Title: Dearly, Departed
Author: Lia Habel
Series: Gone With the Respiration #1Publication date: October 18th, 2011
Published by: Del Ray
Format: HardcoverAdd it to your Goodreads shelf!
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Favorite quote: " 'See?' He thumped his book for emphasis. 'Vampires are just zombies with good PR! That could be us in a few years!' "
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars!
Goodreads Synopsis: 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.
Review: Dearly, Departed was like a breath of fresh air, if you can call a novel about a bunch of walking dead people "fresh". I actually had very low expectations for this book because the cover, while pretty, gave the impression that the story was going to be average at best. Just goes to show that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, because I loved it!
Dearly, Departed was hilarious, refreshing, and just plain fun to read. The story starts out by introducing Nora, our heroine, and her best friend Pamela. Nora is a very sad, withdrawn girl who is still mourning the loss of her father, but who seems to have retained a very snappy sense of humor despite her troubles. She's intelligent and doesn't allow people to push her around. Unfortunately, throughout the book I just couldn't get a handle on who exactly Nora was, which was the only thing that kept me from giving this book five stars. In the chapters written from her point of view, she definitely has a personality, but it tends to shine more during Bram's chapters, ironically.
Bram. Oh, Bram. My feelings for him are so mixed up that it's actually a little silly. He's wonderful. He's bright, intelligent, sensitive, kind, witty, and... Dead. Like, dead, dead and... Rotting. Um... Okay, I'm all for putting zombies in a positive light and maybe it's just years and years of anti-zombie propaganda making me say this, but... Eeeewwwww. He's wonderful, he really is, but... Kissing him? -que repulsed shudders-
The side characters in this book were kick ass, as well. Renfield was, however, my favorite. I was consistently laughing at his sniffy, uptight manners and his ridiculous ideas (though I must say, he's definitely on the right track about what he wants in a lady, +100 awesome points to Lia Habel for making a stand and saying that intelligent girls rock). Dr. Samedi and Dr. Chase were super adorable and their relationship was great. The priest? HA. Kitty loving zombies are alright in my book!
Final word: I can't really say a lot about this book without giving things away, but suffice it to say that I'm now a huge fan of Lia Habel. Her writing and characters are filled with wit and charm and I thoroughly enjoyed this romp on the dead side. I can't wait for the sequel!