Here is the summary of the book:
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.
The conclusion of Dearly, Departed saw the undead being ousted worldwide and it seemed that maybe things will get better. But there is a new complication now. The disease 'Laz' has mutated that the vaccine created to battle it doesn't protect against. Dearly Beloved clearly and cleverly portrays the idea of the result of consequences. What went on in the first book, the second book shows the results. Very natural too. The zombies are out in the open and now it is about how the living world will deal with this revelation. Some may be sympathetic, some may reject this change but another faction will want want to all out wage a war against this evident change....survival of the fittest applies here as well. Come to think of it, Darwinism applies to almost every facet of life and Lia Habel has done this beautifully.
As usual with the multiple perspectives, 7 to be exact, this book progresses at an advanced pace. Multiple factions have come up with the living and undead parts that want their own motifs to be accepted. Their is 'the changed' and 'the murder', both reeking havoc in the city. Then there are the patient ones, the one with the mutated Laz, something smells fishy there. And then there are Bram and Nora.....Oh! Bram...You HOT piece of undead meat....i'm raving again.....sorry......but to the point at hand, where in book 1 their relationship was free (almost) away from the public eyes but out in the open now it is one relationship that is frowned upon by society. And Micheal.... oh God! He irritated me throughout but his father Lord Allister has a definite bigger role with the virus....but what the hell was that ending supposed to be about......
Habel deftly divided the story cleverly into the factions under the seven perspective. As couples I enjoyed Nora and Bram, I really liked the fact that they are not hopefully of a miracle so they both can be together forever but trying to make up for all the time they have left together. Company Z....or what remained of it was as spunky as ever. Pamela serves the human-almost-link to the living world, reading her chapters brings to light the struggles of the common living citizens during this crises. This book portrays all the colors of life and not just black and white but they grey areas too. And that is what I like about the author, she definitely knows how to weave a plot. An intelligent follow-up it now remains to be seen how that ending......that surreal ending will transcend to the next book.
"Action-packed and Innovative, a clever follow-up to Dearly, Departed"