Book Review: Dearly, Departed

6 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Book Review

Dearly, Departed Cover

Title: Dearly, Departed (Gone with Respiration #1)

Author: Lia Habel

Summary: [from GoodReads]

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.

My Review

Dearly, Departed was a really interesting experience for me. For one thing, I don’t generally like zombies and this book has them in hordes! I knew that going in, but enough people told me that the zombies (mostly) didn’t act like zombies that I very tentatively picked it up (metaphorically with two fingers and held at arms length!)

The zombies honestly didn’t bother me too much, and I was very surprised by that! The bad zombies were the kind I abhor, but they were kept enough at a distance that I was able to just treat them as a general threat instead. The thing that did bug me? The multiple narrators, which normally I have no problem with! In this case, there were enough different narrators that I had trouble keeping them straight. Even though each chapter was headed with a name, I often forgot to look, or forgot what it had said by the time I was a few pages in. This was especially true as I got toward the end and started getting into it, and that’s where they switched points of view the most!

On the other hand, I absolutely loved the New Victorian setting. It was sort of cyber-steampunk – SO COOL! I would love to see more books in that type of setting, because there’s just so much that could be explored!

In the end, I’m still kind of on the fence about this one. I wanted to hate it because there were Zombies, but I didn’t. I wanted to love it because the setting is SO COOL but I didn’t quite. And I still don’t know if I’ll pick up the next book or not.

Leave a Reply

6 Responses to “Book Review: Dearly, Departed”

  1. I’m on the fence about this one, too … I liked it alright, but I was like you. The POV’s were confusing! I always had to look back and see who was talking. And I wasn’t the biggest fan of the zombies. Ah well. Maybe I’ll try the next one and maybe not.

    Good review, Anne!

    • Anne says:

      Maybe if we decide to try the second one, we should try it together! Sort of like moral support, and sort of like guilt if I don’t finish it lol.

  2. I love the setting! I love zombies. I like steampunk. So I guess this book has it all for me 😀 The only thing that can be a problem are the multiple POV’s. I don’t mind them, but I can understand that it’s sometimes hard to follow. Great review :) Can’t wait to read it.


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