Title: Dearly Departed
Series: Gone with the Respiration #1
Published: 29 September 2011 by Doubleday
Length: 451 pages
Warnings: zombies, violence, romance 12+
Other info: Book two, Dearly Beloved should be out some day.
Summary : 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.
Review: Nora Dearly is your typical New-Victorian young lady. Having finished her year of mourning for her father, she is finally allowed to go out and do things. Party. Be social. Wear colour. But maybe not find out what her father did for a living. Which leads her into a pack of zombies. Finding herself abducted, she ends up at a military base full of undead. Where there may or may not be a war breaking out. And she may or may not be falling in love with Bram. A zombie.
I heard about this one ages ago. And thought:zombies plus Victorians plus technology equals win. I wasn't so sure about the romancy side (it doesn't always work out, especially if one's falling apart), but I was definitely willing to see how it would go.
It actually begins with Bram being trapped underground with a dying friend. Nice action at the start. Then it cuts to Nora's normal life, giving us the chance for some world building, which comes as a block of text about what happened since mid-twentyfirst century to the setting of the book. It provides a nice explanation of how Victorian aesthetics are back in fashion so far in the future (even if you do wonder why), and what's happened in the meantime. Great future world history from Lia.
Nora was a strong character, but not totally amazing. It was realistic how she kept to her ideas ie protesting against wearing knee length skirts, but it was a bit annoying. Bram was funny. Especially his initial exchanges with Nora. He doesn't seem to develop very much though. My favourite character is either Pamela or Chas. Both are girls with a lot more to them than you think, with Chas rotting, and Pamela being another girl from high society. Chas’s dialogue with her boyfriend are so so good.
Pacing, it gets started quite quickly, but then some things started dragging a bit. The writing wasn’t of quite a high standard as I’d hoped. It was nice and it kept the story moving on really well, and it kept it flowing, but it didn’t make me laugh or keep me as enchanted as the summary did. The multiple POV was a bit over the top-I think we only needed Nora, Bram and Pam’s views on everything.
The zombies in this are amazing! Fighting zombies! Not just rotting and going after people’s brains (I like those kinds. But something different. And no love triangle. YAY!!!
Overall: Great premise, a little lacking sometimes, but still a good read. Strength 4 tea.