by Lia Habel (website, twitter)
Book I in the “Gone with the Respiration” series
Genre: YA Dystopian, Zombies, Steampunk
Published October 18th 2011 by Del Rey
copy received from publisher
Get your own: amazon (Hardcover, Kindle, Audiobook)
synopsis 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.
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.
Again a very unique mix of genres! We get a Dystopian, we get some elements of the Victorian era and then we get some Zombies and also some Steampunk elements…. Nice mix! And after reading so many exciting reviews, I was eager to pick it up!
I definitely took me some time getting into the story. Getting to know the basics of the world we find ourselves into, which is a mix of Dystopian and Victorian style. Refreshing, but as I said it took me some time get into it. Also, what I found very confusing were the multiple POV’s. And by multiple I mean not only the two MC but also some secondary characters….
Interesting was the take on Zombies, which was less paranormal and more science and is more like a disease or virus. The descriptions of the Zombies were sometimes very ugly and slightly disgusting. (And here I’m talking about missing limps etc…*shutters*) However, this was an essential and important part of the whole world building.
Adorable Main Characters and Sweet Love
The characters were lovely, especially Nora and Bram. With both I could connect very easily and I truly liked them, the romance between them was very sweet, slow and adorable. Very Victorian in a way 🙂 Nora was brave and strong and I loved how easily she adjusted to everything that was thrown in her way. Bram was the perfect strong Gentlemen! Some of the secondary characters were greatly portrayed as well, which has to say something since the story is very rich of characters involved.
Towards the middle and the end, the story picked up pace and I found myself enjoying the story much more. There was also lots of action and the story got more tense which made it a much better read.
Altogether I liked the book, but I didn’t blow me away. But, this was the first book which was mainly focusing on world building and introducing the many characters that are important for the story, building up for the next book. I loved the mix of generes which was very unique and refreshing!