Review: ‘Dearly, Departed’ by Lia Habel

I received this book for free from publisher unsolicited in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: ‘Dearly, Departed’ by Lia HabelDearly, Departed by Lia Habel
Series: Gone With the Respiration #1
Published by Del Rey on October 18th, 2011
Genres: Dystopian, Love & Romance, Young Adult, Zombies
Pages: 470
Format: Hardcover
Source: publisher unsolicited
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.

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Reading the book description I thought it would be a sappy romance novel, but I was surprisingly happy to realize it wasn’t all just about romance. There’s action, adventure, romance, and even humour. I’m not one to read novels about zombies, but I definitely changed my mind, after reading Dearly, Departed. Go check it out! You won’t be sorry for reading this YA novel.

Five stories are intricately woven with the point of views of Nora, Pamela, Bram, Wolfe and Victor. You would think it would be hard to comprehend five different story lines, but Lia writes with great pacing and tone. You get a great understanding of each of the character’s personalities and thoughts. Normally when authors tend to do this, I get confused, but I wasn’t, which I definitely liked.

Nora Dearly is a 17 year old orphan who lives in New Victoria who lives with her insufferable aunt. I love Nora Dearly’s porcelain like features yet her personality is strong and courageous. She knows how to use a gun because her father Victor taught her. It makes sense he taught her how to defend her because he was in the army.

Bram is such a nice dead zombie that you can’t help but like him a lot. His thoughts made me laugh when’re his racy teenage thoughts crept up on the page. He’s a zombie and still thinks of sex like any normal teenage boy!

I love the scenes between Nora and Bran. Their cute flirtations make for a heavy climax. And when they tell each other how they feel well..let’s just say it was pretty steamy 😉

Pamela Roe, of Indian heritage, average looks with black eyes and long hair the colour of chocolate is probably my favourite character. Can she get anymore kick-ass than this? Sporting her bow and arrow to kick some zombie ass just made me whoop with joy.





  1. Chrystal Scales

    November 24, 2016 at 6:14 AM

    Funny you should link this up on Twitter today. I just finished listening to the audio book a week ago. I tried reading it a few years ago, but DNFd it. But I’m glad I tried again. I LOVED IT! Nora, Bram and Pamela are great in this story. I agree with loving that Pamela locks against with her bow and again sorrow. I should be writing again sorrow review I the next few weeks hopefully. 🙂
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  2. Joanna W.

    June 5, 2014 at 8:33 PM

    I’ve been interest in picking up Dearly Departed, but I heard the third book was not picked up and won’t continue, so I was hesitant to start. Does the books end unresolved? I don’t want to start a series and it never get a finished ending.

  3. Amber @ Fall Into Books

    July 19, 2013 at 6:50 PM

    I enjoyed this book, too, but I found the 5 separate POVs to be annoying, unfortunately. Still, I managed to overlook that and still like the book. Great review!

  4. Sarah p

    January 23, 2013 at 4:47 PM

    I am very intrigued, because reading the summary I was thinking the same thing about it being a typical sappy romance. But I do tend to enjoy zombie stories, as well as stories set in the future, so I’m thinking I may give this one a read… Thanks for your review!!

  5. NURMA

    December 15, 2012 at 11:18 PM

    i loveeee this book !!
    zombie story is my fave genre 😀

  6. Christy Maurer

    September 16, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    I definitely need to read this one. I’m a total zombie geek lol. I would think from the cover it would be all romance too, but I’m glad to know it’s action!

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