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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Review: Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel

This past week we took a trip in honor of our middle child’s birthday to the Kingdom of Magic in the city that Walt built.  On purpose, I left my laptop at home, but forgot to take a notebook.  So, notes and ideas for this review were written on a paper plate.  At least it wasn’t on a paper towel or something!

Now…on to the review:


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

470 pages
Published October 18th 2011 by Del Rey
ISBN: 0345523318 (ISBN13: 9780345523310)
series: Gone With the Respiration #1


Dearly, Departed has put me in an interesting position.  I have longed for this book since first learning of it.  And now, having read it, I’m torn.  I don’t quite know how to feel about it.

I know what I don’t feel.  I never felt invested in the characters or the plot.  Pamela was the only person in the book I really cared what happened to.  There are people I wanted to be hit by a Steampunk bus, but no others that I truly cared about.  Even the main characters of Nora and Bram.  It's frustrating to read a whole book and not care.  Sad, I know.

I spent much of my time reading this trying to remember from who's perspective I was reading.  Every chapter is written from a different character’s perspective.  Incredibly confusing, especially when all the characters are in the same scene.

This was an interesting concept on zombies and I was incredibly excited to read Habel’s take.  And I knew there would be the zombmance, but overall it just didn’t work for me.  As a whole there was a major disconnect from scene to scene, perspective to perspective.  This presented itself as a debut novel.  I don’t plan on reading the sequel.

2 Trees: I am departing from this series.

Get to reading,

*This book was provided to me by the publishers through netGalley* 


  1. oh my gosh, no way!

    i agree with the part about the story structure being a bit confusing. but i thought it was really fun.

  2. @Asheley: Way. I just couldn't get into it. Maybe it's because I'm not a teenage girl...who knows?


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