Review: Dearly Departed

English Cover

German Cover










‚Dark Love‘ by Lia Habel

(Dearly, Departed)

Gone with the Respiration # 1

First Sentence:
„‚I was buried alive.
When the elevator groaned to a stop in the middle of the rocky shaft, I knew I was buried alive.“

Last Sentence:
„For my mother, who taught me early on that real ladies can give orders, real gentlemen can take them, and real zombies don’t eat brain.“

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.  (Source:

My thoughts about the book:
Although I’ve found the basic idea of the book with the zombies in connection with a dystopia really interesting and have been glad about this book, then nevertheless it was a little disappointing in the end because it wasn’t what I’ve expected.

Just at the beginning I’ve had a hard time to really get into the story and it was also presented rather dull and stereotypically and this hasn’t motivated me to read on. I found very strange that the story plays in the future, but nevertheless the same circumstances ruled like at the time in the Victorian age:
With etiquette, long skirts to show no leg and over conservative behavior etc., but nevertheless modern technology was mixed in it which was further progressed than ours. Others may find this attractive, but I found it rather illogical and also not realistically, although the author really had tried to explain the circumstances which have led to this situation.
I can’t say exactly what has disturbed me so much in it, because in general I’ve nothing against a mixture of different elements or genre. But here everything didn’t fit completely anyhow and it just didn’t worked and I also had the feeling that it was too enforced and fitted.

First was the almost destruction of the humanity, then they scrap themselves together again and choose willingly to life alike the people in the Victorian age, but nevertheless they use without refusal a lot of more modern technology than we have nowadays -> there I had all along the feeling that the author actually wanted to write a story in 18-19 centuries to use a certain language and clothes for the characters etc. and also to pick out some problems of this time
as a central theme like class differences, enforced marriages, virtuousness, … But at the same time the author wants to insert something modern and to play it in a dystopischen future… and if that wasn’t enough, she also add besides zombies who aren’t angry like the one we know, but who can act quite normally and who only need special food to sustain their body. I find this is really too much hotchpotch and as I’ve already mentioned it was also too fitted. And some things in it weren’t always quite understandable, rather illogical.

What has also disturbed me was that every chapter was told by another character and therefore was a constant change. Most chapters were naturally of Nora or Bram, but there were also some by her best friend, by her father or by the bad person in the story and this hasn’t made this book more exciting, but the opposite. Because exactly whenever it became interesting and thrilling in a chapter, it appeared a change of the chapter to another character and when we were taken back the whole tension from before was away. Unfortunately this has disturbed me very much and has stopped extremely my reading fluency every time.

Also the action of the characters wasn’t always understandable and I found it partially just terrible. The thing with the whole ‚good‘ zombies was for me rather an absurd image and I can make more with the idea of ‚good‘ vampires! *lol* The ‘good’ zombies were quite nice and amusing and they also had their authorization et cetera, BUT as a romantic antagonist, as a love partner – sorry, but I just can’t picture this, even if I’ve just read it and the author has struggled to describe it romantically.

Moreover I can’t imagine that in the real life normal teenager’s girls would react so heroically when they find out about zombies and quite simply push a parasol through the head of a zombie?! *rolling my eyes* First her best friend Pamela has constantly pitied herself and was rather annoying and moved around like a small little mouse and then suddenly she acted as if she could put away everything without problems. She just fights along the way a few bad zombies and risks her life every few minutes without an eyelash. One can also exaggerate it with heroism and that was here often the case.

English Cover:
I like it incredibly much with the nice coloring and the great picture with the parasol. The cover is really beautiful and for me one of the reasons to read this book.

All in all:
Some things in it haven’t worked for me but nevertheless it gets 2.5 points for the basic idea and for the main character Nora who was quite okay. At the moment I’m still undecided whether I continue this row or not.

2,5 of 5 points

My Recommendation:
Only to borrow!

For Fans of:
Zombies, Young Adult, Dystopia, Lovestories



Nora: „If my heart had feet, it would have been up the staircase before the rest of me.“

Bram: „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: „She likes me.“
Samedi didn’t even look at me. „Well of course, you’ve
had that bloody uniform on all day. I was half ready to
tell you how much I liked you.“




# 1 : Lia Habel – Dark Love »»
# 2 : Lia Habel – Dearly, Beloved



(© goodreads)

About the author – Lia Habel:

She is an author, and consequently spend the majority of her days locked up in her own head. When she is actually actively participating in the groundbreaking experiment in groupthink known as „reality,“ you’ll find her designing and sewing costumes, trying to teach herself to play roller derby, planning trips, and watching zombie movies.

Visit her Website »»






Veröffentlicht am 14.05.2012 in * English Reviews, YA Fantasy und mit , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , getaggt. Setze ein Lesezeichen auf den Permalink. Hinterlasse einen Kommentar.

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