Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Review: Dearly, Beloved by Lia Habel

Dearly, Beloved
(Gone With the Respiration #2)

Author: Lia Habel

Publication Date: September 25th, 2012

Publisher: Del Ray

Genre: Science Fiction / Steampunk / Zombies



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.

My Thoughts: I enjoyed Dearly, Beloved a bit more than Dearly, Departed. I will admit that I'm still grossed out by Nora and Bram's relationship. I can't get past the fact that he is slowly rotting. That being said, I do enjoy both of their characters. I am really enjoying Lia Habel's writing style, even though I know it's futuristic and Victorian at the same time, I can perfectly imagine the Victorian aspects of it, then someone will say something, like "trolling" and I'm confused, only to remember that this is the future. She does a great job creating the setting and characters. I will definitely be reading more by her.

Dearly, Beloved  begins about 4 months after the December events. Humans and Undead are attempting to coexist, for the most part it's going well, until there is a riot and a couple of people get bit and turn, even though they are vaccinated. There is a new strain of Laz. People start freaking out and zombies are disappearing, there are people who want them gone and will harm others to get to them. Of course it's up to Dr. Dearly to figure it out and while he's doing that, Bram and Nora are off doing what they do best, getting into trouble.

Once again there are a lot of different PoVs. Nora, Bram, Pamela, Michael, Vespertine and Laura. Laura being the only new character to the story, she's a zombie who plants flowers and other plants in herself. She's quite a peaceful character and more than once I found myself sympathizing with her. Pamela is just trying to hold herself together after the events of December, she pretty much has post-traumatic stress. Of course, being Pam, she puts everyone else first. Vespertine really steps up, it's hard to hate her as much as I did in the first book. Michael... he needs help. Nora makes me mad a few times when she doesn't believe that someone  who hates her would actually try to help her. Overall she is pretty awesome again though and her unladylike behaviours make me laugh. As for Bram, it might be weird, but I don't really connect with him at all as a character, everyone else I can understand why they make certain decisions, but not Bram. I mean he seems like a great guy and always tries to do the right thing, but I don't really know what it is.

So a lot of characters, but again, not at all confusing with them all. The plot was quite good, although some of the foreshadowing has made it a bit predictable. I've guess who is behind the Laz, even if it hasn't been confirmed. It totally makes sense though. I am looking forward to reading the next book because I must know what happens to certain characters. It's a very enjoyable read and a great step into the zombie genre for me. I might even brave looking into more zombie books. It's one that I will definitely be recommending!

A copy was provided by the publisher for review purposes*


  1. great review....oh i have the first book and the second on netgalley...can't wait to begin it.

    Le' Grande Codex

    1. They are really good! You should try to fit them in soon!

  2. Great review, Jenn! I read the first one in this series and was kind of on the fence. There are SO many characters! And I didn't really like all the different narratives. I might wait until my library has this one. I do really love the cover for this one -- it's gorgeous!

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. I like multiple PoV's, well at least in these books. I find they work really well. This one is a bit better than the first book, I found anyways. And yes, the cover is very pretty!

      Thanks for visiting!

  3. I love the Dearly series. And I had to laugh that you're grossed out about Bram. Well he IS a zombie so it is rather gross.

    1. Haha, well I am enjoying the series, it's just that one aspect of it that I dislike. Apparently I haven't read enough Zombie books :P


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