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Dearly, Departed: A Zombie Novel Paperback – August 14, 2012

4.2 out of 5 stars 227 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Year 2195. Postapocalyptic survivors start rebuilding a society influenced by the Victorian era. Steam engineering, tablet computers, corsets, . . . and zombies? Nora Dearly’s world is flipped when she is kidnapped by Bram, a handsome, kind, brave zombie. Not only do zombies exist in New Victoria, but there are good ones and really bad ones—and both want Nora. As she begins to adjust and thrive in the undead army that has been working to find a cure for a deadly disease, New Victoria becomes infested, and her friends are in danger. What can a proper lady and an army of slowly rotting soldiers do to help? Habel is an ambitious author, and this is a feat of multigenre proportions. She cleverly builds her novel to appeal to multiple readers. The high stakes of the plot are what will hook them, but the characters, particularly Bram and Nora, will keep them turning pages. A successful gamble by Habel. Grades 7-10. --Bethany Fort --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


"A romance between a guy who will rot away in the end and a girl who knows it. Yes I can't see a future, can you? But romance will always conquer and when the book ends I still not know how it ever will work. But there are more books to come and I am intrigued." -- Serendipity Review http://www.serendipityreviews.co.uk/2011/10/dearly-departed-by-lia-habel-guest.html 20121013 "Lia Habel has managed the impossible and I have to admit to having a slight (OK possibly more than slight!) crush on a zombie! The story is action packed with plenty of twists and turns that keep you gripped to the pages and I have to mention how much I loved Nora's friend Pam (just wait until you see what she can do with a parasol!). The romance is sweet and believable but is by no means the main focus of the story and you'd be missing out on a treat if you don't give it a try." -- Feeling Fictional http://www.feelingfictional.com/2011/09/arc-review-dearly-departed-lia-habel.html 20110919 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey (August 14, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345523326
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345523327
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (227 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,220,115 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lia Habel was born in Western NY - as far as it's physically possible to get from New York City and still be in the same state, and official spooky abandoned farmhouse territory. As an only child of good geek stock, young Lia was lovingly reared on horror movies, video games, and Victorian novels. She developed an affection for horror movie monsters early on, often challenging her weary mother with lists of reasons why Jason Voorhees might yet be saved or excuses for Darkman's cackling insanity. As she grew older and her natural sympathy extended to ever more serial killers, swamp monsters, sentient fanged beasts, and reanimated gents, her mother began to worry what her daughter might one day bring home.

Despite this promising start, Lia went on to live an unremarkable life. Although she entertained vague thoughts of one day writing (comic books, specifically), it was only her love of literature that compelled her to pursue her B.A. in English Lit from SUNY Buffalo. Afterwards, ever the generalist and lover of Old Things, Lia moved to the UK to attend the University of Leicester and get her M.A. in Museum Studies. Several scattered internships and jobs followed, but Lia was never able to obtain long-term, serious work in her chosen field. She wrote the first draft of Dearly, Departed while unemployed, because it seemed like more fun than filling out job applications. Ultimately, she ended up procrastinating herself into a wonderful career.

Now, Lia operates by a very simple rule-monsters need love, too. Handsome human heroes are celebrated everywhere else, but in her works you'll find gentleman zombies, beautiful beasts, delicate clockwork girls, and titans with hearts of gold. She writes emotionally driven romances where the couples are outlandish, weird, and magical. Because "normal" is just so... boring.

Miss Habel currently lives with her beloved Boyfriend and their utterly spoilt furchild, an inky black cat named Struensee. She enjoys attending anachronistic and steampunk events, crafting all manner of pretty things, watching horror movies, and collecting Victorian and Edwardian books. Things she fans over include Pacific Rim, Hannibal, and Transformers.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Dude, a freaking freight train could not have pulled me away from this book after the Prologue... What am I saying? After the first sentence:

"I was buried alive." ~Bram

Bram is stuck in a mining shaft elevator, in the very place that he was so thankful to have found work so he could support his mom and sister. Bram's best-friend Jack, is lying beside him bloody and broken after a massive cave in... *TEARS*

The year is 2193, and Bram is recounting the days events on a digital camera for anyone who may find it one day, and it's HEARTBREAKING! This is the first three pages people!

We're immediately drawn into the beauty of an antique Victorian-type futuristic setting. Seriously, I don;t know how else to explain it. Lia Habel has written a GORGEOUS world... I'm jealous, I want to live there! The dresses, the cars... or "carriages" (which is a very sleek, awesome ride), the gadgets...

The ENTIRE world and imagery created by Lia Habel was nothing short of absolutely amazing, I've never read anything like it!

