Thursday, October 4, 2012

Dearly, Beloved by Lia Habel

Dearly Beloved by Lia Habel
Release Date – September 25, 2012
Publisher Website – Del Rey/Random House
Publisher Social Media -Twitter
Pages -  496 pages
My Rating- 3.5/5
**obtained from publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis

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.
Romance and zombies. If you read Dearly, Departed you will know why those two words should be put together. Lia Habel has manged to not only make zombies romantic, but desirable as well. Dearly, Beloved not only reminds us of this, but deepens the world of the characters at the same time.

This is a story about living. It's also a story about intolerance and doing something to stand up for what you believe in. Many of the zombies we met and cared about in Dearly, Departed are faced with the certainty of their not too distant deaths, and are having to consider what that might mean. Many of them want to do something worthwhile with the time they have left, not only for themselves, but for others infected with the Laz. It provides a moving, and gentle, reminder to make the moments count. 

Tension, fear, and anti-zombie attacks are rampant. This constant state of heightened alertness felt authentic and captivated me. I was lost in the story during these parts. Everyone had an agenda, everyone was invested in certain outcomes. The outrage I felt at the group known as The Murder is a testament to how well Lia wrote these parts of the story.

The romance in this series is much reserved, almost like courting. It was a breath of fresh air from the usual overtly sexy interaction found in most novels. Bram is an officer and a gentleman to his core, and Nora for all her denials, is a proper lady. Their romance is sweet, and blossoms naturally. They have their sexually charged moments, but even those are filled with tenderness.

The friendship between Nora and Pam was one of my favourite parts of Dearly, Departed. They are there for each other, and forgiveness comes easily to them.The impact of the events in book one has changed Pam greatly. She and Nora need each other's support more than ever, especially as sinister events begin to unfold. 

This novel has a lot of storylines going on all at once. It felt a little disjointed at first, but they do interconnect and flow together by the end. Each of these storylines serves the greater arc of the entire story. The amount of action does limit the character development, but what is there comes directly from the storyline.

A romantic, ultimately life affirming story about death and living each moment while you have it. This series has impressed me, however, I did find the first one a stronger read. If you loved Nora and Bram in the first installment they will certainly charm you again in this follow up.

1 comment:

  1. Awwwww!! I love how you describe their romance. I ADORED Bram and Nora in the first book and as much as I love me some sexy, it makes me even more excited that Lia has maintained that air of sweetness. Not something you'd commonly associate with a zombie ;)

    Very intrigued by this "The Murder" group you mention... especially given the outrage you felt toward them! While the first book was a stronger reader, I am so happy to hear you enjoyed this. I cannot wait to get my hands on it and see how the story continues. Amazing review!!


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