Wednesday, January 18, 2012

|Review| Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel

Title: Dearly, Departed
Author: Lia Habel
Published: October 18th 2011 by Del Rey
Series: Gone With the Respiration #1
Rating: ♥♥♥♥
Dearly, Departed (Gone With the Respiration, #1)
Goodreads summary:
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.
Racquel's thoughts:
Question of the century: could a book set in NEW Victorian times, with GOOD and BAD zombies prove to be a great read? Yes, yes it sure does!

Lia Habel has an imagination that can rivals Spongebob's (that is a compliment FYI!) Her dystopian world is unlike anything I have ever seen/read about before and I knew just from the summary of the book that I would love this world! One thing about me, I feel very strongly about society/civilization/government, I believe that the dystopian worlds authors write about can actually happen any... minute. History proves that every great civilization has collapsed and what makes today's society immune? The idea of society advancing by regressing is not far from realistic, in a state of panic and depression anything is possible and the explanation of how this New Victorian society came to be is highly believable and I didn't question it once.

I also really loved this world. The etiquette, decorum and style of life is beyond fascinating and seeing it combined with advanced technology is a great mix. Onto the paranormal aspects of the book: ZOMBIES! It actually felt more sci-fi then paranormal to me because everything was backed up by science which again, I love because it made everything more believable for the reader.

One thing that bothers me much about paranormal books is if the MC stumbles into an unnatural world and doesn't question it or react properly, Nora (the MC) on the other hand did not magically accept the walking dead only after two paragraphs of finding out about them. She was genuinely shocked to the bone and again, despite the obvious unreal zombies, her reaction realistic! I also liked how Nora didn't immediately become a warrior. She was a girl who albeit knew more about combat and fighting then she should, but she was still raised with decorum drilled in her but upon learning about the zombies she didn't suddenly acquire superman hero skills to defend everyone. Nora knew what was too much for her and when she did, she left matters to the real fighters. Some people might see that as unheroic but I see it as a realistic portrayal of a girl who knows her limits.  I love this about Lia Habel's writing, no matter how crazy the world of Dearly, Departed is, she still made me believe it!

This also proves right with the relationship between Bram (the good undead zombie) and Nora. Oh Bram, Bram, Bram, do they sell zombies at Amazon because I want me a Bram!! I loved the pacing of the romance and I can kiss Habel for avoiding the wrecking mistakes of making the main character along with her guy of interest fall in love from the third chapter. I cannot explain the sweet feeling the blossoming this romance gave me, my heart was fluttering! Lia Habel, once again, well done!

Something I noticed that put a lot of people off is the 5 different 1st person narrating voices. I love alternating POV's especially when its between the love interests but I also did not mind the added 3 other POV's. They gave an added insight that otherwise could have been achieved and while I will admit that sometimes I did get confused on who's narrating, it wasn't a big deal to me.

Rating: 4 hearts~ Lia Habel has made a loyal fan out of me! Her dystopian world is one of a kind and I will eagerly and anxiously await more information on Dearly, Beloved the second novel to Lia Habel's fantastically amazing debut- this is a must read!
 I was buried alive.
"Baldwin put your head on. You're scaring her!"
... I was up way past my bedtime, biologically speaking.
 Check out the UK cover of Dearly, Departed! While I just LOVE love the US cover (so beautiful!) this one is pretty damn awesome too! You can see a gray (bad zombie) in the back and Bram & Nora... SWOON! I love how Bram is wearing his 'sexy suit' ;D (read the book to find out!) and the 'Tall, Dark And... Dead?" at the top. So cool. This looks more like a movie posted though so I still think the US one is better cover for a book.

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