Velveteen by Daniel Marks
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (464 pgs)
Age Recommendation: 14+
Rating: 4.5 stars
Review by: Cholla
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.
Revenge can be so much fun. Just ask sixteen-year-old Velveteen Monroe. Murdered by a local serial killer, her sole ambition in the afterlife is to exact justice for what he did to her. Trouble is, Purgatory is crumbling around her, leaving it up to her – and her team of experts – to stop the shadowquakes before they tear it all apart.
Velveteen Monroe is gothy, snarky, and generally unlikeable… until you get to know her a bit. Although some of her rougher characteristics are still evident, she’s much more likely to let her softer side show. Which, between you and me, drives her just a bit crazy when it happens. I really like Velvet, despite her rather grumpy exterior. She’s honest to a fault and has a larger mission on her mind. Not just justice for herself, but for the others that have or might have to go through what she did with Bonesaw. Velvet is also a born leader, one who commands attention with little effort and earns the respect of all those that serve with her.
Nick is something else altogether. After Velvet and her crew free him from imprisonment in a crystal ball, he’s a mess. He’s lost, he’s frightened, and he’s more than a little disoriented. However, in true hero fashion, it doesn’t take him long to get it together and become a real part of the team. Not to mention falling completely for Velvet, abrasiveness and all. His effusive personality and well-timed humor only serve to make me adore him more.
While Velveteen isn’t laden with offensive material, I’d still recommend it for an older audience, at least 14+, due to some graphic violence and the budding romance between Velvet and Nick.
Velveteen is a highly enjoyable story chock full of colorful characters and enough twists and turns to keep you on your toes. I loved the way Mr. Marks envisioned Purgatory in this novel. It became just a bit more bleak and terrifying than I had ever pictured it, giving it new life. The afterlife hasn’t ever been so much fun – or so dangerous – until now.