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

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