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Dearly, Departed: A Zombie Novel [Anglais] [Broché]

Lia Habel

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Description de l'ouvrage

14 août 2012

A classic romance, suspense thriller, rip-roaring adventure, and macabre comedy all at once, Dearly, Departed redefines the concept of undying love.
 
CAN A PROPER YOUNG VICTORIAN LADY FIND TRUE LOVE IN THE ARMS OF A DASHING ZOMBIE?
 
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 more interested in her country’s political unrest than in silly debutante balls. But the death of her beloved parents leaves Nora at the mercy of a social-climbing aunt who plans to marry off her niece for money. To Nora, no fate could be more horrible—until she’s nearly kidnapped by an army of walking corpses. Now she’s suddenly gunning down ravenous zombies alongside mysterious black-clad commandos and confronting a fatal virus that raises the dead. Then Nora meets Bram Griswold, a young soldier who is brave, handsome, noble . . . and thoroughly deceased. But like the rest of his special undead unit, Bram has been enabled by luck and modern science to hold on to his mind, his manners, and his body parts. And when his bond of trust with Nora turns to tenderness, there’s no turning back. Eventually, they know, the disease will win, separating the star-crossed lovers forever. But until then, beating or not, their hearts will have what they desire.
 
“Heart-pounding . . . Nora and Bram’s touching and tender relationship, with its emphasis on equality and living in the moment, feels particularly special.”—Publishers Weekly
 
“Absolutely spellbinding . . . full of ingenious inventions and dynamic characters.”—RT Book Reviews
 
“A zombie romance? You bet.”—Library Journal


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Extrait

 Prologue
Bram
 
 
            I was buried alive.
            When the elevator groaned to a stop in the middle of the rocky shaft, I knew I was buried alive. Trapped thousands of feet below the earth’s surface and hundreds above the bottom of the shaft, dangling in a dimly lit ten-by-ten foot cage over the black bowels of the very mine I had been so relieved to get work in.
I pulled myself to my feet and pushed my best friend Jack aside, hitting the button that controlled the elevator. I hit it again and again, wailed my fist on it. Nothing. The glass-paned lantern dangling from the ceiling flickered wildly as the kerosene within dwindled, as if it were attempting to ward off its own death with bursts of exaggerated life.
            Dread became a solid, burning thing within me, something twisting my own flesh to its will, speeding my heart and making my skin slick with sweat. Before I knew it was coming up, I doubled over and retched through the grated floor. Jack sat calmly beside me as I heaved, his bloody eye sockets and the gaping wound in his throat mocking me, mocking my attempt to rescue him. He looked like some kind of hellish funhouse clown.
            The dam broke, and I finally started screaming. At Jack. At God. At everything. There was nothing left to do but scream. I hadn’t screamed when the monsters had descended on us. I hadn’t screamed when I’d had to run from them, or when I fought them, or when I’d dragged Jack to the elevator, blood bursting from the hole in his neck. Everything had happened so quickly, it’d seemed like there was no time to scream.
            The monsters. Mad, animalistic, discolored, broken and battered from throwing themselves after their prey, each one thrashing like a person trapped beneath a frozen pond might struggle against the ice in desperate search of air…all teeth and hunger….
I slid down the wall of the elevator and buried my face in my sticky, itching hands. The coppery scent of the blood on them nauseated me, and I leaned back, my screams echoing back to me through the endless mineshaft. The elevator was covered in Jack’s blood. I was covered in Jack’s blood. I was wearing more of his blood on my ratty waistcoat than remained, still as a stagnant pond, in his own veins. My cheap old pocket watch was caked with it. Even the digital camera still feverishly clutched in Jack’s hands was slashed with red. Stupid New Victorian piece of crap. I’d always ragged on him for being so attached to that camera. Couldn’t even get the pictures off of it, not without a computer – and no one around here had a computer.
          Still, Jack had been so proud of it, of the snapshots he took. And I’d dutifully posed every time he’d ordered me to.
Slowly, trembling, I pried it out of his rubbery fingers.
         The lantern dimmed. I tried not to panic. I figured out how to turn the camera on, hoping futilely that the conspiracy theories were true – that the New Victorians could track every bit of tech their people used, every digital letter, practically every thought. Didn’t they put chips in their citizens, tagging them like cattle? Maybe, if the smuggler who’d snuck it through the Border hadn’t cracked and killed the ability, it’d work. Maybe.
         If nothing else, I could record a message.
         Just as I figured out how to shoot video, the lantern died, plunging me into perfect darkness. I swallowed back a sob and spoke aloud, my throat raw, my voice the voice of a ghost in its tomb.
         “If this thing is working…my name is Bram Griswold. I’m sixteen. It’s…July 4th, 2193. I live at the Griswold Farm, Long Road, West Gould, Plata Ombre, Punk-Controlled Brazil. I worked here to help support my mom and my sisters…in the Celestino mine. And these things, these, these people…they were eating…eating Jack…”
         That did it. I started crying. I dug my nails into the wounds in my own arms, the places where the monsters had bitten me, seeking desperately to use pain to pin myself to reality, to coax my mind back from the edge.
         It didn't work.
         I said it.
         “I’m pretty sure I’m going to…to die here. Emily, Addy…I’m sorry.” Tears ran into my mouth, a strange relief after the taste of vomit. “I’m so sorry.”

