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Dearly, Departed (Gone With the Respiration #1)

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  9,294 Ratings  ·  1,523 Reviews
A classic romance, suspense thriller, rip-roaring adventure, and macabre comedy all at once, Dearly, Departed redefines the concept of undying love.


The year is 2195. The place is New Victoria—a high-tech nation modeled on the mores of an antique era. Sixteen-year-old Nora Dearly is far mor
Paperback, 486 pages
Published August 14th 2012 by Del Rey (first published September 29th 2011)
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Community Reviews

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Kat Kennedy
*This ARC was provided to me by the publishers via NetGalley. No money or favours were exchanged for this review.*

Somewhere along the way, zombies became hot.

Zombie on fire
No, not that kind of hot

Zombie model posing
This kind of hot!

Lia Habel has taken my two favourite genres, steampunk and zombies, and mixed them together. The results of which should have been a hundred times more fantabulous than anything humanity could ever have hoped to produce up until this point.

Neil Patrick Harris riding a unicorn
With the sole exception of Neil Patrick Harris. Oh! And Terry
Wendy Darling
Dearly Departed is one of the most enjoyable steampunk novels I've ever read, as the author skillfully puts Victorian customs down in a futuristic setting and then throws the crazy addition of zombies into the mix! It is, unfortunately, also a very frustrating novel in many ways, mainly because it has major flaws that stand in the way of a really terrific story.

In the year 2195, Nora Dearly is just coming out of a period of mourning for her father, who was a noted scientist, when her home is att
Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead
A steampunk novel that lost its steam

What a frustrating book! I so wanted to love it. It had so many good elements to it. However, somehow, the book lost its way and could not find its way back again!


Bram Griswold

Zombie, soldier, and overall nice guy. He was the source of many of my favorite lines in the book. He was charming, respectful, and he was the guy that all parents dreamed that their loving daughter would find… minus the fact that he was a zombie.

Nora Dearly

An unconventional
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
2.5 stars
With one hundred pages and three POVs less, plus some small changes in worlbuilding, Dearly, Departed could have been an excellent novel. As it is, parts of it are amazing, while other parts left me extremely frustrated, disappointed and angry.

If only Lia Habel decided against introducing five (view spoiler) different POVs, one precious star in my rating would have been saved. At least two of those five contributed nothing but annoyance to the narrati
Oct 13, 2011 Giselle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, arc, zombies, steampunk
Dashing zombies anybody? Dearly, Departed has quite the original zombie lore. I really enjoyed it and thought it was brilliantly done. Stephenie Meyer took vampires and made them sparkly. But Lia Habel, she took zombies(!), and made them charming! There's just no beating that!

This story takes place in a future after a volcano almost ends humanity. The new age is called New Victoria - yup, it's Victorian age with holographs and cell phones. It's pretty neat and very well thought out. Obviously th
Oh, brother. Here we go.

I daresay I dug my own grave so far as getting my hopes up. It's a reviewing cliche to use phrases like "I really wanted to like this" or "it had so much potential"...but honestly, I can't think of anything else. I really wanted to like this. It had so much potential.

The details of futuristic Victoriana culture were cool & I'd have enjoyed more of them. That said, the 21st-c Victorian setting is repeatedly displaced by long stretches at an army base that felt like so
Edit: So, I was bored a while ago and recorded an audio version of this review (with Special Guest Appearance by the birds on my balcony). (view spoiler).

At the risk of sounding flip about it, I have to commence this review by saying that I felt Lia Habel’s zombie/horror/post-apocalyptic/steampunk/neo-Victorian novel was rather in need of a corset.


To be fair, what appears to be
Lauren (Sugar & Snark)
I get it. Zombies are the next progression in sexy YA creatures. I can get past your boyfriend being pale and a little cold or being seriously hairy but decomposition?!
Your boyfriends nose falling off while you are making out is not something you can get over!!

 photo zombie_zps6b17802a.jpg
Dearly,Departed is set in a post apocalyptic world where north america, Asian and it sounds like Europe (but I'm not sure) have all been destroyed. To survive the North Americans formed tribes and migrated to the equatorial regions of So
I first heard of Dearly, Departed - probably on Goodreads – in a context of absolutely aghast disgust. A story telling about a girl who falls in love with a zombie?! Horrors – and not in a good way. And it's true, on surface it's another one of those ideas which Should Not Work (I should create a shelf for those). Although it does occur to me that there's a fine, fine line between all those "I Loved a Vampire" PNR's and this – undead is undead. Still, undead but whole and able to heal is rather ...more
Dearly, Departed was kindly provided to me by Netgalley for Random House Publishing Group.

Interested in more of my reviews? Visit my blog!

