Monday, September 17, 2012

Review: Dearly, Beloved by Lia Habel

Dearly, Beloved
(Gone With the Respiration # 2)
By: Lia Habel
Pub. Date: September 25, 2012
Publisher: Del Rey
Pages: 496
Source: Netgalley

Can the living coexist with the living dead?

That’s the question that has New Victorian society fiercely divided ever since the mysterious plague known as “The Laz” hit the city of New London and turned thousands into walking corpses. But while some of these zombies are mindless monsters, hungry for human flesh, others can still think, speak, reason, and control their ravenous new appetites.

Just ask Nora Dearly, the young lady of means who was nearly kidnapped by a band of sinister zombies but valiantly rescued by a dashing young man . . . of the dead variety.

Nora and her savior, the young zombie soldier Bram Griswold, fell hopelessly in love. But others feel only fear and loathing for the reanimated dead. Now, as tensions grow between pro- and anti-zombie factions, battle lines are being drawn in the streets. And though Bram is no longer in the New Victorian army, he and his ex-commando zombie comrades are determined to help keep the peace. That means taking a dangerous stand between The Changed, a radical group of sentient zombies fighting for survival, and The Murder, a masked squad of urban guerrillas hellbent on destroying the living dead. But zombies aren’t the only ones in danger: Their living allies are also in The Murder’s crosshairs, and for one vengeful zealot, Nora Dearly is the number one target.

As paranoia, prejudice, and terrorist attacks threaten to plunge the city into full-scale war, Nora’s scientist father and his team continue their desperate race to unlock the secrets of “The Laz” and find a cure. But their efforts may be doomed when a mysterious zombie appears bearing an entirely new strain of the virus—and the nation of New Victoria braces for a new wave of the apocalypse.

Lia Habel’s spellbinding, suspenseful sequel to Dearly, Departed takes her imaginative mash-up of period romance, futuristic thriller, and zombie drama to a whole new level of innovative and irresistible storytelling.
I was so excited when I received a copy of Dearly, Beloved to review. I loved everything about the first book, Dearly,Departed, and I could not wait to get back into this zombie infested, futuristic, Victorian world. Dearly, Beloved did not disappointed and I am so excited to see where Lia Habel takes us next!

Dearly, Beloved starts with a very sweet moment between Nora Dearly and her zombie boyfriend, Bram Griswold. The two of them are just trying to have as much of a normal relationship as possible before the virus takes Bram forever. I seriously love the two of them together. They have a wonderful connection. Separately, Nora and Bram are wonderful characters, but together, they are just so much more. I couldn't get enough of the two of them together!

Nora is one of my all time favorite heroines. The world she lives in expects her to be weak and timid. But Nora is nothing like that. She is loyal and fights for what she believes in. No matter how tough times get, she never, ever complains and I respect her for that. She is honest, and she loves with everything she has. Bram is one of my favorite YA guys out there. So who cares that he is technically dead? He's good-looking, brave, sweet and smart. Overall, he is just an awesome bad-ass character. He doesn't allow the zombie virus to control his life. He does what needs to be done, while protecting his loved ones and what he believes in.

The secondary characters were also well written. We get to see a lot more of Nora's best friend, Pamela. Her brother became a zombie and it's Pamela that is trying to hold her family together. She acts like everything is ok, but inside she is breaking. We also see more of Bram's friends, who I loved in the first book!

Dearly, Beloved is told in the POV of six different characters: Nora, Bram, Pamela, Michael, Vespertine, and newcomer, Laura. While all of these characters were definitely a lot to handle at first (I seriously just wanted more Bram to be honest!), eventually it got easier to keep up. When the book was over I could see Habel's reasoning for the multiple POV, and it definitely sets things up for the next book!

My favorite thing about Dearly, Beloved (besides Bram of course) is the setting. I absolutely loved that it's set in a futuristic Victorian type setting. Corsets, long dresses, top hats, cell phones and computers! I love the originality of all of it!

There is a lot going on in Dearly, Beloved. At first it was hard to understand everything, but I swear, it gets easier. Besides there being a new strand of the Laz with no known cure, there is also a secret society that attacks zombies and zombie supporters. Bram and his ex-army friends are trying to hold everything together and keep the peace, but it gets harder everyday. They definitely have their work cut out for them!

I am not a big zombie person, but I am in love with the Gone With the Respiration series and I am looking forward to the next book!

Other books in the series: 

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