Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Review - Dearly, Departed (Gone With the Respiration #1) by Lia Habel

Dearly, Departed (Gone With the Respiration, #1)Title: Dearly, Depareted
Author: Lia Habel
Series: 1st
Pages: 470
Published:   October 18th 2011 by Del Rey
ISBN: 9780345523310
Source: Publisher via Netgalley

Description: 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.

I Give This ...

While describing this to a friend, I realized there's a lot of interesting elements to the story.  And under most circumstances, I don't think it would work.  But, for me it did.  There's something about a post apocalyptic, Victorian society and zombies that just clicked with me.

When I first added this book to my list, I had a feeling it was going to be more steam punk.  Which made me apprehensive because I haven't had the best of luck with steam punk.  I was completely wrong to think that.  While society is modeling the Victorian era, it has completely modern (and futuristic) technology.  Nothing seemed foreign to me.  I really liked how the whole society was set up.  The Victorian age is one that I enjoy reading about, and I don't think I've read anything (besides Incarceron) were society has purposely mimicked that time period.   

I especially enjoyed Nora.  She's a fireball for a lack of a better term.  She's grown up a little bit on the privileged side.  But, she has no problems with those of lower rank (her best friend is).  When she's kidnapped she shows appropriate behaviors, but also regroups and thinks for herself.  There's never a time when she acts like the damsel in distress.   I loved that she gets mad at her dad, but yet desires to understand what's made him this way.

I enjoyed the subtle romance in the story.  It never felt like it was being shoved in my face.  Both characters actually spend part of the book denying their feelings, which is a change from the confession your undying love lines.  I also loved the inclusion of good and bad zombies.  It was light-hearted and fun, but not overly campy.  

I just really enjoyed this story.  I'm looking forward to the next in the series!


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