Dearly, Departed was quite enjoyable for me … at first. I found myself overwhelmed by the storyline because it had entirely way too much going on. I picked this up solely because it was a zombie novel (gotta love zombies) but then I was thrown into this odd dystopian society and THEN it transformed into this weird steampunk society where everything is
Dearly, Departed could have been a most awesome book. It has a lot of good things going for it: a great cast of characters and an engaging story. The author has a quirky sense of humor and I did chuckle at some parts. The dialogue was entertaining as well. How could you go wrong with steampunk and zombies?

Let’s start with what I liked. I liked Nora and her best friend Pamela. These two girls were quite independent and brave. I loved that they did not just want to improve their station by marria
Jeann (Happy Indulgence)
Rating: 4.5

A combination of steampunk, the Victorian era, and zombies, Dearly Departed is possibly one of the most unique depictions of the zombie apocalypse I've ever found. Being a huge zombie fan, I lapped up everything the book had to offer and really enjoyed the unique world building and delightful characters.

The author convincingly explains how the world came about; it's set in the future but for some reason a band of people called New Victorians have decided to uphold the traditional val
Nov 04, 2011 Surin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First of all let me add a disclaimer that honestly Dearly, Departed isn't a really well written book. The prose is awkward at times, the world building seriously doesn't make any sense, the multiple POVs will give you a headache and the plot isn't all that particularly interesting.

So why the hell did I give it 4 stars?! LOL.

Because I love Captain Abraham Griswold aka Bram!!!!! There you have it, I have a crush on a zombie, god help me....... I was gone the minute he put on that damn military ou
Nov 03, 2014 Lea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Want to know why this book was awesome? Two words: Victorian zombies. Oh yes, you heard me right.



I think that we can all agree that that alone makes this book a must-read, but there's plenty more to love about Dearly, Departed-- starting with the amazing, multi-dimensional characters. Nora Dearly is the heroine of the story, a proper New-Victorian girl living in the year 2194. The perfect mix of spirited stubbornness and genuine loyalty to her friends, Nora's character was defi
Jan 19, 2012 Kelly rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
Sometimes I "stall out" while reading a book but intend to go back and finish...and sometimes, after a few months, I have to own up to the fact that I'm just not going to. Dearly, Departed is one of these. It started out really interesting, but lost me in the middle.

Nora Dearly lives in New Victoria, a post-apocalyptic society that has revived the customs of the Victorian era. Supposedly, this happened after a series of disasters, when many of the survivors left standing were hardcore religious
Novel Delight Review & Lisa (Lissa) Smith's Bookshelf
Mar 06, 2015 Novel Delight Review & Lisa (Lissa) Smith's Bookshelf rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers of Steampunk & Zombies
Recommended to Novel Delight Review & Lisa (Lissa) Smith's Bookshelf by: Books 4 Review Club
I have heard lots of chatter about this book on different topics in the GoodRead world so; I was excited to find out that my book club was reading it. When all the chatter was originally flying, I had to take a peek. I didn’t get further than the cover. I was hooked I loved it. My mind drifted immediately Abby from the television show NCIS. It reminded me of the episode where she attended a New Orleans style funeral complete with bagpipes.

I had drawn my own conclusion and could be more glad to
Rebecca McNutt
Not bad, in fact Dearly Departed was very poetic and imaginative at times, but I found the romance to be way too excessive.
Juliana Philippa
3.5 stars | Grade: C+
This book was a first in many ways for me. It was my first book in the steampunk genre, which seems to have become all the rage. It was my first zombie and my first modern horror novel. And it was the first YA book I’ve read since being a YA myself.

I hadn’t been avoiding any of these—on the contrary: seeing review after review by my Goodreads friends has had me adding book after book that I would not normally have read or sought out. One of the reasons I’m making a point o
Dec 07, 2011 Krystle rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Gosh, this is going to be such a difficult review. It’s not terrible but it’s not great either.

The biggest downfall of this book, to me, was the pacing. It was agonizingly slow for the most part with little to no action. I can only attribute this to the fact that the main character, Nora, was held in a compound and not allowed to do much besides interact with the people and zombies located there. There was hardly any contact with the outside world and the real plotting and action comes later.

Feb 07, 2012 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, signed
I love zombies. At first I almost didn't read this because I wasn't sure about the future Victorian era. I was a little confused at the beginning but as I kept reading I slowly began to understand the future world. I also always love different perspectives. I love seeing both sides to the story through Nora and Bram's eyes as well as Nora's best friend Pam, and of course the evil villain. It does take away the mystery but I like seeing everything that is going on and why it is going on. The zomb ...more
Edward's Ghost Engine (also known as.......... Jinky Spring)
2.5 stars

I feel very confused with this one. To start off with, I thought the world building at the beginning was very strange and felt there were many ways it could have been more special and had more depth to it. All it basically is is that the world came into an ice age so countries were lost and everyone was forced to move south and all the people thought about the Victorians and thought that was the best way to live. That's it basically. It just felt a little far fetched and peculiar that
Stacey O'Neale
Dec 21, 2011 Stacey O'Neale rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book for a ton of reasons so I'm just going to go through a few of them.

