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Dearly, Beloved by Lia Habel

September 26, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

Dearly Beloved
by Lia Habel

Dearly, Beloved (Gone With the Respiration 2)

By: Lia Habel

Release Date: September 25, 2012

Rating: 2 stars

Summary: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.

 

Review: It took me almost three weeks, and I fell asleep every day (sometimes two or three times) that I attempted to read it, but I FINALLY finished it! It wasn’t that the book was boring because it definitely had potential and there was a lot going on. It just wasn’t compelling enough to keep my attention.

My biggest complaint with the first book was there were WAY too many points of view with five different narrators. With this book, try six. Yes, you read that right, SIX different points of view.

My second biggest complaint with the first book was it started out really slow, but it did pick up about halfway through for me to end up liking it. With this book, slow pacing was not a complaint at all – quite the opposite really. In fact, I felt that there was TOO MUCH going on. There were too many different parties involved that it was so chaotic. It wasn’t just the living vs. the zombies. It was Company Z, the living army, the Punks, the Change, the bird raiders (yes, I forgot the name), all the different gangs – ugh, my head is going to explode, and to be honest, I can’t even remember everything that happened.

But despite everything that was going on, somehow or another, I just couldn’t get into the book. I can’t really explain why other than I just couldn’t keep my focus. Now whether the scenes were just not interesting enough or there was so much going on that Habel didn’t do justice to each part or that snippets here and there was just disruptive and disorienting – I don’t know. All I know is I couldn’t get into it.

And a good deal of what made the first book decent was the romance. With the exception of two passionate scene, I didn’t feel the attraction between Bram and Nora. Their relationship was just flat, and even though I know it’s because they’re in the middle of wartime, the chemistry just wasn’t there as Rhett and Scarlett in Gone with the Wind (yes, I did notice that Habel renamed the series, which I got a good kick out of).

Pamela was just a foolish character. Vesperatine, despite her intelligence, was almost as foolish. And Laura wasn’t intriguing enough. I could have done without all of their points of view – perhaps even traded Laura’s POV for Coalhouse. And for someone who was so badass in Book 1, Coalhouse’s pathetic attitude was really grating on my nerves. I didn’t really care for Allister’s POV either, but I guess you have to have the villan in there somewhere.

Overall, it wasn’t a bad book. Like at all. But I just had so many problems with it that it really ruined the reading experience for me. I really hope that Habel considers some of the complaints from critics (especially the abundance of POVs) in future books.

Go to Katy’s review on Goodreads.

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