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Dearly, Beloved

Dearly, Beloved - Lia Habel The Good
  1. The science.  Many zombie novels simply state that there was a disease, possibly the flu or some other virus, that mutated and caused the zombie apocalypse. All the minute scientific details are hidden from the reader, which for some people might be a good thing. Lia Habel doesn't conceal anything from the reader. She gets down to the exact science of the disease down to the prions. Bram even goes through a very informative explanation with Nora about what a prion is and its function. Very cool, and it made the story, and the disease, feel more realistic.
  2. The characters.  While the multiple points of view can be a little overwhelming (more on that later), they do give the reader a wonderful insight into many different characters within the story. This is one aspect of Habel's writing that I love. Twisted psychopaths, lovers, living, dead, upper class, lower class, friends, enemies--you really do get to see the whole picture. At times this left me wanting to yell at the book like a scary movie, "No! Don't go in there! Don't trust him! What are you doing?!?" due to all the things the reader knows that the characters don't.
  3. Human rights issues.  The novel is, at its heart, attempting to bring to light many questions all zombie novels should. What does it mean to be 'alive' or 'human'? Do the living dead have the same rights as the living? If a child's parents become zombies, is that child an orphan? Can you murder someone who is technically already dead? These questions, among others, are artfully woven throughout the narratives and help to give the story more depth.
  4. The end.  So perfect. Honestly, it was my favorite part of the book.

The Bad
  1. Too many points of view.  The story is told in first-person, but each chapter is told from the point of view of a specific character. This wouldn't be so bad if there were just a handful of people who get to narrate, but there are so many different narrators with completely separate plot lines that it makes the story oftentimes hard to follow. Many times while reading, especially near the beginning of the book, I found myself stopping and trying to remember who was where and how everyone tied together.
  2. Dialog confusing.  There are many times when it is hard to discern who is speaking due to a lack of "he said"/"she said" labels.
  3. Slow start.  I was so unbelievably excited to start this book, but the beginning felt like it moved sooooo sloooowlyyy. When things started to pick up about halfway through, I couldn't put the book down, but up until that point things were a little rocky.
  4. Hulk nonsense.  Without giving too much away or spoiling everything, let's just say there are some Hulk ripoffs, and as much as I wanted to like it, I just didn't. It was unique and unexpected, yes, but in the context of the story it just didn't make sense to me.


While this book was great, I felt like it didn't really pick up until about halfway through. It was still a wonderful book and I can't wait to see what happens next.