Review: Dearly Departed by Lia Habel

Dearly Departed by Lia Habel

  • Pub. Date: October 18, 2011
  • Publisher: Del Rey 
  • Pages: 470
  • Series: Gone With the Respiration #1


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."

First Line: "I was buried alive."

Review: The futuristic Victorian steampunk world that Habel created was pretty amazing. I had no problems visualizing the world in which the characters lived. I liked the fact that although there was romance between Bram and Nora there was a whole lot more to the book. It was especially interesting reading about the conflict between the Punks and the Royals.

Nora and Bram were solid characters but they were not my favorite. I really liked Nora's friend Pamela. As the book progressed I found myself looking forward to her point of views more then the other characters. I felt like she was the character that really changed and evolved the most. Speaking of point of views there were quite a few of them, I counted a total of five. That was my only real issue with the book and I felt like so many point of views took away from me enjoying the book as much as I would have.

I really loved the other zombie characters they were fun to read about. Also there are good zombies who still have a hold on their minds and bad zombies who are out biting and eating people. Although the good zombies eventually lose their minds as well. Which is why I am interested to see how Bram will handle that predicament when he is faced with it...which I'm assuming he would be in the future books.

Will I rush out and buy the next book? If it has several point of views like Dearly Departed did then probably not but I will eventually pick it up. If you like Zombies I would recommend this book.

Memorable Quotes 
"Mostly I hate the fact that mine isn't the face of a girl who studies war and history instead of hem lengths. It's not the face of a girl who's top of her target-shooting class. It isn't the face of a girl who can stand up for herself, who's lost almost all of her defenders and doesn't want any more-who just wants to be left alone to slog it out as best she can."

"See?" He thumped his book for emphasis. "Vampires are just zombies with good PR! That could be us in a few years!"

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  1. Sorry to hear it wasn't as good as you expected. I have this sitting on my shelf.


  2. I have to agree that the various points of view made it difficult to get into the story at first, but I was able to get past it. It will definitely be interesting to see where the good zombies go in the sequel--I think that's what I'm most curious about. :)

    1. Same here the way it ended left a lot of questions.

  3. Great review. I'm really curious about this book. ;D

  4. While zombies are not my normal genre read, I LOVED the Steampunk Victorian feel of this writing. Can't wait for a sequel, it should answer lots of our questions!

    1. I agree the world building was beautifully done.


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