1. This book is very unique. It's dystopian, it's paranormal romance, it's zombies, it's cyberpunk, and it's got some elements of Victorian history. You really can't put it in one box which is why it's so cool.

2. It's written in 1st person POV, but with several characters. You get to see an odd romance from both perspectives which I love plus various secondary characters. Not to mention that Lia Habel
Blodeuedd Finland
posted at Serendipity reviews

Zombies! I am not a big fan but when it comes to books it is different and I can read about them. Of course I never read a book where the male lead is one, but then vampires are dead in some books too, and they want your blood. Zombies are dead and want your flesh, nothing different there. With that I started this book.

The world was truly the best part. The world went to hell and survivors fled south. What used to be Central and South America now belongs to conquer
Danielle (Love at First Page)
3.5-4 stars

Dearly, Departed was a surprisingly fun book! I didn't expect it to have much humor, but Lia Habel's writing is chock full of laugh out loud moments, characters' inner musings and the dialogue among them enough to make me giddy. At the heart of this story are Nora and Bram, star-crossed lovers like we've never seen before. Set years into the future - 2195, to be exact - the city of New Victoria is a high-tech nation modeled on the mores and fashions of the Victoria era. Young ladies a
A hilarious, spine-tingling novel, DEARLY DEPARTED has completely blown my mind. I was expecting a so-so 3-star book when I requested this on Amazon Vine. The back cover summary made it sound fairly interesting, and I figured zombies, steampunk, and some sort of dystopian-ish storyline might be the perfect change of pace from all the YA love triangles I've been drowning in. Never in my wildest dreams did I envision that this book and its characters would capture and hold my undivided attention f ...more
Jennifer Jensen (Literally Jen)
The first two things that caught my attention about this book were the cover art and the title. From there, I read the description, and even though zombies aren't my usual reading fare, I really wanted to give this one a shot. I loved the idea of a mash-up of steampunk, zombies, and a futuristic world trying to combat an increasing zombie population.

When I had the ARC in hand, it includes a letter from the senior editor, who talks a little bit about Lia Habel and how her YA debut came to be publ
Dearly Departed has definitely taken me by surprise. Why? you ask. Well for starters. I don't really like reading stories about zombies. They freak me out and drain the living life out of me haha no pun intended, and the fact that it's totally gross reading about their flesh falling off and them walking around drooling and moaning. But, if you throw in a futuristic New Victorian/Steampunk era, with kick ass female protagonists, and zombies that still act human in every way possible, then you hav ...more
First of all, I normally don't read anything even remotely scary! I get scarred easily and have nightmare for ages. And always when I think I'm finally old enough to have outgrown this problem and watch/read something like horror/zombie/ghosts I fail miserably. But this book intrigued me quite a bit. So, I braved myself and ... wasn't disappointed at all. I love this book!

This book is classified as steampunk, but could also easily be a Victorian dystopian novel. I loved how Lia Habel creates a
Jan 18, 2012 TheBookSmugglers rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Originally reviewed on The Book Smugglers

In the year 2195, the world has collapsed and been reborn. Basically, the story is thus:

In the early twenty-first century – some 150 years before the start of our novel – global warming has melted the ice caps, plague and famine have overwhelmed the populace, and the Americas are invaded by refugee Canadians that carry the superflu that wipes out 1 in every 4. The USA falls into a second Civil War (presumably because of the influenza plague? It’s never ex
Sophia El Kerdini
Oct 06, 2016 Sophia El Kerdini rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well that was fun! Jamais je n'aurais cru qu'une histoire de zombie pouvait accaparer mon attention de la sorte. C'était très divertissant. Très bon style, très bonne intrigue-en tout cas je ne me suis pas ennuyée. Les personnages sont tout de suite très attachants (oh, oui, je pense à toi en disant ça Bram, et je m'en fous que tu sois un zombie *_*). De plus, jai adoré le format des différents points de vue des personnages principaux, ça m'a permis de mieux connaître leurs faiblesses et du coup ...more
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I'm an author, and consequently spend the majority of my days locked up in my own head. When I'm actually actively participating in the groundbreaking experiment in groupthink known as "reality," you'll find me designing and sewing costumes, trying to teach myself to play roller derby (I do not tackle pedestrians, contrary to popular belief), planning trips, and watching zombie movies.
More about Lia Habel...

Other Books in the Series

Gone With the Respiration (3 books)
  • Dearly, Beloved (Gone With the Respiration, #2)
  • Untitled (Gone With the Respiration, #3)

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“Real ladies can give orders, Real gentlemen can take them, and Real zombies don’t eat brains.” 124 likes
“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.” 77 likes
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