Reading Level: Young Adult
Publication Date: September 2012
Publisher: Del Rey
Series: 2nd in the Zombie Novel series
Acquisition: I received a free e-galley for review from NetGalley
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. (from Goodreads)
I very much enjoyed Dearly, Departed so I had high hopes for this one. I'm very sorry to say that I was a little disappointed. I think the novelty of the world has worn out a little.
Book 1 was a dystopian, steampunk, zombie filled adventure and I loved how all these elements combined. Book 2 was still all these things but it felt much heavier. A lot more politics are involved that seemed to bog down the story.
Also, like book 1, each chapter is from a different characters point of view. I could be mistaken but in book 1 I thought we only had Bram and Nora. In Dearly, Beloved there are at least 6 different POVs - and those are only the ones I could remember. The story jumped around a lot and I very much would have preferred a standard 3rd person narrative.
And then there is the romance. What I found endearing in book 1, became somewhat gross as it was really hard not to focus on the fact that Bram is a a rotting corpse. Of course Nora could love him, as he is very lovable, but their physical interactions? Not very romantic for me, I mean, he's ROTTING.
The state of the zombie's decomposing bodies are told in graphic details. There is even one very quick scene in which Nora laments that it's ok for her and Bram to be alone in her bedroom because of course there wasn't any chance of anything sexual happening between them. I really started to think what she meant - the details of it -and it was disgusting and I couldn't look at Bram the same way again.
Overall? Disappointing is the word I would have to use to describe my feelings for Dearly, Beloved. Habel has been vocal on her thoughts on the series as a whole (she would love it to be 5 or 6 books long) and knowing how she would like things to end for Nora and Bram? I'm not sure it's a story I want to continue reading.
If you enjoyed Dearly, Departed I would say to give this one a go. While I felt bogged down by the storyline, those are only my feelings. The gross factor really kicked into high gear but again, that might only be me.
3 / 5 Stars
#1 Dearly, Departed
#2 Dearly, Beloved