Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Heidi Reviews Velveteen by Daniel Marks

Velveteen (Velveteen #1) 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.
Hardcover, 464 pages
Published October 9th 2012 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers

This review was also posted on Rainy Day Ramblings.
A book with a dark theme, incredible world building and an unexpected
Velveteen once again returns to the scene where she was brutally murdered. Hoping
that she can somehow find a way to exact her deadly revenge. Unfortunately, as a
ghost she hasn't found a way to stop the insane murderer, Bonesaw. He is evil
incarnate and he took her life. After flooding his kitchen, Velvet rushes outside to find
that he has another victim tied up in his shed. Desperately, she tries to free the terrified
girl, but Bonesaw returns and interrupts her attempts. Frustrated, she heads back to
Purgatory. Later that night a devastating shadowquake erupts, and Velvet and her team
are sent to stop the black magic that is causing the devastation in Purgatory. The
shadowquakes are becoming more frequent and violent. It is evident that someone is
out to use some very dark magic to destroy Purgatory and set the souls trapped there
into the real world to possess the living. Velvet must now try and find out whoever is
behind the shadowquakes and stop Bonesaw, but time is running out. Can Velvet catch
a killer and save Purgatory?
What I Liked:
• This book opens with a terrifying and chilling story thread as Velvet once again
confronts her murderer who is attempting to carve up another girl. Bonesaw is crazy
and frightening, and I found myself riveted to the horrifying scene, only to find the story
thread tugged away and sent back into Purgatory with Velvet. The story takes on a
new life as it enters into Purgatory. I admit, I was frustrated to be torn away from the
confrontation with the crazed Bonesaw, but the thread was always there tugging at
me, trying to pull me back despite all the happenings in Purgatory. It was this
haunting and shocking story line that kept me reading, eager to see if Velvet was
going to get her revenge. The scenes with Bonesaw are full of terror, but I liked that
there was just enough detail to haunt me and set my imagine into a frightened frenzy,
but that it was not over the top gory. I shuddered every time Velvet's memories fall
back to the scene of her death,worrying about what horrors awaited, whether it would
be too much, thankfully it is well done and nothing too terrible.
• I loved the detailed world building in this one. Velvet after her death is sent to
Purgatory, the place where souls reside who have unresolved conflicts or issues that
must be dealt with before they can dim and move onto another realm, either Heaven
or Hell. Purgatory is a vast world, powered by gas lamps and trains, and built from
items scavenged from the living world. Mr. Marks does an excellent job dishing out
the details that carefully define Purgatory. I am a stickler for strong world building and
I was pleased to find that this book succeeds in creating the world of Purgatory.
• I enjoyed the different story lines in this one. There is the main thread of Velvet trying
to decimate her killer, then Velvet is trying to uncover who is behind the destruction of
Purgatory and finally, a sweet and unexpected romance. At the end, the pieces all
come together and, I admit, I was caught off guard by some of the revelations. I liked
how everything came together at the end, and while I found the answers to many of
my questions and most of the main issues where resolved nicely, Mr. Daniels is
careful to stretch out some new story threads to follow in the sequel. No dreadful
cliffhanger in this book!
• Finally, I was taken by surprise by the fun little romance in this one. Velvet is a strong
girl who has shut off her emotions. She is not prepared for the arrival of Nick and
certainly not expecting to fall for him. What follows is a sweet little romance full of
stutters and shakiness until it finally takes off. For the record, Nick is adorable and
one can't help but to like him. Even though Velvet, a goth girl, and Nick, a handsome
jock, would probably never have hit it off in the real world, their unexpected attraction
and sparks lighten up the dark tone of this one. I loved that this was a hesitant and
believable romance, no insta love or love triangle!

Velveteen was an exciting and terrifying read with a complex plot and solid world
building. I enjoyed the writing and was thrilled to encounter a sweet, believable romance
in an unexpected place: Purgatory. Velvet is a fierce character, one that you can't help
but to root for, and Nick is just adorable. There plenty of snark and humor along the way
that lighten up the dark theme of this novel. This is certainly a series that I will be eager
to continue!

Favorite Quotations:
"Death causes people to reevaluate their beliefs. It brings up questions you don't want
to ask; it creates anxiety."
"Shark attack victims complaining about pains in a leg that isn't there anymore because
a great white ate it and pooped it out a long time ago."
"There was only one real purpose for the social workers---or in Mrs. Allerdice's case,
antisocial workers---and that was to figure out where new souls would fit into purgatory's
cogs and gears."
"She's got the whole bitch thing down, but instead of making me want to turn the other
way and run---I don't know---for some reason, it's kinda hot."
"The guy was captive to his groin. Just like any other boy. Nothing special."
"His smile was unforgettable and unfortunate. It was the kind of smile that made knees
shake, wicked and divine."
"Her brain was scrambled. Fried. Over easy. No. Not easy. Over hard."
"Lust is a gateway drug for boys."
"In the courtyard, Nick was surrounded by a handful of Collector girls and one boy, all
seemingly hanging on every one of his no-doubt brilliant words like he was the second
coming of Jared Padalecki."
"But that's just boy science. Two boobs plus one snootch equals boner."
"Velvet's mind was in the blender. Ideas, plots, predicaments, and motives whirred
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest
review. I was not compensated and all opinions expressed are my own.

I have always had a healthy passion for reading.  My love of books started at an early age, as soon as I could read my life long love affair for books began.  Reading to me is one of the finest pleasures in life.  My guilty indulgence is a good book, a soft blanket and a cozy concoction.  It is thrilling to hold a book in your hands and wonder at the secrets that are buried deep within. Then page by page the story pours out revealing it's heart and soul until there is nothing left to show; nothing left to say. To me a good book is one that continues to call to you after completion.  The characters are still whispering in your mind; their story threads reaching out to entangle you even as you pick up another book to start the wonderful process anew.  Each book is a new adventure, a new story, another find.  That is why I read!
I am currently a stay at home mother of two toddlers, who keep me very busy. I also have a wonderful, supportive husband without whom this blog would not be possible.  I am a recent transplant to the rainy, region of Portland, Oregon; thus the reason for my blog Rainy Day Ramblings.  The many rainy days here provide me ample time to snuggle up under a comfy blanket with a cat and read while the rain drips down my window.
I also, when I find time, enjoy baking, candle and jewelry making, cross stitching and spending ample time with family.
Find me on my blog, facebook, and twitter.  


  1. I liked this book but felt misled by the summary which seemed to promise more Bonesaw than was actually delivered. If the synopsis had been more about Purgatory, I would have felt more satisfied.

  2. I really liked this one a lot more than I thought I was going to. I loved the world they lived in and I felt it was something new in YA. Not many people have taken on the place where souls might end up between Heaven and Hell and what they do while they are there. It certainly isn't all sunshine and roses when you are dead and I love that this book could be serious, heartbreaking, and have that little touch of romance and mature information on life.

    Thanks for the great review!


We love any and all comments except spam! All spam comments will be deleted.