Thursday, September 27, 2012

Dearly, Beloved by Lia Habel

Published: September 2012
Publisher: Del Ray
Pages: 495
Copy Provided by: NetGalley
Summary: Goodreads

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.

I was thrilled to see Lia Habel's Dearly, Beloved offered up on NetGalley and proceeded to read it directly after reading Dearly, Departed.  I often think about how difficult it must be for an author to continue the second book in a series.  If your first book is such a hit with the readers, how do you keep their interest piqued?  Miss Habel took her idea of a zombie apocalypse and expanded it to include all of the difficulties a dystopian universe would encounter when integrating a new species/culture.  She introduced themes of prejudice, insecurity and a lack of central government and law.  How can the living and the non-living coincide without trust?  If you really wanted to dissect this idea, you could certainly turn Dearly, Beloved into an interesting ISU paper.  I however, was reading it purely for entertainment, hoping it would be as witty and consuming as Book 1.  

So the real question is, did Lia succeed in achieving a second book as enjoyable as the first?

Answer: YES!

Dearly, Beloved is such a fun read and reminds us all not to take ourselves too seriously.  The entire idea of this book was so unbelievable yet I found myself becoming engrossed in the characters.  Ms. Habel made her characters likeable and believable even though they were dead.  There was plenty of action and an interesting story line.  Like I mentioned before, tackling the Dearly series in an ISU novel study might be a stretch for some but you could draw some great ideas from this novel.  Be prepared to be entertained with this one!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this great review! I've been seeing mixed reviews about dearly beloved. :)
    New follower! Hopping by for feature and follow.
    Bookworm Mia