Book 3 (Book 1: The Gathering Storm, Book 2: The Unfailing Light)
St. Petersburg, Russia, 1890. Katerina Alexandrovna, Duchess of Oldenburg, wants to be known as a doctor, not a necromancer. But Tsar Alexander III forbids women to attend medical school; his interest in Katerina extends only to her ability to raise the dead. Twice now, Katerina has helped him by using her power to thwart the forces of darkness—vampires bent on resurrecting the lich tsar Konstantin Pavlovich so that he can take what he sees as his rightful place on the throne. Katerina thought she had bound Konstantin to the Greylands, the realm of the dead, but he has found a way out. Now he is searching for the Morning Star, a sword that will allow him to command a legion of supernatural warriors. Katerina must find the sword before Konstantin does—and she must travel to Egypt to do so. Along the way, she puts up with unwanted attention from her former fiancé, the nefarious Prince Danilo, and struggles with her feelings for her true love, George Alexandrovich. But with the looming threat from Konstantin, Katerina’s focus remains on the sword. Russia’s fate will be determined by whoever wields the Morning Star—and delivers the final blow.
I love this series. It is beautifully written and the setting is so captivating that takes you right into the time period and country. What I love about these books is the diverse range of character types and characters as well as the fact that you are transported to the locations Katerina goes to. We get a very clear picture on Egypt from that time period which was really neat but I don’t like the deviation away from Russia. I loved the very Russian feel of the first book and I just wished that this book could have remained in the country. Katerina for the most part seemed like a helpless heroine all the time. I liked that she wants to study medicine and her dreams are so strong that she is never deterred from fulfilling it but she also had a calling as a necromancer and she never answered it or wanted anything to do with it. George Alexandrovich was barely in the book and I wanted more of him with Katerina because they both seem so complete and stronger when they are together. I liked having more Danilo but he was blurred so much with Konstantin that it was hard to separate the two. A lot of the book felt rushed and a little bit of a cheat. For example the return of someone past dead made Katerina no long necessary, Danilo’s decision at the end, zombie creatures barely made any appearance or difference, why introduce the Gregori (though I like the lore) when they didn’t do much, and the battle wasn’t very big or epic like I hoped. I didn’t like the end of the book since it seemed boring. I do love this series and would definitely recommend it.
Book 2 (Book 1: The Gathering Storm)
Having had no choice but to use her power has a necromancer to save Russia from dark forces, Katerina Alexandrovna, Duchess of Oldenburg, now wants to forget that she ever used her special powers. She’s about to set off to pursue her lifelong dream of attending medical school when she discovers that Russia’s arch nemesis–who she thought she’d destroyed–is still alive. So on imperial orders, Katerina remains at her old finishing school. She’ll be safe there, because the empress has cast a potent spell to protect it against the vampires and revenants who are bent on toppling the Tsar and using Katerina for their own gains. But to Katerina’s horror, the spell unleashes a vengeful ghost within the school, a ghost more dangerous than any creature trying to get in.
I love the world that this book takes place. The supernatural mixed with history is perfect. I really like Katerina but she seems to be at times a little pathetic. She has gifts that she doesn’t know how to use properly and she has yet to make an effort to learn them. At the end of the book it seems she is finally going to start acting. In terms of romance, George is rarely in the book. When he does appear the love the two have is obvious but it is very much a tease. There was not nearly enough romance. Danillo was another possible love interest but his involvement in the plot let me down. He could have done so much but it all seemed very half done. In terms of action this book barely had any. Sure there were problems but they didn’t seem to be too urgent or present too much danger. Hopefully the final book makes up for this. However, I would still recommend this book because it is quite a wonderful story.
The final book in the trilogy will be out some time in the future.
Book 2 (Book 1: Dearly, Departed)
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 illness-and the nation of New Victoria braces for a new wave of the apocalypse.
This book is absolutely phenomenal. You’re once again taken into a unique and interesting world. There was never a dull moment in this book. The entire book is action packed. I love Bram and Nora and I feel bad for them that they are so hindered by society. Both of them are so strong and entertaining to follow. The other zombies in Z Comp don’t really feature much in the story which was sort of disappointing. Only Coalhouse played a big role and I was happy for him. I continued to find Pan annoying and I didn’t really care for her chapters. Vespertine doesn’t do too much in this book but Michael on the other hand was an awesome sort of villain to follow. Although he did seem extremely childish. Some new characters are introduced that offer their own unique story. I look forward to find out what happens next in this world. I would definitely recommend this book.
Not sure the exact date.
