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Thursday, August 2, 2012
Dearly, Beloved (Gone With the Respiration, #2)
Lia Habel
Publisher: Del Rey
Release Date: September 25, 2012
Source: Publisher
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.
If I loved Dearly, Departed, Dearly, Beloved was really something else. It was completely unlike anything I've ever read and completely perfect. I fell in love with it from page one and never stopped. It's easily one of the most amazing books that I have ever read and one of my favorites of 2012 for sure. I almost couldn't believe how awesome it was. It literally and completely blew me away—I mean, it was honestly that amazing. It was totally a different story than the one told in the first book, and yet I loved it every bit as much.

I adore Bram just as much as I did in the first book. He's gorgeous, and brave. I'm sounding like a total fangirl, and to be honest, I probably am. I just love him. He's isn't afraid to stand up for what's right, and he'll do anything to protect Nora and his friends. He usually can see what needs to be done and does it. However, he is not so perfect that it's ridiculous, and of course he makes mistakes that he has to work his way out of. And he never wastes time. He is truly an awesome hero.

Nora is so sweet, but she's also anything but innocent. She can do things that are brave but rash, and yet the reasons she has for taking such risks always leads back to protecting her friends. She isn't foolish at all. I adore Nora. She's an extremely relatable heroine. It's really easy for me to identify with her. She's every girl. Despite everything that she goes through, she stays strong and doesn't lose herself. Instead of dwelling on the past, she looks towards the future.

Pam bothered me at times, but for the most part I genuinely liked her. She's struggling to fit into this new world, and she's trying to in the only way she knows how. Honestly, it's actually pretty admirable. She's not afraid to get in the action and she's so loyal to Nora in the fiercest yet sweetest way.

Isambard wasn't in this book much, although I do like what we see of him. He's changed a lot, but then in some ways he also hasn't, and that's refreshing. I love the way he's used to represent, and what he's portrayed as.
Michael is a jerk, plain and simple, but he makes for a deliciously insane and corrupted villain. It was creepy and yet totally awesome to be inside his head. I seriously, seriously loved it. Watching his character and his anger unfold was remarkable. Also he is a total kleptomaniac, which is just weird, and obviously not right in the head.
Vespertine took me a while to figure out, but I actually ended up really admiring her. She goes through a lot but in the end she tries to do what she thinks is right, even putting herself in danger to do so, as long as she thinks it could help. It's hard not to admire that.

I still love Tom. He's such a fun character, but he can be serious when he needs to be. He goes through some difficult things in this book, and yet he tries not to let them bother him too much. He really presses through even when things are tough to help Bram.
Coalhouse was an incredibly dynamic character. He took the sidelines in Dearly, Departed, but in this book her really takes the stage. He wants to get attention for something, to finally do the right thing, and to get praise for it. Yet he's lost and doesn't really know how to go about it. Watching his struggle is heartbreaking, but ultimately gives us an awesome insight into his character.
I just love Ren, like so much. He's awesome and brilliant. He figures crazy and insane things out, and contributes some seriously valuable knowledge. He also just seems so amazing. He's another character who really grows in this novel, although honestly, they all do. But still.
I missed Chas in this book, because we didn't really see her as much as we did before. Still, she's just as awesome in this book as she was in the last. She still makes me smile, and se's still totally badass.
Laura is a new zombie who is introduced, who struggles with the new world that she's trying to fit into. Everything is thrown into chaos more than once for her, and yet she really manages to keep her head through it all. She's an essential and really awesome character who I without a doubt adored.

I admit that the plot was actually pretty slow-moving at first. It actually does take a while for it to get into the action. The first hundred pages or so do seem to move pretty slowly. However, I just couldn't bring myself to mind too much. I loved the was the development took its time. It made everything seem that much more genuine. No details were left unseen to. Everything fit into its proper place.

And once the action got started, it didn't stop. There was so much action that it was nearly impossible to believe so much action could be packed into so few pages. I literally couldn't put the book down. It was as if my life depended on knowing what happened next.

Really, I loved it. So much was happening, just like in the first book. And yet it was so different from the first book at the same time. The entire story it centered around was different. It was just as remarkably original as the first and so unique that it has its own claim to fame.

It had everything I look for in a novel. Romance. Action. Mystery. It's all set in an incredible dystopian world that I completely love. I know I keep saying this, but it's just so…awesomely unique, like I'll never get enough of it. I just love it. I love it so much.

So, to sum it all up? Plot=awesome. And that's really all there is to it.

The romance in this book absolutely thrilled me, too. It doesn't dominate the novel, and yet it's an important and central part of it all the same. Nora and Bram are perfect together, and yet they have their share of hardships to overcome, too. The romance is sweet, the type that you can't help but smile at. Sparks definitely go flying. I am totally and most definitely a fan of Nora and Bram's relationship! It really feels genuine and nothing like instalove.

Lia has gorgeous writing. I love the way she uses multiple POVs. In this book, we get Nora, Bram, Laura, Vespertine, and Michael. It's totally perfect. It's really great because we get to see into the heads of some many different people. Yet she never gives so much away that the fun and tension is taken away. Getting into everyone's head is incredible. Everything about the world-building is incredible and just continues to grow and grow. I love the dialogue, too—it just shimmers. The banter between certain characters is awesome, too.

The ending was just perfect and sweet and so, so lovely. There's hardly any cliffhanger at all, which of course I loved! There are hints that there might be another book, and I fervently hope there is. Yet this book left me so satisfied that I could be happy with this ending. It made me so ridiculously happy. It's certainly wonderful. The ending is spectacular! I'm really obsessing a lot over the ending, but seriously, it is that good.

Of course I'll be reading Lia's books in the future! With two awesome zombie novels out there, I do hope she writes more. However, I am confident that I'll enjoy whatever she writes in the future. I give a glowing recommendation to this series! The Gone With the Respiration books are honestly some of my favorite ever, and I'm absolutely thrilled for more!


 *****FINAL RATING: 4.85 RED ROSES*****


  1. This series sounds epic, thank you for such an informative review! Plus, love zombies and that cover is utterly beautiful ... *must have* :)

  2. I LOVED this one although it was a bit too many characters. Vespertine bored me but Michael was evil in a fun way. Being in his head was interesting. At times I felt kind of bad for him actually lol I always have a soft spot for the rejected guy. But of course Bram and Nora are perfect! I was soooooo happy with the ending! I'm glad for once a second book doesn't have to have some horrible romance disaster or end on a cliffhanger. I loved the development with the new strain of zombie.

  3. I was approved for this one on NG, and after reading your review, I know that I have to read it ASAP. I am so excited to read how everything unfolds. I am so happy that there is no cliffhanger. I always feel like cliffhangers are annoying and do nothing but frustrate the audience.

    Oh! Paper Pages

  4. Dang girl! Such a freaking awesome review! I also got approved for it on NG and I'm pretty much DYING to read it now! I miss Nora, Bram, Chas and the gang! :)

  5. Wow, what a great review for this book! I'll admit and say I've never read a book on zombies...I just haven't really cared to read any. But I saw this cover (which I LOVE!!!!) and after your glowing review....who knows, maybe I'll haveta give it a try! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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