Released: October 18, 2011
Publisher: Random House Publishing
Series: Gone With the Respiration #1
Genre: Dystopia, Paranormal, Science Fiction, Steampunk, Romance, Zombies
Source: Net Galley
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.
This book basically combined every single fantasy that I have accumulated over the year and just smushed it together in one fabulous story. You have your Steampunk, your humor, your witty dialogue, your kickass protagonists and evil antaganists, Victorian-era in the future (come on, that's pretty awesome), and last but not least: ZOMBIES. All of it tied up with a pretty ribbon and a drop-dead (no pun intended) gorgeous cover.
Dearly, Departed takes place in your rich and fabulous late 22nd century where the beautiful Victorian era sparks once more. Point of view is sectioned into five richly developed characters (Nora, Bram, Victor, Pamela, and Wolfe) that tell the story from their prospective. Not only do you see the world through their eyes but as the reader you begin to piece together fragments of the story thus far. Not only that but you have Nora, your spunky, high-class lass who can get and gun and use it too! Take that society! Independent women for the win!
While I was reading, some of the explanations felt quick and thrown at me to a point where there was just too much to accumulate. But the father I progressed with the story, the disoriented fog cleared and I was able to stick to a nice and smooth track.
Now for the romance part of the book, I can definitely tell you that the roller coaster ride that is Nora and Bram's relationship was enjoyable to watch. There is no love at first sight with them which was great. Upon meeting Bram, Nora literally flipped a shit when learning that he was the walking dead. And it was hilarious to read. And eventually the two worked from that point.
The more time that they spent together I couldn't help to think of Beauty and the Beast in a way. I don't know if I was the only one who made this connection but if anyone else did, *mental-high-fives*
If you're a fan of action, romance, undead with a funny bone that is still in commission, and guns, well Lia Habel's Dearly, Departed should be the next on your reading list!
First Line: I was buried alive.