Monday, August 13, 2012

Dearly, Beloved (Gone With the Respiration #2) by Lia Habel: review

Goodreads rating: 4.04
e-ARC496 pages
Expected publication: September 25th 2012 by Del Rey

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 love this dystopian steampunk zombie world that Lia Habel has created, and it gets even darker in this thrilling sequel. I only had a couple problems. One: There were too many characters to keep up with. If you're going to read this book, I would suggest at least skimming the first book for characters so that you don't feel lost. Two: It was LONG. And I think there were parts that weren't necessary or could have been shortened. I felt myself getting bored. And third: not enough romance. I really do love the story, and the author must map out her stories in detail for all this to weave together like it did and to start up so many new things that people must now overcome. But sometimes the political stuff and technical terms got in the way of the main story, and that made me want to put the book down. But at the same time, there was a lot of action and intrigue and figuring out who is fighting for who and where loyalties truly lied. I was honestly shocked at some of the things that happened in this book, especially when some of the minor characters had their back stories revealed. 

The romance... well, there really wasn't one this time around. Nora and Bram are always trying to find time to be alone while fighting the zombie haters, a band of undead that want revenge on the living, AND a group of rich living that want to take out the zombies and the living people that love them. Yes, it IS complicated. And all the while, Nora's father is MIA in her life, and Bram can't always be there, so Nora tries to take things into her own hands. But Michael (I think that's his name, the other guy that liked Nora in the first book) has other plans. He wants to persuade Nora to love him and kill Bram at the same time. Needless to say, the boy is mental. But he joins the group of the rich masked living people who prey on zombies and the people that care about them in order to get to Nora. So, I guess there was some sort of twisted love triangle. And he eventually shows he has some decency and morality when it comes to protecting Nora and doing what's right for her. But by the end of the book, it's amazingly obvious who she's chosen, in a move I did not see coming as there was very little kissing in the book. I get that there are Victorian-age rules or whatever, but I would have liked to see a little more between Bram and Nora. But they were separated enough. I just hope that now we'll get to see more of them in the next book.

I did enjoy this story, but I felt it getting too complicated. But I have to say the most surprising character of the whole book was Vespertine. I won't explain more than that. I wanted to love this book as much as the first, and maybe this entire book was just a setup for the third one, but I just wish there weren't so many characters, and some with names that are extremely close to each other. Thankfully, I wasn't as freaked out by the zombies, and more worried about the living and the "zombies" that still have functioning brains. Oh, there was one zombie that worried me though, the one with the new virus strain. And he holds the key to everything. I can't wait to see what happens in the next book. Lia Habel is truly an amazing storyteller.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds to me like whether you liked this book or not you want to read the next in the series. That speak volumes to me. :-)


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