For What It's Worth

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Review: Dearly, Beloved (Gone With the Respiration #2) by Lia Habel


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. ~ Goodreads

Review:
I really, really hoped (& wanted) to love this one but the pacing was so slow and I didn't feel any of the wonder that I felt with Dearly, Departed. The whimsical descriptions of New Victoria and discovery of the zombies was mostly absent this time around.

The multiple POV's are continued here and while I wasn't a huge fan of them in book #1, I felt that they at least overlapped and added to the overall story arc. In Dearly, Beloved the characters all have such similar voices that I had problems telling them apart. Also, instead of giving a different perspective to a scene, the pov’s kept whipping me away and throwing me in a new direction. That kept making me have to take time to adjust every time.

Despite dire consequences for New Victoria, because of the rising tensions with human – zombie relations, there was somehow a lack of drama throughout most of the book.

Dearly, Beloved focuses more on zombie rights and politics than action. While I love a good moral dilemma and debate I just couldn't drum up any excitement here. Even the relationship between Nora and Bram wasn’t enough to hold my interest even though I still like them both.

It seems that most other readers enjoyed Dearly, Beloved it so definitely give it a try. The writing was top notch but it just wasn't as compelling as Dearly, Departed for me.

Rating: 2 out of 4 This sequel just didn’t work for me between the multiple POV’s and lack of the whimsy and drama that I found so captivating in the first book.

Author: website | twitter
Source: ARC provided for review by Authors After Dark
Buy the book! Dearly, Beloved: A Zombie Novel (book #2) | Dearly, Departed: A Zombie Novel (book #1)

16 comments:

  1. I had a problem with the POVS in the first book...among other things. So this would not work for me either

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    1. If you had those problems with book 1, then this probably isn't going to work for you. I'm giving up and ending with this one.

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  2. Sounds like this should have been a stand alone rather than a series. So glad I am not invested...haven't picked up Dearly Departed yet...

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    1. Personally I think it could have been either a stand alone or two books at the most.

      The first book, despite it's flaws, had a magical quality to it but this one seems to be missing it IMO

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  3. Seems liked DB is suffering from middle book syndrome. I hate when the plot fails to move forward. I'll admit, I mainly loved DD for Bram. I'm sure I'll still read it at some point, but I'm in no rush. Thanks for a great review!

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    1. It does move forward and sets up book three but it felt more like meandering through everyone's POV rather than a seamless story if that makes sense.

      I barely made it though to be honest. I was bored. I'm in it for Bram too :-)

      A lot of people loved it though so that's just my take on it.

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  4. I still haven't read Dearly Departed (zombie-phobe) but I'm trying to work up the courage to try it!

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    1. You can totally read this series!! This isn't gory - this is more about zombie rights and integration. It's the humans you have to worry about.

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  5. Ah, sad to see it losing momentum. I know what you mean about liking the whimsy--to me, that's part of the appeal of anything steampunk or gaslight fantasy or Victorian, that idea that everything is just slightly quirky and charming. :-)

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    1. It felt more plodding that charming. Combine that with up to 6 POV and I'm done.

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  6. Yea, the POVs were just too much. It kept my interest enough to try to find out what was going on, but wasn't my fave. I'm still shocked that she was able to get a zombie I can see as boyfriend material for our heroine. LOL

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    1. I don't know why but I totally buy into the zombie/human romance. That's not even a problem for me. It's all the other things going on around them that takes away from the romance for me.

      You would think the zombie boyfriend would be my issue but no lol

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  7. Agreed, agreed, agreed. I was so devastated that I didn't like this book. The first was one (if not the) of my favorite books from the year. I'm getting sad all over again just thinking about it.

    - Jessica @ Book Sake

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  8. Terrific and articulate review. I didn't love the first one, so I am not sure I would have continued anyway. What intrigues me more is the authors views on "monsters."

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  9. Oh no! This is not what I want to hear! Dearly, Departed was probably my favorite read in 2011. Now I'm fearful book #2 won't live up to my expectations. Still, I'll snag myself a copy of Dearly, Beloved. Who knows...maybe I'll be one of the few who enjoyed it. I can only hope!

    - Jackie

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    1. You should read it anyway!! A lot of people loved it...you never know. It just didn't work for me.

      I hope you do enjoy it!!

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