"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."
Plot: Talk about going darker. Habel couldn't have written a better sequel. When book one ended I wasn't sure what she was going to do with the story to make it better and man, did she write a story with so much depth and the perfect mix of creepy, mystery and love.
Characters: I was SO happy to see Nora and Bram again. However, there was a whole bunch going on. I enjoyed Pam's character, cause her evolution is a practical and logical one, as well her families and I applaud Habel for doing that, instead of taking the easy way out. I like the introduce of Edmund Lopez and Laura. Laura being a truly unique character, who has something sweet and young about her, while being morbid in her own way. I like seeing growth also in Vespertine and learning a new plot line for her. I would have enjoyed more Chas and I kept getting the Doctors mixed up. Also, Coalhouse's role in the book was unexpected and I went on an emotional roller coaster with him for sure and even shortly, with Mr. Delgado.
Pros: Great Sequel, Awesome writing, pure awesome!
Final Thoughts: I stayed up till 5am to finish reading Dearly, Beloved and when I finished I was elated! There was SO much going on and it was SO worth it. Nora and Bram's relationship makes me all giddy inside and I just adore them as a couple. I have also just fallen in love with Bram. Which is weird, cause normally the whole Zombie thing would be hard for me to get past but Habel does such a good job and humanizing him. As I mentioned before this book is darker. That took me by surprise, once we started transitioning to Michael's character, I was so creeped out by him and his plot. I would just say that Beloved, makes Departed look like fluff when compared. Overall, I cannot WAIT for the third book! There is going to be a third book right?! I might die, if there isn't one! Also, I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend this book and series. I thought I loved Dearly, Departed but Dearly, Beloved opened up a whole new set of emotions for me.