Dearly, Beloved (Hardback)
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Short Description for Dearly, Beloved 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.
- Published: 25 September 2012
- Format: Hardback 484 pages
- ISBN 13: 9780345523341 ISBN 10: 0345523342
- Sales rank: 98,673
Reviews for Dearly, Beloved
Didn't quite hit the mark
As this is book two in the series I am not going to go into great depth about the plot, I'm just going to discuss my feelings about the book.
I have to say that I really really enjoyed book one in the series, Dearly, Departed. Dearly, Departed was my favourite book of 2011, I raved about this to anyone who would listen. So as you can imagine I was very excited to get my hands on a copy of Dearly, Beloved. The anticipation of this book was immense.
From then on my little bubble was burst........ I struggled to get into this book, it was stagnant and flatlined all the way. Gone was the excitement I had eagerly anticipated. Don't get me wrong Bram and Nora were as animated as I remembered, but the plot did nothing for me. Big big disappointment. I only hope book three, if there is a going to be another in the series, is better than this one.
This book is told from several POV's, which I did like, it's always good to get a different angle on the story. I have to say that my favourite character was Vespertine, even though she didn't feature heavily in this book, she is a brilliant character.
Obviously as the series continues you do get more character development. It was nice to learn a bit more about the backgrounds of some of the characters.
I have to say I was pleased to finish this book, it was a long hard slog, almost felt like I was wading through mud. Normally I fly through books that engage me, not the case with this one. It must have taken me twice as long to read.
This one left me feeling depressed, I really loved the first in the series, but this one did not even get close.
My Thoughts on the Cover:
I love the cover, it is so delicate and gorgeous. And totally matches the character of the book.
*** Many thanks to Netgalley and the Publisher for supplying me with a review copy. by Jennifer Juckes
A Good Follow-Up With Less Action Than The First
Dearly, Departed was one of my favorite books last year. To quote myself "Zombies + Humor + Steampunk + Romance + War = Brilliant". The follow-up also contained all of these items, but fell just a tidbit short for me to give 5 stars again. I missed the amount of humor that was in the first one....the amount of steampunk too I believe. It still was a really good story, so don't let my 4 stars fool you, I'm really stingy.
Once again you read the story from many different point of views so you get the full picture of just how big the events happening are. We meet some new characters, some of which are quite lovely and different. A zombie growing flowers within their own body...come on - that's freaking brilliant all on it's own.
There are a few different storylines to follow as well, but they all play into one another and Habel does a wonderful job weaving in and out. She's able to make me hate some and love others, her characters are still so varied and distinct that it makes it easy to follow along with who you are reading about. If you enjoyed the first book, this one will still intrigue you. If you didn't read Dearly, Departed, shame on you...it's required reading in my world!
ARC reviewed by Jessica for Book Sake.
Book Received: For free from publisher in exchange for an honest review. by Jessica
Craved More Action & Less Talk
I struggled to get through most of Dearly, Beloved. The elements I loved from Dearly, Departed - rich detail, a complicated romance and modern technology mixed with Victorian era elements - either were absent or only added to Dearly, Beloved's inability to fully capture my attention. Nearing the end, my hopes soared as the action began to outpace the political drama, but it was too little too late.
As with Dearly, Departed, Dearly, Beloved is told from multiple PoVs - six in fact. And again, I found this endeavor to be overambitious due to the lack of distinction; it was too easy to lose track of which character was speaking. Nora, Laura, Pamela - even Bram - all had moments where they sounded like the same person and I often found myself confused about a character's reaction, only to realize that I was mistaken about which character's view I was reading from. And also as with Dearly, Departed, I didn't find all of the PoVs necessary. Vespertine had only brief appearances and Laura's perspective seemingly served only to inflict the story with zombie teenage angst. I feel like their perspectives could have been cut instead of adding length and detail to an already cumbersome plot.
I was constantly confused about supporting characters as well. While I remembered their names - Chas, Tom, Coalhouse, Dr. Samedi - I couldn't remember the details that helped to define them. I couldn't remember their connections to each other, the pasts that made them who they are, or the reasons for their unfaltering trust in Bram. Having read Dearly, Departed almost a year a go, I just couldn't remember these characters, let alone why I liked them.
It also made it hard for me to regard Nora and Bram's relationship with anything but disgust.
"His every memory would one day be physically eaten away by the very thing that had preserved him for me to find; his every injury was destined to be a disfigurement. But until that day, he was mine."
The slow and subtle development of their relationship from Dearly, Departed is over and has been replaced by the stolen kisses of a couple courting in New Victoria. Which should have been romantic and adorable. But instead, all I could picture was Nora enjoying kissing dead flesh.
The rich detail that I thoroughly enjoyed in Dearly, Departed, was also present in Dearly, Beloved. We meet timid Laura, a young zombie who uses her body as a walking garden - opening small holes in her skin, where she sprinkles in dirt and seeds in the hopes of producing life now that hers is over. Chas' crushed voicebox is repaired and sewn shut with ribbon to resemble a corset. The descriptions of Martira's creamy pale skin in comparison to her flaming red hair and Smoke's sagging skin covering his fresh organs were described in such detail it was impossible not to see them both clearly. But while appreciated, such stunning imagery combined with Dearly, Beloved's convoluted plot served only to add length to an already lengthy tale.
Speaking of the convoluted plot, Dearly, Beloved almost had too much going on. The Grave House Gang, Patient One, the Murder, the Changed, the Punks, the aristocrats - everyone had a role to play, and they were usually connected in some way. This should have been fascinating, but instead, it was tedious. Much of the focus was on zombie rights - whether they had any, whether they should be treated differently than the living, whether they should all just be killed - which didn't leave much room for action. And when the action came, many of the plot points were left unresolved, assumingly to be addressed in the next book.
With too much left unresolved, in a lengthy novel that should have been shorter, I can't say I truly enjoyed Dearly, Beloved. There were scenes that I loved, the writing is fabulous and the world-building is spectacular. But unnecessary points of view, unmemorable characters and an overly ambitious politically-driven plot left me craving more action and less talk. by Radiant Shadows