Gone With Respiration #1
Published October 2011 by Del Rey
Narrated by Kim Mai + | Random House Audio
470 pages | 16:41:00 duration
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Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Series: 1. Dearly, Departed* 2. Dearly, Beloved (September 25, 2012)
Rating: Liked It
Love can never die.
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?
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.
But fate is just getting started with Nora. Catapulted from her world of drawing-room civility, she’s suddenly gunning down ravenous zombies alongside mysterious black-clad commandos and confronting “The Laz,” a fatal virus that raises the dead—and hell along with them. Hardly ideal circumstances. Then Nora meets Bram Griswold, a young soldier who is brave, handsome, noble . . . and dead. But as is the case with the rest of his special undead unit, luck and modern science have enabled Bram 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. (Source: Goodreads)
WOW! Lia has amazed me with her ability to meld together many sub-genres to create something unique. Post-apocalyptic. Steampunk. Victorian. Zombie.
Something horrible happened forcing those left down into Latin America. They decided to create a new society based on Victorian principles. It reminded them of a time of stability and order. But since it set in the future, they do have access to technology giving it a steampunk feel.
Nora is the perfect foil for the rigid expectations of women in New London. She is smart, loves military documentaries and chafes at shallow social world of getting a suitable marriage. Zombies attack! Nora is kidnapped by zombies. Nora is given refuge in Bram’s room. He is the zombie soldier that brought her to their post, to protect her. He gives up his room, because it can be locked. Here is where Nora will find out many truths. Bram on one side of the door and Nora on the other. One question at a time. If she trusts him, she’ll unlock one of the 10 locks. She shows her strength of character and reason. Bram reveals his tenderness and respect for her. I don’t think I’ve ever fell in love with a zombie before. Bram, you are one of a kind.
Together, they will face rebellious factions that threatened to endanger the people they love and civilization as they know it.
This audiobook is a major production. I believe there are at least 4 narrators. I couldn’t find the other’s names. I think the multiple narrators helped keep up with the POV shifts that some other reader’s had problems following in the book. But I think the voice of Pam, Nora’s best friend, kind of tainted my love for the book. It was very nasally and whiny. I caught myself wishing her to quit talking. Nora’s voice suited her sweetness. Bram’s voice made me want to look longingly into his eyes despite his Laz infection.
Lia breathes some fresh air into the post-apocalyptic genre.