Sunday, October 14, 2012

Velveteen Review

Velveteen by Daniel Marks

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.


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.

3 out of 5 stars

Ok. Read the description... then completely disregard it because that's not the book you're getting. While the book starts out being exactly as described, Velvet then leaves her murderer's home to go back to purgatory where a revolution is starting. Someone is capturing souls in the daylight, or the living world, and that sets off shadowquakes in purgatory. It's up to Velvet and her salvage team to capture the bad guy and release the trapped souls.

On their first mission of the book, the soul released is Nick. Nick is a jock type and Velvet is a goth girl... and even a dead goth gets to be judgmental about someone more mainstream. Still, she finds herself attracted to him. Nick is also marked for salvage and is put on her team, so we are subjected to a lot of bitching and moaning from Velvet about her feelings. There are bigger fish to fry, though, and Velvet has to find the person responsible for the revolution and stop him.

I am insanely disappointed that this book was not as described. I bought it because that description was so interesting and unique. Instead, it was kind of a jumble of teen angst and politics. If you read the afterward, the author says that he originally had a different story with a serial killer that his niece said was too morbid for the age group but he wanted to use part of the idea still and that's how Velveteen came about. For me, that partly explains why the book had way too many different things crammed into it. The heart of the story, though, was the revolution in dystopian-like purgatory.

For a book that was really about political unrest and the girl that had to stop it, with the end of the book implying there is more to come, there is a lot of relationship whining. Velvet herself was not particularly likeable, though that's how she was supposed to come off. Nick was kind of a muted cocky jock. We're told that Nick is super hot and knows it... yet he follows Velvet around like a lost dog despite her bitchiness. Velvet, for her part, feels attracted to Nick but constantly does this whole push/pull thing with enough asshole behavior that I kind of think Nick is stupid to like her back.

As for the bad guy... well I knew who it was as soon as Velvet got any information about it.

I enjoyed the author's writing. The way he described things was interesting and done with an uncommon vocabulary. There were actually a few words that I had to look up (luckily I was reading on the Kindle and had that built-in dictionary) and that rarely happens. The world building wasn't the best because, for all the description, I never had a clear view of purgatory. I was also disappointed in the background-ness of the other members of the salvage team.

Overall, it was a decent book that just had too much shoved into it. I liked the author's writing but it may not be for everyone, so I'd suggest reading some of it before buying it. Goodreads already lists an upcoming 2nd and 3rd book, and I'll probably read them despite the fact that I just don't see any surprises coming in the political atmosphere of the book.

Just don't expect to read the book in the description.

*Picture and description from Goodreads

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