Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Early Review - Dearly, Beloved (Gone with Respiration, Book 2) by Lia Habel (2/5 stars)

Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Steampunk/Post-Apocalyptic
Size: 496 pages
Publisher: Del Rey
Release Date: September 25, 2012
ISBN: 978-0345523341
Stand Alone or Series: 2nd book in the Gone with Respiration series
Source: eGalley through NetGalley.com
Rating: 2/5 stars

I got a copy of this book to review through NetGalley(dot)com. This is the second book in the Gone with Respiration series. I really enjoyed the creativity of the first book in this series (Dearly, Departed). I was very disappointed in this book because of the huge number of POVs. I almost didn’t finish this book because as the story went on I just didn’t care anymore.

Tensions are rising between the humans and the “good” zombies. Nora, Bram, and company are trying to figure out the motives behind a group called the Murder; a mysterious group targeting good zombies and zombie sympathizing humans. Also a new pro-zombie group called The Changed are causing even more increased tensions in the city. Add to this the fact that a new strain of the Laz has been uncovered and Nora’s dad is frantically trying to find a cure for the Laz.

All I have to say about this book is "Ugh!" There are 6, yes that is 6, POVs in this book (we hear from Laura, Nora, Bram, Michael, Vespertine, and Pamela) This fractures the story horribly and turns what could've been a decent 200 page story into a horribly boring and slow nearly 500 page one. The story is all over the place. I had some problem with the multiple POVs in the first book, but really enjoyed the creative world. This story didn't even have that wonder to it anymore...it's just a mess.

If you like politics you might enjoy this book more than I did. There are a ton of politics between various groups going on. There’s The Murder (anti-zombie human group), the Changed (anti-human zombie group), most normal humans who are neutral/confused and Nora and friends who are pro good zombies. This book is mainly about how these groups interact, attack each other, and make the city less and less safe.

There is a lot of Nora and Bram talking about how much they love each other as well which gets old over time. What happens between Nora and Bram at the end of the book felt contrived and forced to me. Not to mention you kind of have to not think too hard about their relationship in general because...well...it’s kind of creepy. I mean Bram is dead and Nora talking about how much she loves to kiss his cold lips is a bit odd.

Nora also does a million really stupid things that made me want to slap her. I mean how many times do you need people to tell to definitely not go there, then you go there and cause a huge mess. She does this multiple times in the story and it makes her come off as stupid and selfish.

I don’t have much else to say about the side characters. Pamela has a bigger role in this story and is definitely more interesting than Nora and Bram. The other part of the story that really intrigued me was the mystery behind Patient One.

The book was very readable and the writing style easy to read. I had trouble being engaged in the story because it was so fractured. At the end of the day when I think back to what this book was about, I have trouble really saying because it was just such a mess.

Overall I did not enjoy this installment in the series. Too many POVs fractured the story and made the plot move at a crawl. There are tons of politics between various factions and Nora does a million really stupid things. I almost didn’t finish this book at all. The only redeeming quality was Patient One, the mystery behind him is intriguing and would be interesting to find an answer to in the next book. Will I be reading the next book? Probably not, I am worried that Habel might add in another 3 POVs and make it an even more fractured and lengthy story. If you like this type of steampunk/victorian zombie story I would suggest, Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard...it is a much better story.

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
- Zombie Reading Challenge
- 150+ Books Reading Challenge
- Steampunk Reading Challenge

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