August 8, 2012

Something Wicked This Way Comes

Wicked As They Come
A Blud Novel #1
Delilah S. Dawson

Back cover:

When Tish Everett forces open the ruby locket she finds at an estate sale, she has no 
idea that a deliciously rakish Bludman has cast a spell just for her. She wakes up in a 
surreal world, where Criminy Stain, the dashing proprietor of a magical traveling 
circus, curiously awaits. At Criminy’s electric touch, Tish glimpses a tantalizing future, 
but she also foresees her ultimate doom. Before she can decide whether to risk her fate 
with the charming daredevil, the locket disappears, and with it, her only chance to return 
home. Tish and Criminy battle roaring sea monsters and thundering bludmares, vengeful 
ghosts and crooked Coppers in a treacherous race to recover the necklace from the 
evil Blud-hating Magistrate. But if they succeed, will Tish forsake her fanged suitor 
and return to her normal life, or will she take a chance on an unpredictable but dangerous 
destiny with the Bludman she’s coming to love?

I bought this book via an online recommendation and all I can say is WOW!  This is such an original book - and that's saying something these days.  As a new reader to the world of Steampunk, I fell in love with the world, and the characters.  

As a 20 something nurse, Letitia 'Tish' Everett - our heroine - has already had a hard road to hoe.  She's just come out of an abusive relationship, her parents are out of the picture, and her beloved Grandmother is dying of cancer.  Her world seems to be falling apart.  So, when Tish sees a locket at the estate sale of a former patient, she falls in lust with the gorgeous image within.  Little does she know that the blood she spills on the locket while trying to clean it, activates a spell a century in the making.  That night she is transported to the world of Sang, and the deliciously bite-able Criminy Stain (who finds her naked near an alter in the woods).

At first Letitia, as Criminy calls her, is certain that this is just a very vivid dream.  But when a cute little bunny turns into a blood-sucking furball, she starts to think that there just might be something wrong.  Now she finds herself at the mercy of Criminy Stain.  How will she get back?  Can she get back?

This book felt a little like Alice in Wonderland to me, so when Tish falls down the rabbit hole into Sang. . . OMG.  Having only read one Steampunk series previously, A Parasol Protectorate, I was expecting to find the same world-building as in Gail Carriger's books.  Well, I was half right.  Whereas the Protectorate books deal with a truly paranormal savvy techno-Victorian world, Dawson's world is truly in another realm altogether.  I loved the parallels drawn by Dawson, like the fact that some city names are the same, which makes the world seem somehow familiar and therefore easier to fall into.  The invention of blud-animals was fabulous.  I loved the bludbunnies, and if I had to catch a bludmare in a field I think I'd pass.

There are a few little plot twists that I didn't expect, but that just makes it more interesting.  Just who do you trust?

I loved the cover.  It was part of what made up my mind when I was deciding whether to purchase it or not. The dark colour scheme reflects the nature of the book, but while there are some dark scenes, there isn't anything truly violent.  There is no graphic sexual content for which I am grateful as I am getting quite sick of that as a story device, and whatever bad language there is, it's not very graphic.

If you want to read a book that found an voice of it's own, then grab this anyway you can.

I'm looking forward to the next book, Wicked As She Wants, available April 2013.

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