Friday, September 14, 2012
Review: Dearly, Beloved (Gone With the Respiration, #2)
Author: Lia Habel
Series: Gone With the Respiration
Release date: September 25th 2012
Publisher: Del Rey
Buy: The Book Depository
This summer has been full sequels that outshined their predecessors. Dearly, Beloved is one of them. Not only is it funnier, better thought-out and better written than Dearly, Departed, it also affected me more strongly. The plot is well-planned and well-executed and it finally gave this series a much needed direction it lacked in the first book.
Strangely enough, I originally gave Dearly, Beloved three starts, but, upon further consideration, I decided it deserved more. Lia Habel has enormous talent for worldbuilding, and she is quite good at creating vivid imagery and leaving a strong impression on her readers. The secondary and even tertiary characters she introduced aren’t lacking in detail or in color – from the zombie girl who grows flowers in her rotting body to our dear, headless doctor Samedi, they are all both interesting and entirely unforgettable. As for the main characters, they all changed significantly, some for the better, and some (like Pamma) not. Once again, Habel doesn’t shy away from gory details. Some of the descriptions in Dearly, Beloved are utterly disgusting (and infinitely thrilling, of course). It is through blood and rotten body parts that she breathed life into her world and made it stand apart.
The only thing I can’t seem to get used to is the number of perspectives. There are even more this time: Nora and Bram of course, Pamela, but also Michael, Vespertine, Coalhouse and a newly introduced character, Laura (the zombie flower girl). All of them undoubtedly contributed something significant and as hard as I try, I honestly can’t come up with another way to tell the same story, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t feel disjointed at times.
Romance, however, is what really brought me to my knees. I expected it to be lovely after Dearly, Departed, but I didn’t expect such sweetness and maturity. Nora and Bram face everything together, they understand each other perfectly. Nothing can keep these two apart, they love each other as openly and honestly as they can, aware that time is quickly running out for Bram. And yet, even with time in mind, they (mostly) uphold the rules of propriety, they are both bold and respectful at the same time and this balance they constantly maintain is quite beautiful.
I wasn’t the biggest fan of Dearly, Departed, but everything changed with this book. I can’t wait to read more.