Author: Lia Habel
Series: Gone with Respiration #1
Publisher: Del Ray
Publication Date: October 18, 2011
BUY DEARLY DEPARTED
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. (copied from Goodreads)
Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel is the first in the Gone with Respiration series. The series name fits so well, it is a bit like a steampunk Gone with the Wind with zombies. In 2195, after surviving global catastrophe, the new society is located in Brazil. These survivors establish New Victoria, a society that takes on the qualities of the Victorian period. Young ladies and women must wear ankle length dresses, and those of the high society must attend private boarding schools to teach them the proper way to behave. Those who do not live within New Victoria, and do not follow the strict society structure are referred to as the Punks.
Nora Dearly is one of the high society girls, but she likes expressing her own opinions. She also dreams of someday joining the army, and get into the frontlines of the battle between New Victoria and the Punks. She keeps this a secret, because it is not proper for a New Victorian girl. This all changes when she is kidnapped by an army of zombies, to prevent the evil zombies from getting to her first. This is where she meets Captain Bram Griswold, her zombie savior. Defying all that normal, Dearly Departed takes zombies and romance to a completely new place.
I have to say I loved Dearly Departed, because it is just unique. While there are the traditional zombies that crave human flesh, and there are also the zombies who maintain their personalities, and thoughts. These zombies make up the group that saves Nora, and their captain is Bram Griswold. There are so many fun characters in Dearly, Departed. Throughout the novel, each chapter is labeled by the character that is currently providing the viewpoint. There are several characters that allow us to experience their viewpoint in Dearly, Departed. I like this, because it gives insight in to more than just the main characters.
I have to say I loved the relationship between Nora and Bram, even if Bram is a zombie. While reading, I could barely picture Bram a zombie, just because he has all his human emotions intact. I think Dearly, Departed is a great read for any zombie, young adult, or steampunk fan. It has so many elements from so many genres that it really works for many different types of readers. It is just an amazing book, and I cannot wait to read the next one.
**Unabridged Bookshelf borrowed this book from the local library**