I love a good genre mash-up, and Lia Habel delivers. The steampunk, Neo-Victorian, and science aspects of the world are very well done. I also particularly loved the way she explores the themes of prejudice and political intrigue through the various zombie factions (and through the living who support the zombies and the living who don't). The imagery is fascinating, and there are moments of beautiful writing throughout the book. And of course, I love Nora's fierceness as a heroine!
What Left Me Wanting More:
The pacing on this sequel felt a bit off for me. The beginning is rather slow, and I found myself having to push forward to get to the action. I also struggled with having the story be told from five points of view. It felt cluttered, and the characters began to blend together for me. And even though I'm a fan of zombies, and I love the idea that some don't lose brain function if they reanimate quickly enough, some of the descriptions of the romance between Bram and Nora left me feeling a little ... icked. Like noticing the thread holding his lip together when he kissed her. And him acknowledging that even with medical care, he was slowly rotting. There's nothing wrong with the way the author handled it--if you're going to fall in love with the undead, this is part of the package! It just interfered with my enjoyment of the romance, so I felt I'd mention it as it might do the same for others.
Ms. Habel delivers a fascinating culture that is facing a war between factions on the heels of a terrible apocalypse and sets it against the vivid backdrop of a steampunk Neo-Victorian futuristic society. It's an ambitious endeavor full of conflict and plot twists, and I think anyone who enjoys apocalyptic zombie literature should give this series a try.