Blue Ribbon Rating: 3 out of 5Original Review Link
Ever since the news that zombies exist was revealed, the people of New Victoria have been divided on whether or not the undead should be allowed to live. Nora Dearly falls into the zombie supporter camp — which wouldn’t be a surprise even if the love of her life, Bram Griswold, wasn’t a zombie. With tensions rising in New Victoria and more attacks against zombies occurring every day, it’s clear that there can be no peace for the young lovers. Nora, Bram and their allies must face off against deadly foes, both alive and undead, if they hope to keep New Victoria from falling into civil war.
Love and honor must battle prejudice, terrorism and evil in DEARLY, BELOVED. The second GONE WITH THE RESPIRATION novel is a much darker book than its predecessor, DEARLY, DEPARTED. Author Lia Habel has delved further into the fantastic world she created, raising new questions that have me looking forward to the third book in the series.
Nora, Bram and their friends must face fear and hatred from both anti-zombie humans and a faction of increasingly militant zombies. There’s a lot going on in DEARLY, BELOVED, which makes the plot difficult to succinctly describe, so I’ll leave the joy of discovery to the readers. I will say that, unlike the first book, not every event is interrelated. As a result, DEARLY, BELOVED is a bit of a slow burn book; it’s the last third of the story that is simply impossible to put down.
Ms. Habel isn’t afraid to get gritty when it comes to showing just what Nora and Bram are up against. While I appreciate Ms. Habel’s vivid storytelling — I did have a visceral reaction to the book, after all — at times I felt a bit sad reading DEARLY, BELOVED for there seemed to be no spark of hope for the characters I’d come to care about. Thankfully, Ms. Habel pulls through in the end and even though there are still so many obstacles standing in the way of Nora and Bram’s happiness, I finished the book feeling optimistic.
As I mentioned before, DEARLY, BELOVED is the second GONE WITH THE RESPIRATION book. I highly recommend reading DEARLY, DEPARTED before picking up the sequel, for DEARLY, BELOVED picks up right where the first book left off with not too much explanation of previous events.
Ms. Habel has delivered a wonderfully imaginative story with DEARLY, BELOVED and I finished the book wanting to read the next GONE WITH THE RESPIRATION book.
Note: My review was written for Romance Junkies and is cross-posted here courtesy of Romance Junkies.