Sep 17, 2012

ARC Review--Dearly, Beloved 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.

I received this ARC from the publishers via Netgalley for review

Once I finally got my hands on the ARC for Lia Habel's Dearly, Beloved I could not put it down! It took awhile for me to get back into the grove of things, but I caught up fairly quick and was once again thrust into this futuristic society that is just enthralling!

I love that it's set in the future, yet the characters live as if it was another time. Corsets, long dresses, glove--all the rage of Victorian society! But with new tech and of course zombies!!

The aftermath of Dearly, Departed has the characters all in a tiff. Things have settled down for a little bit, but they are picking back up. There's a group of masked men attacking innocent zombies, a fairly large group of zombies is building up their own attack on society and things are just chaotic! Plus there is the mysterious new zombie. Not much is really learned about him. At the end, we get to see more of who and what he might be, but there wasn't a lot of focus put on him this time around.

Told from many perspectives, we get to see everyone and see what their game plan is. Vespertine is still a character I cannot wrap my mind around! She and Nora have a feud going on, and yet she still does the most surprising things! So, like I said I cannot make heads or tails of this girl! Michael, oh I cannot stand him! And reading his chapters kind of infuriates me! Which really just proves how well Lia writes! To be able to loathe a character so much that you don't even want to be inside his dirty little head, that takes talent and Lia sure has it!

As always I enjoy being with Nora and Bram! I love how their relationship has grown. And I don't find myself at all weirded out by the two of them together! Zombie or not, Bram is just hot! 

So much seems to happen in the novel, it's hard for me to try to sum it up minus spoilers of course! Instead, I will just say that it was a very engaging plot! The storyline never had a dull moment! You go from character to character and the story gets moved forwarded as do many subplots! It can get a little mindboggling, but I persevered! Looking back, it is hard to say all what was going on, but when reading you just get sucked up into the story and you know what's happening. Even when we derail from one storyline to the other.

Dearly, Beloved was another beautifully written zombie novel! And that's a tough thing to say! Who'd thought zombies and beautiful would ever go together, but in this series, they do! Zombies here can be good if they choose to, yet they still have the knowledge that one day they will end up going ravenous or whatnot and have to be put down. Something Nora's father looks to correct, yet it is becoming a nearly impossible task with all the anti-zombie humans about!

The ending was rather nice! While there are several threads left hanging to be picked up in the next installment, it ended on a rather high note! I cannot wait to see where this series goes in the future!

Overall rating 4/5 stars

Dearly, Beloved releases September 25, 2012


  1. YAY! So glad you loved this one! The multiple POVs seems to drag for some and at times they did but I really enjoyed them! Bram and Nora of course are the best! I loved how sweet they were and that their relationship grew. So many books feel like the second one needs all kinds of drama and breaking up but I loved their growth and of course the ending!!!

  2. I really enjoyed the first one so I hope this one is good!


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