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Dearly, Beloved: A Zombie Novel Hardcover – September 25, 2012

3.9 out of 5 stars 96 customer reviews

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Against the backdrop of an ancient battle between the forces of Light and the forces of Darkness, Aidan struggles to control the newly awakened and enigmatic powers that seem to be his only hope for rescuing Ava, his little sister, trapped somewhere beyond the Veil. Paperback | Kindle book | See more for Teen and Young Adult readers

Editorial Reviews


“A realistic and exciting world with a swoon-worthy romance . . . The plot is addictive, the characters well-rounded.”—RT Book Reviews
“Nora and Bram’s touching and tender relationship, with its emphasis on equality and living in the moment, feels particularly special.”—Publishers Weekly, on Dearly, Departed

About the Author

Lia Habel is in her twenties and lives in western New York State. She is fascinated by zombie movies and Victoriana, interests that eventually led her to write Dearly, Departed.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey; First Edition; First Printing edition (September 25, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345523342
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345523341
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.5 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,292,539 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lia Habel was born in Western NY - as far as it's physically possible to get from New York City and still be in the same state, and official spooky abandoned farmhouse territory. As an only child of good geek stock, young Lia was lovingly reared on horror movies, video games, and Victorian novels. She developed an affection for horror movie monsters early on, often challenging her weary mother with lists of reasons why Jason Voorhees might yet be saved or excuses for Darkman's cackling insanity. As she grew older and her natural sympathy extended to ever more serial killers, swamp monsters, sentient fanged beasts, and reanimated gents, her mother began to worry what her daughter might one day bring home.

Despite this promising start, Lia went on to live an unremarkable life. Although she entertained vague thoughts of one day writing (comic books, specifically), it was only her love of literature that compelled her to pursue her B.A. in English Lit from SUNY Buffalo. Afterwards, ever the generalist and lover of Old Things, Lia moved to the UK to attend the University of Leicester and get her M.A. in Museum Studies. Several scattered internships and jobs followed, but Lia was never able to obtain long-term, serious work in her chosen field. She wrote the first draft of Dearly, Departed while unemployed, because it seemed like more fun than filling out job applications. Ultimately, she ended up procrastinating herself into a wonderful career.

Now, Lia operates by a very simple rule-monsters need love, too. Handsome human heroes are celebrated everywhere else, but in her works you'll find gentleman zombies, beautiful beasts, delicate clockwork girls, and titans with hearts of gold. She writes emotionally driven romances where the couples are outlandish, weird, and magical. Because "normal" is just so... boring.

Miss Habel currently lives with her beloved Boyfriend and their utterly spoilt furchild, an inky black cat named Struensee. She enjoys attending anachronistic and steampunk events, crafting all manner of pretty things, watching horror movies, and collecting Victorian and Edwardian books. Things she fans over include Pacific Rim, Hannibal, and Transformers.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
DEARLY, BELOVED is the sequel to Lia Habel's novel DEARLY, DEPARTED, which introduced readers to zombies affected with "the Laz," which makes them different from other zombies: they start off able to speak, think, and feel, but gradually the Laz will take them over and they will become the shuffling, moaning walking dead. This is the case with Abraham "Bram" Griswold, a soldier in an undead army who has fallen in love with Nora Dearly, a girl with secrets of her own. In this installment, Bram and Nora face groups called The Murder and the Changed while trying to deal with the inevitable truth that Bram is going to become a true zombie.

I enjoyed Ms. Habel's DEARLY, DEPARTED. She lovingly created a post-apocalyptic world which built itself up but now has zombies coinciding uneasily with the living. I was on board with the starcrossed love between a living girl and zombie boy. One of the more jarring things in that book was that there were multiple narrators, something I do not enjoy much but I thought was okay with the first one. I was prepared for multiple narrators in this book.

What I was not prepared for was the addition of other narrators. There are six people who alternately narrate chapters in this book. Six. Narrators. And they all sound the same, so be prepared to keep track of who we're supposed to be following. This drove me insane, which is such a shame because there are so many wonderful ideas in here that the narrative switches bog down what could have been a great book. I loved the fact that the stakes were raised and the antagonists were true antagonists. But there was too much going on with everyone that, unfortunately, DEARLY, BELOVED shoots itself in the foot.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Dearly, Beloved picks up shortly after the end of Dearly, Departed, so if you haven't read the first installment of this amazingly well constructed post-ice age apocalypse, neo-Victorian, steampunk, zombie series start with the predecessor. I read the two books back to back and this second novel is just as strong and engaging as the first. Both are fast-paced with lots of intricate sub-plots, numerous quirky characters, and multiple points of view.

Zombies aren't bad here, or at least they don't have to be if they reanimate soon enough to prevent brain damage, but they do have animal instincts so they have to use their civilized sensibilities to control their newly developed blood lust. Not everyone in this aristocratically stratified society believes dead humans should have the same rights as live humans though, so trouble is brewing. Nora and her zombie boyfriend Bram are trying to right wrongs and keep the world from erupting into widespread violence while navigating the mostly blissful waters of first love. If that sounds like a challenging way to start a relationship, Nora was bored with her proper social circle and as independent and strong-willed as Nora is it's doubtful she could lose her heart to anyone but a punk-world zombie. Fans of the first book will not be disappointed.
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Format: Hardcover
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.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Let me first start off saying that I was super excited to receive an E-ARC of this book through Netgalley, because I loved Dearly Departed so much. With Dearly Departed the story intrigued me and it was different than any other book that I had read. But as it came to Dearly, Beloved, I tried so hard to enjoy it and to fall in love with it like I did Dearly Departed, but it just didn't happen. I couldn't even finish the book. I tried, I really did, but I just couldn't get into it.

The thing that killed me with this book was its pacing. It was excruciatingly slow! That is the main reason why I just could not complete this book. I reread pages over and over again because I wasn't grasping what was being said and I could only read a chapter or two at a time. It's hard to explain. The book wasn't boring, it was the slowness of the book that made it hard to read. Don't get me wrong, the book, at times, had some high points to where things would pick up (like every 2 chapters), but then it would go back to being slow. I made it exactly halfway through the book, which is really sad to me, because I was halfway finished. Book is already long, almost 500 pages, to be slow on top of that....

And I came to the realization that I wasn't going to continue this book, because I read 4 books and 1 novella in between reading this. I would put this down, and pick up another book and have the other book knocked out in a day or two. And then I realized that I was reading those books so quickly because the material flowed together and made for an easy read. And this book kind of dragged out.

Maybe one day, I will pick this book back up just to see how things ended. But I know, it's not going to be anytime soon. I was really disappointed with this book, because I loved Dearly Departed so much, but I just couldn't not get into this book. I would like to thank Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book.
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