Friday, February 1, 2013

Dearly, Beloved by Lia Habel

Dearly, Beloved by Lia Habel
2012, Del Rey
Series: Book 2 of Gone with the Respiration

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.

Why read: Requested from Amazon Vine

What impressed me: Lia Habel continued to show readers her uncanny ability to mash genres in a workable fashion with Dearly, Beloved. Horror, mystery, steampunk, romance and more come together seamlessly, just as they did in Dearly, Departed. And, as it was in the first book, New Victorian society is extremely interesting - even if it wasn't delved into as deeply as I would have liked.

What disappointed me: Totally a case of middle of a trilogy blah right here. Beloved just can't live up to Departed. With the relationship established between Nora and Bram, the romance is mostly nonexistent. The action was dull and never reaching the high stakes of the previous book. And a lot of the characters have little to no real role in the book, other than, from what I can tell, to carry them through to the final book.

Recommended: Yes, but only to get you from the first book to the last.

Continue series: Yes. his is all building up to something great. I can feel it.

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