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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

133) Dearly, Beloved by Lia Habel

The Blurb :

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.

My Thoughts :

I was extremely excited about this sequel to Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel and was lucky to once again get an early copy to read. However it seems that the first book made me set my expectations way too high because Dearly, Beloved didn't do anything for me.

Things start off good but once I got reacquainted with the steampunk zombie world the author created in the debut I noticed there just wasn't any wow factor left. Everything felt normal and 'been there done that'. The excitement and surprise the first book hooked me with was gone. I knew how things worked and despite the plot offering some twists and turns I found them boring and dull compared to the fantastic new energy I felt in Dearly, Departed .

That is not to say it is all bad. I still think the concept is well thought out and unique. The author did go to a lot of trouble coming up with some new and unusual but maybe Dearly, Departed should have been a one off with no sequel? After all this time around the plot didn't seem well thought out but more like an idea that just kept evolving as chapters kept coming.

The story felt slightly dragged out and maybe this was due to the change of character perspective with each chapter. While sometimes it was nice to see what everyone was up to it did feel like a waste of time on occasions. Also as I was reading the chapters I found myself forgetting which character was holding the reins. Confusing.

All in all I wish I had not read this book. Dearly, Beloved has now cast a bit of a dark shadow on the brilliant debut, Dearly, Departed . Despite to say I won't be following this series any more even though the zombie steampunk elements really are cool.

*** Dearly, Beloved releases today ***

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