by Daniel Marks
Series: Velveteen #1
Published by: Random House
Velveteen Monroe is dead. At 16, she was kidnapped and murdered by a madman named Bonesaw. But that's not the problem. The problem is she landed in purgatory. And while it's not a fiery inferno, it's certainly no heaven. It's gray, ashen, and crumbling more and more by the day, and everyone has a job to do. Which doesn't leave Velveteen much time to do anything about what's really on her mind. Bonesaw. Velveteen aches to deliver the bloody punishment her killer deserves. And she's figured out just how to do it. She'll haunt him for the rest of his days. It'll be brutal . . . and awesome. But crossing the divide between the living and the dead has devastating consequences. Velveteen's obsessive haunting cracks the foundations of purgatory and jeopardizes her very soul. A risk she's willing to take—except fate has just given her reason to stick around: an unreasonably hot and completely off-limits coworker. Velveteen can't help herself when it comes to breaking rules . . . or getting revenge. And she just might be angry enough to take everyone down with her.
You know that feeling you get when you first begin reading a book and realize you have stumbled onto something really good. When it grabs you at page one and you submerse yourself into the world the author has created? That is exactly what happened to me when I opened up Velveteen. Marks wicked imagination took me into the depths of purgatory, with beautiful, dark details and fascinating characters. With multiple plots weaved throughout this tale I found myself completely spellbound.
When we meet sixteen year old Velveteen Moore she is dead, and haunting the home of the man who killed her. When Velveteen died, she did not cross over into the light, instead she ended up in purgatory. Despite the risk of losing her soul, she keeps sneaking out to try and stop him. In this fascinating, dark, grey world she is the team leader of a group that protect those dwelling in purgatory. Recent threats and talks of the “end of times” have caused tension and disastrous events. When “Shakequakes” begin and souls are snatched, Velveteen and her team head through a crack to find the source of the disturbance. A new co-worker named Nick is about to shake Velveteen’s world up. The tale that unfolds is dark, gritty, humorous, scary, freaky, page-turning and at times deliciously romantic.
I really liked snarky protagonist Velveteen. She has attitude, and is a kick-ass leader for her team. Her outward image depicts someone who is tough, and untouchable. Inside, she cares… a lot. She worries about her team and saving purgatory. Thoughts of Bonesaw and revenge drive her. I loved how despite her own terrifying memories and overwhelming sense of fear that she tackles things head on. She fiercely protects her heart for fear of being hurt. When she lets people in she discovers something special. I loved how clever she was at piecing together clues and executing a plan. Nick was a drop dead gorgeous jock living with his overworked, underpaid Mom before his death. Now he is in purgatory and let’s just say death agrees with him. He has that messy never care hair you want to run your fingers through.(yum) His warm expressive eyes and crooked smile have all the girls swooning. Despite some of his libido driven conversations (rolls eyes) and puppy dog comments, I liked him. He looks out for his team; stand up for what he believes and totally has the hots for Velveteen. His feelings for her were kinda insta-lovey. Grr! Thankfully Velveteen had other ideas and we got to see things develop. She on the other hand definitely finds him oh so kissable, but as her leader he is totally against the rules and untouchable. It was fun watching these two interact and seeing her tough exterior crack. There were definitely some sweet, romantic moments. Other characters from the station manager to the origami maker made the tale interesting. Marks really developed all of the characters, giving them each a distinct personality and made them memorable. I love when even the secondary characters are fleshed out. Bonesaw and the villain gave me the creeps and added suspense.
Marks blew me away with his world-building and imagination. I loved the world he created and the details he used to bring this underground city to life. I love so many things about purgatory. Who would have thought? If Tim Burton were to create a movie about this dark, gritty, nightmarish place he need only consult Marks. I was completely enthralled with this world, from the trains and check in station to the dark streets and dormitories. I found the rules, hierarchy, jobs and traditions downright awesome. I was blown away by the author’s limitless imagination and could totally see this coming to life on the big screen. While I still have many questions about purgatory and the limited understanding of where souls go from here, I did enjoy all that we learned. I am hoping Marks tightens up these holes or provides more detail in the next book. Velveteen’s team and the missions they went on were totally cool. The way in which they captured souls and banished Banshees was freaky good. I completely immersed myself in the different plots and action scenes. From nasty souls, squeamish moments, zombies to a serial killer this book has it all. I loved the climactic battle and the interrogation scenes. I just want to spill my guts and talk about some of the fantastic, hilarious, gruesome, mind boggling stuff that went down. (Darn my self-imposed no spoiler rule..Grrr) The end tied up nicely, with just enough left unanswered to have me drooling for more.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, I totally loved Velveteen!! I recommend you run to the nearest bookstore and purchase this one. For goodness sake hurry! I want to chat with someone about all of its dark gooey goodness and get your opinion on Nick. Marks is on my list of must read authors and I cannot wait to get my hands on book two which is not yet titled.
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