Dearly, Beloved by Lia Habel

September 23rd, 2012 Kimberly Review 26 Comments

23rd Sep
Dearly, Beloved by Lia Habel
Dearly, Beloved
by Lia Habel
Series: Gone With the Respiration #2
Genres: Paranormal
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarHalf a Star

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 illness—and the nation of New Victoria braces for a new wave of the apocalypse.

I loved the world building and secondary characters in Dearly, Departed and despite some issues I was looking forward to book two. I hoped Dearly, Beloved would deliver and instead it left me with mixed feelings. I truly struggled with this book and its six points of view. I read this over the course of three days and often felt disconnected. There were aspects I loved, and others that had me frustrated.

The tale picks up a shortly after Dearly, Departed ends. Bram and Nora are still very much in love and trying to make the best of their limited time together. The young couple, along with some of company Z have taken up residence in the Dearly home. The underground city is practically abandoned, and the artificial sky is dimmed. A new strain of the Lazarus virus has erupted. This has caused tension between humans and zombies. The city is in chaos. A band of masked young people are kidnapping zombies and they are never seen or heard from again. A group of zombies has banded together outside the city limits and Bram fears they are up to no good. It is dangerous to be a zombie supporter at the moment. Nora is trying to take care of everyone she loves. She also wants to be useful and refuses to leave the city. The tale has many different storylines, and I found parts of it fascinating.

The tale is told from six points of view. This was an issue I had with Dearly Departed with its five points of view. Once again I felt that too many perspectives clogged the tale. Characters that I adored in book one, fell apart in book two. I loved Pam and thought she was kick-ass and stole the show in Dearly, Departed. In this novel, she is paranoid, dramatic, scared and although she has amazing moments, she lost her mojo. Coalhouse a member of company Z who was witty and awesome has a meltdown in this novel. Nora is still head strong, fierce and protective of those she cares about. Bram was focused on his company and keeping humans and zombies safe. The romance was sweet and the two enjoyed a few stolen moments. I did like the development in their relationship. Ren, Chas, Tom and others were present. We did learn more about Dr. Chase and Samid’s background. Patient Zero was interesting and I admit to being curious about him and Michael’s father. Michael had his own point of view, and it was perhaps the most interesting. Lauren, a hippie zombie has her own voice making her the new POV.

There is a lot going on in this novel, many different story threads are weaved together. Sadly, the pace of the first three-fourths of this book was horrible. In book one I loved the attention to detail and world-building, this novel lacked those details. Habel’s writing style is lovely and some of the action scenes, and storylines had me completely enthralled. Overall though, the tale didn’t give me the rush I got from book one. I felt like I was at an amusement park, and spent most of my time waiting in line. I will say that when I did get on the ride, it was exhilarating. The ending wrapped up nicely, but there are still many unanswered questions. This novel is going to be hit or miss with fans. Despite, my feelings I would pick up a third book, but the anticipation I felt after book one is gone.

I had a love hate relationship with Dearly, Beloved. I still recommend this to fans of Dearly, Departed. Some of the stories lines were fascinating, and despite issues, I enjoyed aspects of this and adore Nora and Bram.

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw and Howler. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Find @kimbacaffeinate on Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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26 Responses to “Dearly, Beloved by Lia Habel”

  1. Christy (Love of Books)

    “I felt
    like I was at an amusement park, and spent most of my time waiting in line” Yes! Exactly!

    It’s weird, because I love different POVs.. Actually, I prefer them. BUT, the way Habel does it feels so off. Like if you read Jeyn Roberts, who writes from 5 POVs, shortly after reading this book, it’s such a huge difference.

  2. kimbacaffeinate

    So true Christy when it works it is beautiful and I have no problem and in fact love multiple pov’s, here it failed for me.

  3. Jennifer Bielman

    So many people suggested this zombie series to me but it’s not sounding so good now. Six points of view? That’s waaaay too much.

  4. kimbacaffeinate

    🙁 While I had issues with both books, I did love Nora and Bram, it just makes me sad, because I think she is a good writer, it just didn’t work for me.

  5. Midnyte Reader

    I totally understand where you’re coming from. I think the story could have been stronger with less points of view in the first one. And yeah, that makes me sad that Pam does a 180. She had some real promise. However hearing Lia Habel speak about her book and characters is very fascinating.

  6. kimbacaffeinate

    I haven’t had the chance to hear her speak, and I adore her characters and thinks she has a brilliant story to tell, I mean who would have ever thought someone could get us to think romantically about a Zombie?!? I just didn’t like the execution. That being said, I will read book three because I need to know how it ends..LOL

  7. GRgenius

    Ah yes…tis the season for zombie books. ^_^ Have had a love/hate relationship with them as a whole myself …too much “must eat brains” without enough story sometimes. Too bad this wasn’t your cup of tea…I mean coffee, but thanks for the honest share!

  8. A Belle's Tales

    My first comment didn’t post. Grrrr.
    Thank you for a wonderful and honest review! I have the first book in the series, but I’m hesitant to start it. I love multiple POV’s when they are done right, but this one doesn’t sound like it was. While I’m afraid I’ll end up with a love/hate relationship also, I’ll still give this one a shot… eventually 😉

  9. kimbacaffeinate

    Thanks Christina, while I still love Nora and Bram this one just didn’t work for me, but I will carry on and read the finally book to see how it all ends.

  10. Heather

    I am so glad to read this review because like you I LOVED Dearly, Departed. Loved Bram and Nora and yes, loved Pam. When I was approved or an e-ARC of Dearly, Beloved I was beyond thrilled. But when I started it I absolutely could not get into it at all. So I put it down to try again. I picked it up again a few weeks later and still NOTHING. So I’m going to try again and hope the third time’s a charm:/ I’m disappointed but glad to hear I’m not the only one.

  11. Kimberly

    Great review Kimberly, I’m starting Dearly Departed this weekend so I’ll be set to read this one when I borrow it from the library. To bad you didn’t like it very much though.

  12. kimbacaffeinate

    Despite problems I adored Dearly, Departed and the world the author created. This one not so much, but I liked it enough and am invested enough that I will read the final book. Hope you love it!

  13. kimbacaffeinate

    You are welcome, I loved the world-building in book one and adore Nora and Bram….but if I hadn’t started them..well that might have been OK too.

  14. Pabkins

    It was a sad sad sequel – though i did like that Laura had plants growing out of her lol.

  15. Kristilyn Robertson

    Great, honest review. I’m on the fence about reading this — the numerous POVs in the first book threw me off and I hated the lack of “real” zombies. I might still wait before reading this one. Thanks for sharing!

  16. Michelle

    That’s too bad that you didn’t enjoy this one too much, but I totally know what you mean. Too many POVs is a big detractor for me. It breaks the flow of the story up too much and often leads me to be confused or feel like I’m getting jerked around.

    Thanks for your honest thoughts Kimba. 🙂

  17. Michelle

    I’m sorry it didn’t quite work for you 🙁 Oddly enough I didn’t have a problem with the POVs all that much, which is rare because I kind of hate having more than one to be honest…so six is way over the line. My rating on the blog is 4, but in reality is a 3.5…I just don’t do halves on my rating scale, lol. I’m hoping the next one will be better.