Dearly, Beloved by Lia Habel

Nora Dearly is currently trying to adjust to her once empty home becoming overrun with the undead. But in the nice cohabiting way, not running and screaming kind. With the Siege over and a vaccine found it seems there is finally hope for the living to move and rebuild alongside the dead. During a public execution however, a zombie becomes out of control and bites others. Some who have had the vaccine, but now are infected…

This is new strain of the Laz could ruin everything Nora’s father has worked for. It’s only the start as masked vigilantes start parading around town kidnapping zombies that never return. To continue a peaceful world Nora’s father is going to have to discover the root of this new infection and take down the zombie-harming group. As is those were the only problems. A gathering group of zombies called the ‘Changed’ continue to increase and they want the dangerous zombie that is somehow the beginning of answers to this undead puzzle.

My first reaction: Too long, just way too long for my taste. Perhaps it’s because I’m not huge fan of Steampunk, but I like my YA’s way under 500 pages. For those that do love zombies, romance and everything that is Steampunk, you’ll not be disappointed by Habel’s amazing continuation of her Gone With the Respiration series. What I did enjoy was the chance to see the world through previous antagonists’ Michael Allister and Vespertine Mink’s eyes. New character Laura is also gives a fresh perspective outside of the Z Corp world from the debut book and I praise Habel in her voicing talent.

Whereas the first book is about discovering and mystery, this second continuation focuses on politics. It wasn’t my cup of tea, but that’s not to say others won’t fall in love with the story further. Characters grow and relationships deepen. The cruelty of living and breathing humanity against those that are different is frighteningly current. Although set in the future, this is a modern piece of work underneath the fictional pretence. I did feel that this book left me wanting something different, but that’s me and others looking to venture back to New Victoria you will be welcomed back with open (and sometimes undead) arms.

Buy it now! (US only)

Many thanks to publisher Random House Publishing Group and author Lia Habel for providing this ARC!

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