Review: Dearly, Departed (Gone with the Respiration #1)

Posted June 27, 2014 in 4 Star Ratings, Book Reviews / Leave a comment!

Review: Dearly, Departed (Gone with the Respiration #1)Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel
Series: Gone With the Respiration #1
Published by Del Rey
Published On: October 2011
Genres: Young Adult, Sci Fi, Dystopia, Fantasy, Paranormal, Zombies
Maturity Level: YA - some violence
4 Stars
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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.


Love this cover. The colours are gorgeous and I love the girl on the cover. I’m a big fan of Victorian styles.

Initial Thoughts

So this book sounds like it’s going to be Twilight, except with zombies. Before you stop reading this review, I’m going to tell you it was the complete opposite. I was pleasantly surprised when I started getting really into the book.

My New BFF

The main character Nora, would be my bestest friend. She’s amazing! She’s in this Victorian-like society where woman are only around to be pretty and make babies. She still makes the best of it though! She likes to watch the ongoing war and she’s a great fighter. I love that she never cares what people think of her either. She’s always asking questions and manages to always get an answer. She was a great heroine to follow around.

My Crush

Clearly Bram. The love interest of the story. Even though he is a zombie, he was still amazing. I don’t think I could be as chill as him if I was a zombie. He knows he’s not alive but he doesn’t believe he’s a monster. He accepts the fact that he’s in this army because he’s expandable and he doesn’t care. I love how he went to save whoever Nora wanted without asking questions. He was a very human like zombie.

Writing Style

The writing was really well done. I just had a few issues with the plot and characters. The plot was kind of slow starting out. The action started right away but I found I wasn’t sucked into the book until about half way. I was a little disappointed in the romance though. There wasn’t as much as I would have liked. The author kind of hinted at romance but then the book ended without me being satisfied.

I loved most of the characters. I found the villains to be boring though. There wasn’t anything special about them, just typical bad guys who want to kill everyone. The story was told in several points of views which I don’t think worked in this case. Did we really need ALL those characters telling the story?

Closing Thoughts

I really did enjoy this book even though there were some flaws. I didn’t realize that this book was the first of a series until the very end so that threw me off a little. I’m kind of excited to read the next one though. I enjoyed the concept of zombies that don’t go crazy. They’re more like vampires except the whole decaying body thing. That was a little gross, but they made it work with all their crazy medical stuff. I liked the steampunk style that the book was written in too. It was like a futuristic steampunk victorian futuristic book. Sounds confusing but it worked. I think I gave this book 4 stars because of the world. I thought it was really original.


“Real ladies can give orders, Real gentlemen can take them, and Real zombies don’t eat brains.”

4 out of 5 stars

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