The year is 2195. The place is New Victoria-a high-tech nation modeled on the manners, mores, and fashions of an antique era. A teenager in high society, Nora Dearly is far more interested in military history and her country’s political unrest than in tea parties and debutante balls. But after her beloved parents die, Nora is left at the mercy of her domineering aunt, a social-climbing spendthrift who has squandered the family fortune and now plans to marry her niece off for money. For Nora, no fate could be more horrible-until she’s nearly kidnapped by an army of walking corpses. But fate is just getting started with Nora. Catapulted from her world of drawing-room civility, she’s suddenly gunning down ravenous zombies alongside mysterious black-clad commandos and confronting “The Laz,” a fatal virus that raises the dead-and hell along with them. Hardly ideal circumstances. Then Nora meets Bram Griswold, a young soldier who is brave, handsome, noble . . . and dead. But as is the case with the rest of his special undead unit, luck and modern science have enabled Bram to hold on to his mind, his manners, and his body parts. And when his bond of trust with Nora turns to tenderness, there’s no turning back. Eventually, they know, the disease will win, separating the star-crossed lovers forever. But until then, beating or not, their hearts will have what they desire.
This book was really neat. It was a combination of many different times, Victorian and futuristic and a combination of different stories. It told the stories of the political Victorian world where girls were bred to be ladies, quiet, and respectful and it was the story of a zombie apocalypse. The future Victorian age is explained and somehow it works. Thought it is a bit hard to get use to at first. Also, the zombie romance seemed weird at first but it worked. The book was really interesting and sweet. I liked Nora and Bram and wouldn’t put the book down till I reached their chapters and found out more about their kindling friendship and romance. I didn’t really like Pam very much. She seemed weak at first but then when things got dire she really stepped up as a character. However, when she reunited with Nora she once again became a meek character. It almost seemed like an act and I lost some respect for her. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and would recommend it to all.
The next book is called Dearly, Beloved and comes out September 25, 2012.
Book 2 (Book 1: The Forest of Hands and Teeth)
Gabry lives a quiet life. As safe a life as is possible in a town trapped between a forest and the ocean, in a world teeming with the dead, who constantly hunger for those still living. She’s content on her side of the Barrier, happy to let her friends dream of the Dark City up the coast while she watches from the top of her lighthouse. But there are threats the Barrier cannot hold back. Threats like the secrets Gabry’s mother thought she left behind when she escaped from the Sisterhood and the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Like the cult of religious zealots who worship the dead. Like the stranger from the forest who seems to know Gabry. And suddenly, everything is changing. One reckless moment, and half of Gabry’s generation is dead, the other half imprisoned. Now Gabry only knows one thing: she must face the forest of her mother’s past in order to save herself and the one she loves.
Well this book somewhat redemmed the preceding book, The Forest of Hands and Teeth. I originally thought this book was a sequel but it is a companion novel. It is about a girl named Gabry, daughter of Mary from the first book. The book did not really capture me at all. It wasn’t one of those books where you can’t stop reading. I started the book and took about a week off before I restarted to read it. The action does pick up about halfway in the book. Like the first book it somewhat mirrors it. It starts off in a different city settlement surrounded by the undead. Unlike the village in the first book this settlement is a lot more developed. The book then moves to an adventure outside the village along the paths stumbling upon another village and then it continues on the paths until they read a new destination. Like the first book their is love and it is destroyed. Every time Gabry experienced love something took it away in some form. Gabry is kind of an annoying character she is cowardly, fearful, not very strong, indecisive, and full of self pity. The amount of self pity was overwhelming making it kind of hard to read. She grows a bit towards the end of the book though. Gabry learns half way through the book about her past, then near the end of the book she learns even more and learns her connection with Mary’s village. Some characters that make a reappearance is Mary, Henry, and Jacob and Cass are mentioned. What happened to Mary’s village after she left is also revealed. Gabrys love interest in the book is Catcher but then it leans more towards Elias. Catcher grew up in the village with Gabry and Elias is not from the village. Both male love interests are strong male characters and both bring something to the story. We learn a lot more about the Return and what systems were developed to prevent the spread such as the cities, the paths, people called the Recruiter, and a shocking group of people called the Immune. There are many similarities with the first book and will become evident as you read. The book ends with the possibility of the sequel or companion novel. I would recommend this book if you enjoyed the first and are interested in learning more about where the story is possibly going. However, it is a depressing kind of book though better than the first. Perhaps just borrow this book from the library or a friend instead of buying it if you already bought the first.
The next book is called The Dark and Hollow Places
If you like this book you might want to watch the Resident Evil series.