and quite hilarious.  I cannot express how much I loved them all.

The plot was fast-paced and full of action (both romantic and of the zombie killing variety.)  Interspersed throughout was some history of the characters but that did not slow things down at all.  Another thing that kept it interesting was the switching point-of-views.  You mainly get things from Nora and Bram but some of the other characters also get a few chapters.  I really liked that about this book.  Oh and the zombie killing action was rather gory at times but still totally awesome.

Overall, Dearly, Departed is a must read for everyone, even if you don’t particularly care for zombie books.  I am now eagerly awaiting the sequel, Dearly, Beloved.

What others are saying about Dearly, Departed:

Smart Bitches, Trashy Books’ review: “It would be a lot easier to write a coherent review forDearly, Departed if I hadn’t been up all last night reading it.”

Confessions of a Book Addict’s review: “If you are a fan of zombies, the horror genre, or dystopias, I would suggest picking up Dearly, Departed this summer.”

Bookloversity Reviews’ review: “It’s a fun, smart, riveting and unique story, with a lot of different genre elements that Habel somehow blends together really well.”

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  1. Kandee

    I’m glad you liked the book, my friend told me it was fantastic! I sooo want to read it now. Oh, there’s a sequel?. Dearly, Beloved. I really need to read this book soon.

  2. Kim

    Ahh, I agree with everything you said! Dearly, Departed was one of my favorite reads of 2011. The world-building was amazing and I especially loved Pam, she was so kick-ass by the end of it haha! So happy to hear that you liked it 🙂

    Kim @ The Paper Planes

  3. KTJ

    Fantastic review!! I can’t wait to read this, in all honesty I’ve had it sitting on my shelf since it came out, I’ve just been so busy that I haven’t had the time to get to it yet… so hopefully I’ll be able to gobble it up soon!

    Nomalicious Reads

  4. Book Flame

    You just gave me a reason to go read this’s been sitting on my shelf for awhile now, I guess I’ve been shying away from it since I don’t read much zombie books but it’s time I picked it up and read it. Loved the review.

  5. Elodie

    This one is in my pile and I can’t wait to start reading it .. I’ve never read a book about zombies so I’m really excited about this one !! Great review (thank you so much because I think this one may be my next read thanks to you) 🙂 !!

  6. Jackie

    I absolutely loved this book! I love both the world Lia Habel created and her characters. Maybe I’m not looking in the right places, but I’m surprised I haven’t seen this book pop up on that many blogs yet. It’s definitely worth being near the top of people’s TBR pile!

  7. Christina Kit.

    I too love this series! It’s awfully original, and you totally fall for hot zombies:) The world was unique too!

    Did you read on her blog that she didn’t get a deal for the third book, but she’ll eventually write it on her own and selfpublish once she gets over some personal issues.

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