Thursday, November 1, 2012

Velveteen by Daniel Marks

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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. (Taken from GoodReads)
It’s no secret that we Bibliojunkies love our fictional boys.  What you may not know is that we also have a number of female characters we love too.  We all adore the loyalty and cutting wit that defines Elizabeth Bennett.  Katniss Everdeen won us all over with her ability to survive.  Two of our favorite young literary heroes wouldn’t be alive if it weren’t for their friends Hermione Granger  and Annabeth Chase.   

And now?   

Now we have Velveteen Monroe.  The first class sarcastic goth body snatcher of Purgatory. 

When we first meet Velvet, she is haunting her serial killer, Bonesaw.  Although it is against the rules of Purgatory, Velvet has been haunting her killer for a long time and has rescued a number of new victims from death.  I was immediately captured by Velvet’s combination of fear, anger and strength - as well as her very wicked sense of humor.  I have never read another character quite like Velveteen Monroe.  I didn’t take me long to realize that she is a character worthy of the company mentioned above.   

After Velvet’s death, she arrives in purgatory.  But you don’t get to be lazy in Purgatory.  There are jobs for everyone to do as they wait seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks and years to pass on.  Velvet is given the job of body thief on a salvage team.  What’s a salvage team?  Well, it’s a team of souls that return to the world of the living to rescue other souls that are trapped on earth. 

Velvet and her team are amazing at their jobs.  When Purgatory is under attack, Velvet’s team is sent to stop the power that is causing the quakes that are rocking and destroying sections of Purgatory.  Their mission not only saves their 57th soul (a huge deal in Purgatory) but also clues Velvet into the revolution that is set to destroy the world she lives in.  

This was a really great story.  Velveteen is a heroine that I will never forget.  And I can honestly say the same for the rest of her salvage team.  Luisa and Logan – a young brother/sister team - have taken on the role of poltergeists on the team.  The wickedly adult humor and vices that you see in the very young Logan is alternately hilarious and disturbing.  Quentin’s shy demeanor is a wonderful contrast to his role on the team as undertaker – possessing dead bodies.  And then there is Nick, their 57th rescued soul.  The teen jock that Velvet finds herself attracted to regardless of her better judgment.  Together they form a group that you are constantly cheering on.   

The action in this book is fast paced, the world is morbidly fascinating, and there is plenty of humor to enhance the experience.  Kudos to Daniel Marks for giving us an original story and original characters that will keep your attention from the beginning to end.    

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