Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel

Dearly Departed. by Lia HabelWARNING. Zombies ahead. *laughs*

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?
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.

Series: Gone With The Respiration #1
Published September 29th 2011 by Doubleday Children's Books

Dearly, Departed was my very first zombie (baby) read. And boy, I was not disappointed! It was one of the books that even if I was still reading the prologue, I already have the notion that I’m gonna rate it 5 stars a hundred stars. Original, soul-stirringly beautiful and heart-renderingly hilarious, Dearly, Departed made me look at zombies with new eyes.

*These eyes exactly*

It's not surprising because the author, Lia Habel (she's gorgeous, by the way), is a zombie advocate. It was an insta-cover love for me. I mean, dude, stare and be enthralled with that beauty. If you're not liking it, I'mma send a bad zombie horde to you this very moment XD. The inside was more beautiful. I laughed, I cried and I fell in love (not necessarily in that order) with zombies. I know, I know. You're probably screaming "JOHANNA, THEY'RE Z-O-M-B-I-E-S. HOW CAN WE LOVE THEM WHEN THEY'RE RIPPING OFF BODY PARTS?" but worry not. This book can change your views. I MEAN IT.

The world building is precise and flawless. It explains how the world became apocalyptic long time ago and how the Lazarus virus, the prion that makes zombies, affects humanity. Plus, the three things that are closest to my heart, Steampunk, Dystopian and Neo-Victorian era. Elegant dresses, neoclassic traditions and the somehow balanced figure of technology and refinement of the Victorian history are the major points in the book that gained those stars. 

Onto the characters..hmmm *rubs hand* Due to my absolutely endearing habit of wholly accepting good characters, I have made a love list.
  • Captain Abraham R. Griswold aka. Bram- A charming capable soldier that captured my heart, my soul and half of my body since I'm hesitant to touch decayed flesh. Humorous and gentlemanly, you have to watch out for him.
  • Nora Dearly- Kick-ass and a devoted friend, Nora's interaction with any zombies, good or bad, made me yell "GO NORA! GO!GO!GO!" She's very hilarious too and her rooftop scene had me going, "Woah. That is seriously awesome!" And Nora is also "special" Despite being a "royalty" Nora is not a snob and knows how to handle guns.Bram, honey, it's no wonder you're in love with this girl.
  • Pamela Roe- Nora's bestfriend and the zombie hunting Queen, I hated her at first because she was really whiny when Nora was kidnapped and started these depressive thoughts in her POV that had me shuddering. But when faced with the zombies and Michael (her I-thought-love interest) , she turned into a fighter and that's when I looked up to the lady.
  • Chas, Tom, Coalhouse and Ren- Bram's EPIC team. Chas was the makeover bestfriend and a "loving" girlfriend to Tom. Coalhouse was Tom's victim and I'm gonna quote a very funny scene between the two of them.
"You killed me! That’s not something you can ever apologize for!”
“Well, then, I’m not sorry.”
“You son of a—”
“Hey, you leave her out of this."
 Ren was the bookish -yeah, bookish- cultured zombie who loves machines more than girls. Got a question for him. 
*Hah! Answer that, Ren, answer that! XD*
  • Dr. Victor Dearly- Nora's dad and the fact that he was such a loving father is enough. He cares for everyone-well, anyone who's on his side- and is a brilliant doctor who discovered the Lazarus prion.
The romance between Nora and Bram followed the restraint of the era and the courtship is very sweet and touching. Your heart will definitely swell with awe-inspiring emotions from these two. There was this one heartbreaking scene that *sniffs* I won't spoil* sniffs* .You have to read it yourself. The acceptance of a zombie and human love is clearly disturbing but it was overshadowed by the fact that these two are really fascinated with each other. Not to mention they're in all ways compatible except for their alive and undead difference.

One thing I hated about the book is the multiple narration. Well, it's probably because I can't get enough of Bram's POV or whatever but I do believe it was the downfall of the novel. Good thing the plot was impressive enough so it was saved from the fires of Johanna's hate. 

Vastly entertaining and a must read, Dearly, Departed takes the lead of my very high standards if you want me to read a zombie book. Do know, I never watch those horrifying movies without 2 or 3 warm bodies around me. I am that awesome and cowardly : D

PS. If you're my Twitter follower and happened to read all my tweets regarding Dearly, Departed, you'll understand how I think this book is the greatest zombie book ever. And how I went crazy over Bram too. A zombie in my harem? Hah! That's unheard of, hm? ;) 
Zombie love and peace out, guys!

“Real ladies can give orders, real gentlemen can take them, and real zombies don’t eat brains.” 
“The fact that she made this beeline for me both warmed my soul and made me want to turn around, walk out the door, and find a cliff to fling myself off of.” 
 “I ran this through my "girl talk" translator and said, "I could eat him, if either of you'd like. Seems like it might be the easiest thing to do. -Bram to Nora & Pamela” 


darkmyth89 said... Best Blogger Tips

You finally finished your review on Dearly, Departed yeay!!! :)) must say you made me excited in reading Dearly, Departed! Awesome review! :D

Johanna said... Best Blogger Tips


TheReadingPenguin said... Best Blogger Tips

Awesome review! I really loved this book, seriously! I loved Bram, and I loved Nora, and the setting is just too fantastic. Steampunk and zombies just go so well together, you know?

Anne said... Best Blogger Tips

Hmmmm, I really don't like zombies, but you're making me actually want to read this one. I'm not sure what to think about that... Zombies are gross. Like mega icky GROSS! But if it's a good book, then I should probably try it, right? I don't know, now I'm all confused!

Thanks for a great review :)

Julie said... Best Blogger Tips

I've been wanting to read this book forever. I'm so glad you like it so much. I'm not a huge fan of zombie movies, but when it comes to books...well, that's just a whole other story. ;P Amazing review! Thanks for taking the time to write it.

Johanna said... Best Blogger Tips


Escapism Fanatic said... Best Blogger Tips

I loved Bram's POV too. Infact I liked it more than Nora's. The change in POV also bothered me.
I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Lalaine said... Best Blogger Tips

Great review johanna. I knew you were going to fall in love with this book. Bram and Nora are just awesome. I cant wait to read the second book yay! *hugs the book* Love your review girl! kyaaaaaaaa!!

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