Monday, June 18, 2012

Dearly, Beloved by Lia Habel

All About It:
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.

What I Thought:
It is not very often that I can say a sophomore book is better than the first in a series, but often or not, I can say it now. Dearly, Beloved was in simple words…”Just…WOW!” I found the first in Ms. Lia Habel’s series, Dearly, Departed, a bit hard to get through. I just kept picking it up, reading a little, becoming bored and placing it back where I had gotten it from. This was not the case with Beloved. I could barely manage to put it down to shower, eat and sleep and DON’T even get me started on the work thing! I would often set aside something I was supposed to be doing to continue on with the story!

Like Departed, Dearly, Beloved was told in alternating viewpoint. All in all you hear from Nora, Bram, Pamela, Michael, Vespertine and a new comer, Laura. Each character gave their views and parts in the current apocalypse. I usually find alternating views hard to stomach and annoying. I like to hear from one person and one person only. But in Dearly, Beloved the alternations worked. Nora and Bram, while the main characters of the story, were interesting but by far not my favorite to partake in reading. Honestly, as horrible as it may sound once you read this marvelous book, my favorite was Michael! He was so dark, twisted, and sad that I found myself disliking him yes, but more so feeling utterly sorry for the poor lad and hoping something would come of his evilness. Pamela, Nora’s best friend was a tad on the annoying side to listen too. She complains and worries far too much. I did however find that as annoying as she was I connected with her the most. She was the most real to me. As for Vespertine I truly hated her in the first book but from her SMALL part in Beloved I see my hatred stance changing. I think I might actually be coming around to liking her! And finally, the new comer, Laura, she is a member of a new zombie gang called “The Changed.” All in this group are zombies but while at first on the side of peaceful coexistence with the living the group slowly comes undone and things fall apart, leaving a nasty side effect for the rest of the world. Laura was likable but a bit infuriating at the same time. She sits around and doesn’t take charge, leaves the horrors to continue around her and keep her mouth shut. I cannot wait to see what becomes of her in the next installment.

Dearly, Beloved was fantastic. While I DO believe mindless, crazy, and flesh hungry are all zombies should be, I am coming around to the whole good zombie thing! I am actually falling for Bram (just as Nora!) The ending of this sophomore novel was tear jerking and beautiful. I find myself anxiously awaiting the next by Ms. Lia Habel!

4 and 1/2 faires out of Five

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wither and Fever:The Chemical Garden Triliogy by Lauren DeStefano

All About It:

At age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years to live. Thanks to a botched effort to create a perfect race, all females live to be twenty, and males live to age twenty-five. While geneticists seek a miracle antidote, orphans roam the streets and polygamy abounds. After Rhine is kidnapped and sold as a bride, she is desperate to escape from her husband’s strange world, which includes a sinister father-in-law in search of the antidote and a slew of sister wives who are not to be trusted. On the cusp of her seventeenth birthday, Rhine attempts to flee—but what she finds is a society spiraling into anarchy.
Rhine and Gabriel may have escaped the beautiful prison of Wither’s mansion, but they are far from escaping danger. First they’re chased for stealing a getaway boat, and then the fleeing pair ends up in the eerie den of Madame, an old woman who collects girls and sells them to the highest bidders. Worst of all, Vaughn, Rhine’s sinister father-in-law, seems to be on her trail every step of the way. Rhine remains determined to get to her brother in Manhattan—but the road they are on is long and perilous.

Now that Rhine has finally regained her freedom, what lengths will she need to go to in order to keep it?

What I Thought:
For just about a year, Wither sat on my bookshelf just waiting for its turn to be read. It took me a year to get to it, and GOODNESS I cannot believe I let that happen! I immediately fell in love with the main character Rhine. Ms. DeStefano blew me away and drew me in all at the same time. I couldn’t get past the world she created, past the dangers and fears that came with it. The short life of twenty years for girls and twenty-five for boys makes any person who reads it think long and hard about their life. Have they lived it well enough? I am twenty at this moment and cannot imagine being on the cusp of death. I am however getting away from the book review now aren’t I? Rhine was kidnapped, sold, wed, and kept prisoner all under the pretense of love and marriage. Linden was the man she was wed too, along with two other girls, creating a sister-wife living arrangement. I loved the characters of the sister-wives. Jenna and Cecily were great entertainment. The fact the tough subjects were not strayed away from makes this series even more enticing. There is sex, polygamy, teenage child birth (as no one lives much longer) and SO much tension and evil. This series has it all! I know much of what I am saying seems cryptic and meaningless but I cannot say much more without ruining not only Wither but the sequel Fever which was equally as fantastic and capturing. I can say one thing; don’t waste a year like me, READ Wither and Fever NOW! I promise they will be worth your time! The future world, the love, the lies, the deceit, the Gabriel…..What more can I say? Read now! The only regret you will have is that it will be another whole year before the explosive finale comes out! Word of warning though….the ending of Fever will leave a bad taste in your mouth and your heart skipping beats….it puts you on the edge of a cliff, hanging by the tips of your fingers, not falling over, not dying as you hit the ground….hanging…just hanging….closure is a thing unheard of in this sequels end. I make a plea though…Like I said before I am dead or dying in this future world! Can’t a dying girl get a conclusion! Show More

Five out of Five Faires!