Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Velveteen by Daniel Marks

Publisher: Delacorte Books
Published: 9th October 2012
Pages: 464
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.

I have lusted after this for months. Seriously, dark heroine and ghosts and killers? It's like it was written for me! And while it didn't turn out to be what I expected, it was still pretty epic. Velveteen was murdered, the victim of a serial killer, and now haunts purgatory where she leads a team of other ghosts to look out for souls that are trapped on Earth. That's how she meets Nick, a soul trapped in a crystal ball, used by a body-snatcher to wreak havoc on the very structure of purgatory. Although not exactly interested in boys - who would be when your dead? - Nick grows on her, proving to be funny and smart and a quick-learner.

Marks' debut was dark and funny, with some proper creepy moments but still fantastic, all dark clothes and macabre attitudes. The synopsis turned out to be kind of misleading, as I expecting a story about a dead girl haunting her killer, instead got an - in my opinion - equally awesome story about purgatory and the hot new guy who proves to be vital in the revolution that could bring down the whole of purgatory. When Nick follows Velvet and her team back through the doors to purgatory, understandably he has questions. But with the shadow-quake, the idiot revolutionaries who think that purgatory is a scam and losing a member of her team to going on to his final resting place, Velvet has no time for Nick's questions, or his wandering hands. She has been tasked with finding out who is behind the revolution and how to stop it, all with the added burden of trying to stop her killer from claiming another victim.

Sounds pretty intense, right? It was, but in a very good way! Drawn right in to Velvet's dark mind, her bleak and sarcastic attitude and what she has to deal with in purgatory, her story is a fantastic one with loads of great one-liners, heart-felt moments, wicked characters and an amazing love interest. Seriously, Velvet and Nick's chemistry was just right, with the tension of working together and the unwanted attraction that kept bubbling up, plus he proved to be an incredible help in her obsession with Bonesaw and the concluding action of the revolution.

All in all, an epic read for the goth lovers, with plenty of gore and snarky characters, a really good story, as long as you don't mind being disappointed with the lack of hardcore revenge and expect more of a almost political look at life after death and stubborn ghouls wanting to live again.

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