Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Book Review for Dearly, Beloved by Lia Habel

Dearly Beloved by Lia Habel
Published: September 25, 2012
Publisher: Del Rey
Age Demographic: YA Dystopia
Pages: 496

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.

Can the living coexist with the living dead?

Lia Habel wows reader's once again with her "beloved" sequel to, Dearly, Departed. The words spellbinding and suspenseful, is the best way that I know to describe this amazing book. To say that I was completely blown away by it, would be an understatement. Dearly Beloved was absolutely un-put-downable! From the moment that it started, it just did not stop and the story that Habel has spun into existence with such originality and edge, wonderfully developed character's, and intriguing mystery is enough to keep any fan of the horror and zombie genre glued to their seats and flipping the pages.

I was utterly transfixed by the pages of this book and I didn't want to put it down, not for a second. This is a novel that definitely kept me up to all hours of the night. The history is so well fleshed out and blended into the horror shambles of the zombies, and the dearly beloved are incredibly captivating. The Victorian backdrop that the story is set against, is full of wonderous splendor and beauty. Habel's attention to details and world building, is absolutely flawless and enticing. Dearly Beloved is truly a fantastic thriller set in futuristic time, full of horror, undead zombie mayhem, and highly imaginative drama.

A look inside this awesome novel full of so much wow, gives insight into a world divided by the mysterious plague known as, "The Laz". The streets of New London are plagued with the walking dead corpses who have turned into mindless ravenous monsters who are hungry for human flesh they can rip apart, while other's can still function as they once did as humans in society. They still possess the ability to reason, speak, think, and more importantly: control their ravenous appetite's for destruction of anything human that moves. The streets are tension filled and the factions are extreme from one side to the other, with anti and pro-zombie sentiments. It becomes extremely apparently nearly early on in the book, that the battle lines have been drawn.

The Changed and the Murder are complete oppossite's of one another. While The Changed are a radical group of zombies fighting for their survival among the living, The Murder is a masked group of individuals who are dead set on destroying any of the living dead, whether they're peaceful and in control of theirselves or whether their the rabid kind who dine on human flesh. Lia Habel does a spectacular job of distinguishing the two factions from one another and introducing them each, with their background information and opposing stance so effortlessly blending it in with the rest of the story. It pique's interesting and gives the book so much more depth and layers. The twist that she introduces is, the fact that the zombie's aren't the only one's who are in trouble. Their living allies are also being targeted closely by, The Murder. And, it seems that Nora Dearly, who has been caught up in their crosshairs, has secured herself a spot at the top of their list.

Bram is swoon-worthy gorgeous and incredibly brave. Ever the hero, he never ceases to amazing me. His best attribute is the fact that he isn't scared to stand up for himself and that he will stop at nothing to protect those he cares about. It's endearing to witness the relationship between him and Nora unfold, in such a sweet and charming way, given the conditions they find themselves living and fight for survival in. In a way, I would venture to say that he's written as one of the most interesting perfectly flawed character's that I've really felt like investing my time in. This is where Lia Habel also out does herself, with her ability to make her character's shine on the pages, in such a way that they're as realistic and relatable (even if some of them are undead zombies) that reader's can enjoy them and find ways to connect with them.

Nora, as sweet as she may seem, isn't as innocent as she comes across on the pages. This is another instance, where I praise Habel for her wonderfully developed character growth and attention to detail. She's brave and rash in a lot of ways, but it always comes back to the fact that she's protecting her friends, which makes it alright in the end. She's not foolish in the least little bit and definitely easy to connect with. It's incredible to see how strong she is, in such a terrifying world where she could have every possible reason to lose herself, but she doesn't. It's a definitely a quality of hers to be admired. Her optimism at hope for a better future instead of staying mired down in the past that's behind her, is also another admirable quality.

Dearly Beloved is a virtual rollercoaster ride of awesome! This is truly a book that fans of Lia Habel's previous novel, will definitely not want to miss out. Filled with so much intrigue, mystery, secrets, and terrifying danger and given a beautiful Victorian backdrop and subtle yet sweet and charming romance, this book is sure to wow anyone who enjoys paranormal zombies with a historican spin. I would definitely suggest picking up this book and giving it a try. Fans of This Is Not A Test and Die For Me will definitely find themselves attracted to this brilliantly intense and incredibly suspenseful novel.

To Purchase Lia Habel's Books Visit Amazon.Com


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Lia Habel an author, and consequently spends the majority of her days locked up in her own head. When she's actually actively participating in the groundbreaking experiment in groupthink known as "reality," you'll find her designing and sewing costumes, trying to teach herself to play roller derby (she does not tackle pedestrians, contrary to popular belief), planning trips, and watching zombie movies.

Well, what are you waiting for?! Check out this super awesome phenomenal dystopia series NOW!!!

{ This ARC was provided by ATW ARC Tours, in exchange for an honest review which I have provided. No money exchanged hands, I review books for fun because I love to read. I am not interested in monetary gain. Any piece of this ARC that was or wasn't quoted, is not part of the finished product and should not be perceived as such. Instead, you should compare and check it against a finished copy once it is released.}


  1. Nice to read such a positive review! I enjoyed the first book, but I did find everything going on in New Victoria to be overwhelming - zombies, steampunk and post-apocalypse. I will keep it in mind when I want a thrill ride, though!

  2. Yeah, there was a lot going on in New Victoria, but I found that's what made it that much more exciting for me. It kind of made it the thrill ride that it was. *g*

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, though. And for visiting the blog. :)

  3. Whoa, this reminded me that there should be a 3rd book coming up. Seems like it has been quite awhile already. Glad you enjoyed the 2nd book so much.


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