Author: Daniel Marks
Series: Velveteen, book 1
Genre: YA Paranormal
Publisher: Delacorte Books
Source: Review copy from publisher
“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.”
Velveteen is the first book in the new Velveteen Series by Daniel Marks aka Mark Henry.
Let me start this review by saying that I love Daniel Mark aka Mark Henry’s adult series Amanda Feral, I find it unique and hilarious in a very twisted way. With that in mind I dove into Velveteen to sadly hit a wall after just few pages.
The story starts with the heroine, Velveteen, hunting her killer (Bonesaw as she calls him) and discovering he has a new victim; this made her take a trip back memory lane and had some recollections of the events prior to her death; that part was interesting, creepy and with many grisly details in the typical Daniel Marks’ way. But after that Velvet doesn’t do anything, she needs to go back to Purgatory where she “lives” now before she is found missing. Hunting is prohibited and it has dire consequences. Velvet knows this but doesn’t care, her hatred for Bonesaw is bigger than anything else. In Purgatory things changed a bit, there is a lot of world building but really nothing happens, we meet other characters, they all have “jobs” and responsibilities. We learned that Velvet is the leader of a group called Salvagers, their purpose is to rescue souls trapped in the Living World. In her latest job Velvet rescues the soul of Nick Russel. Nick is the new golden boy, handsome, well mannered, gifted and completely attracted to Velvet. Their attraction is one of insta-love, but things get complicated when Nick is assigned to Velvet’s team. Relationships between coworkers is also prohibited, but as we know Velvet is a rule breaker…
Things in Purgatory are a little complicated, there is a group of revolutionaries that are creating havoc and disrupting the peace in Purgatory. Velvet and her team are put in charge of the investigation; they need to stop the revolution before it’s too late. The problem with this is that we don’t learn about the real motive of the revolution until almost the end of the book, and despite what they blurb says that is the main conflict in the story.
As I said before I had serious problems with this book, so much I almost gave up couple of times. I continue reading because I really like Daniel aka Mark and her adult books. But it was not an easy read, after the page 140 it picked up the pace a little bit but by that time I was almost ready to give up. Still, after that, with a better pace it was not a smooth ride, it was a very bumpy one.
One of my biggest problems is that I didn’t feel any kind of connection with the characters. Velvet was an ok character; I liked her the most when she was interacting with her killer but those were very few scenes, the other parts were just bland.
Her love interest, Nick, is too perfect to be in purgatory and I didn’t feel any reason why he should be attracted to Velvet, yes, she saved his soul but I didn’t feel any real connection between them apart from the insta-love.
The secondary characters lack of depth and not once I felt interested in them or in their “lives”. Maybe the only character apart from Velvet that had some layers was Bonesaw, but as I said before he wasn’t much in the story.
The world building is interesting and shows the author’s creativity and wicked imagination, but sadly there was more world building than story, this affected the whole reading experience making boring at times.
I think one of my biggest problems was that I was expecting somehow the same kind of humor of Amanda Feral’s books, ok, maybe not the same but YA similar, but not once this book made me laugh. Maybe if I hadn’t come with those expectations I would have enjoyed Velveteen a lot more.
My Verdict: 2 ½ Stars
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