Author: Lia Habel
Series: Gone With the Respiration #2
Published by: Del Rey
Publication Date: September 25, 2012
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.
I’m going to start by saying that I loved the first book in this series, Dearly, Departed, and was extremely excited to read Dearly, Beloved. I was looking forward to this book since the second I finished Dearly, Departed. To be honest, I didn’t even read the blurb for what this one was about, I just knew that I needed to get back into that world and with those characters as soon as possible. So, do I think Dearly, Beloved delivered? No, not really.
This time around we get first person point of views from Nora, Bram, Pam, Michael, Vespertine, and Laura. I had a problem with all the different first person point of views in the first book, but it was easier to adjust to the format in Dearly, Beloved because I was expecting it. I’m still not crazy about it though.
I was happy to see that Nora was still feisty as ever, if not more so. She really is a strong female character, who stands up for not only for herself, but for those around her. However, I found myself getting annoyed several times over the stupid things so did. To be fair, it wasn’t only her making dumb decisions. Bram, my beautiful dead man, he was sweet and protective as ever. But … some of the things he did made me groan out of frustration. It felt like there was a lot of unnecessary drama because of them that made the book drag. They were super cute together though, especially at the end.
In addition to Nora and Bram, a lot of the old gang was back, including my favorite zombie girl, Chas. She’s still my favorite character. It’s funny how a character that only has small parts can make the biggest impression. There’s also a new zombie girl named Laura. She kind of grossed me out though. Why? Because she grew plants and flowers in her body! I wanted to puke when it described her planting seeds in her shoulder.
There was a lot going on in this book, and I think this is a big part of what disappointed me about it, because it was another thing that made it feel like it was dragging. There were numerous times I wanted the story to just get on with it already. I understand that all of the different things going on are connected, but it all seemed so loosely done. I really didn’t care for the whole plot. For me, it was my love of the characters and the setting that saved this book.
Overall, I’m glad I read it, and I will read the next book in the series. However, I truly hope that the next one is much better than this one. If you haven’t started this series, you still should, because the first book, Dearly, Departed, is such a good book that shouldn’t be missed.
“Nora, you’re the only person I’ll ever bite. And you know it.” A smile ghosted across his lips. “You think I’d cheat on you with common criminals?”
“How messed up is it that I find that really romantic?”