The problem is she landed in the City of the Dead. And while it’s not a fiery inferno, it’s certainly no heaven either. Grey, ashen and crumbling more and more by the day, and everyone has a job to do there. Which doesn’t leave Velveteen much time to do anything about what’s really on her mind.
Velveteen aches to deliver the bloody punishment he 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 could actually crack the foundation of her new world, not to mention jeopardize 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.
- Hardcover: 464 pages
- Price: $17.99
- Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (October 9, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 038574224X
- ISBN-13: 978-0385742245
- Buy Velveteen at Amazon
It’s not a big secret that Daniel Marks is the YA pseudonym of one Mark Henry (author of the Amanda Feral zombie books). As a lover of his adult series and a lover of YA, I wanted to read Velveteen so badly. I couldn’t wait to see that twisted humor brought to a YA platform. (More on that in a bit.)
The story is an intriguing mix of urban fantasy mystery with some steampunk elements in the world building. (I’m still not clear on why they could have gaslamps but not electricity in purgatory.) The basic premise goes something like this… A lot of people go to purgatory when they die where they live until they “dim” (move on). There are teams (Salvage) that come into the “daylight” to rescue trapped souls and also teams (Collectors) that come to filch items needed in purgatory. However, using trapped souls, especially for dark magic, will cause shadowquakes in purgatory that threaten to tear it apart. One of the Salvage teams jobs is to take care of those problems. Oh, and haunting? Strictly verboten.
Queen of the Salvage crew is our heroine, Miss Velveteen Monroe. Goth girl. Badass with a bad attitude. Murder victim. Her crew is an amusing assortment of two little kids much older than their cute little faces would seem, and Nick (aka new guy). I went in figuring I could easily get on board with all this.
Basically, the set-up is there, and the story is solid enough, but I kept waiting to connect to this one and it never happened. Not to the world or the characters. I did go in knowing purgatory could be a tough sell. I mean, I wasn’t sure how much I’d care about a bunch of dead people who didn’t even exist in our world (for the most part) but used to. Still, I figured if anyone could make me love a snarky goth teenager, it’d be this author. Sadly, the humor that I love in his adult series wasn’t here at all for me. I barely cracked a smile and never laughed once. Sometimes dark, dark, dark does it for me. This time, sadly it didn’t and I found myself struggling with Velvet. Nick was a little better as the mildly smarmy jock. And the kids, Logan and Luisa, were likable, but as secondary characters, I didn’t get enough of them to balance the others.
Maybe it was just because I went in expecting something with that razor-sharp wit to lighten things up but, in the end, the cool world-building and interesting plot weren’t enough to push this one above an average read for me.