 


From the Hardcover edition.

Revue de presse

"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 2012-10-13)

"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 2011-09-19) --Ce texte fait référence à une édition épuisée ou non disponible de ce titre.

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Amazon.com: 4.2 étoiles sur 5  216 commentaires
15 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Gorgeous! 18 octobre 2011
Par The Bookish Brunette - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
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!
7 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A Steampunk Gone With The Wind Meets Zombies 19 janvier 2012
Par Chandra Haun - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
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. I like this, because it gives insight in to more than just the main characters.

I have to say I loved the relationship between Nora and Bram, even if Bram is a zombie. While reading, I could barely picture Bram a zombie, just because he has all his human emotions intact. I think Dearly, Departed is a great read for any zombie, young adult, or steampunk fan. It has so many elements from so many genres that it really works for many different types of readers. It is just an amazing book, and I cannot wait to read the next one.

**Unabridged Bookshelf borrowed this book from the local library**
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A fun & original take on zombies! 8 janvier 2012
Par Mimi Valentine - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
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! ;)
15 internautes sur 20 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 Disappointingly Poor Example of Steampunk 17 novembre 2011
Par Jennifer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
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, I read a letter it includes from the senior editor, who talks a little bit about Lia Habel and how her YA debut came to be published. It's a true "rags to riches" type story, and I love hearing about people having their dreams come true and their lives improving. If I could rate a book just on its rise to publication, this would be a 5-star read. However, there are other far more important factors to consider.

First of all, the structure, writing style, and setting. The novel is narrated by 5 different characters. I don't mind novels set up like this at all, but it's important that they each have a unique voice. They all sounded the same to me, and I often found myself flipping backward just to find out whose head I was in. Because the characters aren't all in the same place when their chapter comes up, the novel moves around quite a bit, too. There just wasn't any sort of cohesive flow. The writing style is a bit confusing; sometimes it feels like Habel is attempting to replicate Victorian England speech, but then there is lots of modern talk in there, too. At the beginning of the book, there seemed to be more of the Victorian way of speaking within the prose narrative; in the dialogue, however, they spoke very modern. Then as the novel progressed, it all felt much more modern. There just wasn't a good balance of the two, and it kept pulling me out of the story and back into the real world. The setting is intriguing, but I never really had a clear visualization of what things looked like. I would have liked more description in terms of architecture, as one example.

I did like some of the characters, especially a feisty zombie named Chas. Other than her, I didn't really get very attached to any of the characters. This could in part be because of how many different narratives were going on. I'd have preferred her to just switch between Bram (Nora's zombie love interest) and Nora. Since this is a first in series, she could have then written from other characters' points of view in subsequent novels like in Alyxandra Harvey's YA vampire series.

At 470 pages, I felt that "Dearly Departed" was far longer than it needed to be, the action/fighting scenes were dull, and that Habel is not a very descriptive writer. I could never fully imagine her world while I read, and so this was overall a very difficult book for me to make it through. This book was a disappointment for me, so I will not be reading any further into this series.
5 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A genre-bending adventure that delights and amazes 10 octobre 2011
Par titania86 - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
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. The Punks are an opposing faction that abhors New Victoria and things they are making the same mistakes that led to the original destruction of society: a hierarchical model and a reliance on technology. The Punks promote basic technology that man is in control of: nothing digital and nothing that creates a false reality. I really like that the main society does have a backlash movement against it, but these two deign to cooperate when their very lives are at stake.

In accordance with the New Victorian society, women are oppressed and can only succeed in limited fields if they navigate through the shark-infested waters of society by upholding ridiculous social constructs and customs. The two main female characters, Nora and Pamela, both have interests and attitudes outside of the realm of what is acceptable for their gender. I enjoyed seeing them just as frustrated as me when they were shunned or disapproved of for frivolous reasons and I relished with them when they overthrew the niceties of society when the situation became so dire that what people would think was the last thing on their minds.

The zombies are a little different than the zombies you may be used to seeing, but no less awesome. A prion is the culprit and it's transmitted through bodily fluids, which of course includes biting. There are two types of zombies that result from infection: the mindless, ravenous zombies and coherent, sentient zombies. The sentient ones are just regular people who have the minor misfortune of being dead and the inconvenience of decomposing. The zombie soldiers are easily patched up when injured and take injections to further preserve them, but they will all eventually succumb to being a ravenous zombie when the prion destroys their brains. I like the new mode of infection and the logical reasons for two types of zombies.

Dearly, Departed is a wonderful read that would appeal to a wide variety of readers. It has romance, adventure, zombies, action, science, and war. The only thing I didn't like about the novel was that the world building took a while and a lot was told to us rather than shown. Since the world has already been established, I predict that the second book will be even better as I eagerly await it.
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