Now, Dearly Departed is told in first person POV- but from SEVERAL different perspectives, told in alternating chapters. Don't let this deter you- because it is NOT confusing at all, and I totally loved seeing everything from so many different perspectives!

Bram is literally- SUPER to die for sweet and you can't help but fall for him- ZOMBIE or not! Seriously, I dare you to read this book and NOT love Bram!

Steampunk/Futuristic mixed with the old-time Victorian is nothing short of awesome. Throw in a war, kick butt characters, romance AND zombies??? You've got yourself a winner in Dearly Departed!
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Format: Hardcover
Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel is the first in the Gone with Respiration series. The series name fits so well, it is a bit like a steampunk Gone with the Wind with zombies. In 2195, after surviving global catastrophe, the new society is located in Brazil. These survivors establish New Victoria, a society that takes on the qualities of the Victorian period. Young ladies and women must wear ankle length dresses, and those of the high society must attend private boarding schools to teach them the proper way to behave. Those who do not live within New Victoria, and do not follow the strict society structure are referred to as the Punks.

Nora Dearly is one of the high society girls, but she likes expressing her own opinions. She also dreams of someday joining the army, and get into the frontlines of the battle between New Victoria and the Punks. She keeps this a secret, because it is not proper for a New Victorian girl. This all changes when she is kidnapped by an army of zombies, to prevent the evil zombies from getting to her first. This is where she meets Captain Bram Griswold, her zombie savior. Defying all that normal, Dearly Departed takes zombies and romance to a completely new place.

I have to say I loved Dearly Departed, because it is just unique. While there are the traditional zombies that crave human flesh, and there are also the zombies who maintain their personalities, and thoughts. These zombies make up the group that saves Nora, and their captain is Bram Griswold. There are so many fun characters in Dearly, Departed. Throughout the novel, each chapter is labeled by the character that is currently providing the viewpoint. There are several characters that allow us to experience their viewpoint in Dearly, Departed.
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Format: Hardcover
I've actually never been the biggest fan of zombies before. But when I first found out that this wasn't just any zombie book -- but one that took place in a futuristic world with Victorian era elements -- I just had to check it out. And it was nothing short of awesome! :)

The whole idea of mixing together so many cool elements was genius on Lia Habel's part! She incorporated cool futuristic technology with the walking dead and poofy dresses perfectly. There was something about how she built her world that made me want to live there but not at the same time.

I'll admit that Dearly, Departed started off a little slow for me, but once the action picked up, I'm so glad I stuck with it! I adored Nora and Bram with all my heart, and how sweet and "awww!"-worthy their romance was. And even though five different first-person narratives seemed like too much at times, it helped to fill in the gaps and I really loved seeing Nora through Bram's eyes -- so sweet!

PLUS: The zombies weren't all evil. Loved them!

Overall, Dearly, Departed was a great edition to the zombie, dystopian, and Victorian era genres! It was cool and original and had some absolutely HILARIOUS one-liners at the most surprising times. I can't wait to read the next book in the series!

BUY or BORROW?: Gorgeous cover + original story + a kick-butt heroine with a gun = a book you totally want to have on your shelf! ;)
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In the year 2195, catastrophic events and society rebuilding itself has resulted in New Victoria being height of civilization and technology. Nora Dearly is just out of mourning. Her father died a year ago and she lives with her cold, uncaring aunt, who views the mourning as a social inconvenience and ruined Nora by putting them in great debt over the year her father has been dead. When Nora returns home from school for winter break, her ordered life is disrupted by crazed, flesh-eating zombies trying to kidnap her from her home. She ends up being kidnapped by an opposing faction of more sane, rational zombies who worked with her father. Captain Abraham Griswold AKA Bram, zombie soldier, takes an interest in Nora. At first, she is repulsed and rejects the zombies, no matter how civilized and nice they are. As they get to know each other, Nora and Bram feel an undeniable attraction resulting in an odd, yet sweet romance between the living and the dead. This pales in comparison to the zombie plague running through New Victoria. Can Nora, Bram, and the zombie troops save the city or will it be overrun with zombies?

Dearly, Departed is an unexpected, genre bending adventure. The world is an impressive mixture of dystopia, steampunk, and advanced technology. The world has basically fallen apart and reduced to individual tribes without any sort of centralized government. A certain conservative tribe decided that the Victorian era was far enough in the past that no one had any emotional ties to it and liked the idea of the virtuous, moral society that they decided to adopt it as their own. The resulting situation is Victorian era fashion, sensibilities, and social constructs coupled with futuristic technology. New Victoria isn't the only tribe out there.
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