Author: Delilah S. Dawson
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 416 pages
Publisher: Pocket Books (March 27, 2012)
Genre: Fantasy / Paranormal Romance / Steampunk
Review Copy: ARC provided by publisher
Have you ever heard of a Bludman? They’re rather like you and me—only more fabulous, immortal, and mostly indestructible. (They’re also very good kissers.)
Delilah S. Dawson’s darkly tempting debut drops her unsuspecting heroine into a strange faraway land for a romantic adventure that’s part paranormal, part steampunk . . . and completely irresistible.
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 think I'm going to gush a bit about Wicked as They Come. It's a wonderful story. Ms. Dawson has created a superb Victorian-esque parallel world, Sangland, filled with steam machines, strange creatures, magic, and Bludmen.
Criminy Stain and Tish Everett are the main characters in Wicked as They Come. I adore both of them. Criminy is dangerous, seductive, magical, and vulnerable at least where Tish is concerned. Tish is trying to recover from a bad relationship and is not really interested in being swept off her feet by Criminy. She wants her independence. She wants to figure out who she is before committing again to someone. This is not simply a story of girl meets Bludman and lives happily ever after. This is a fantastic adventure not only about Tish and Criminy seeking the stolen locket, but about Tish finding herself. It's also a story that deals with how the Bludmen are treated and what one man, the Magistrate, will do against them.
The majority of the novel is set in Sangland. Ms. Dawson has created a parallel world that is much like ours, but wildly different. I loved the animals that inhabit Sangland - similar to our animals but so dangerous. Criminy's traveling circus is amazing. We spend enough time there to get to know the members of the circus who are all interesting in their own rights.There are incredible clockwork contraptions in Sangland. While Bludman share some similarities to vampires, they are not the same. I enjoyed seeing a new take on 'vampires' in Wicked As They Come.
Ms. Dawson's writing is very self-assured. Wicked as They Come is a debut that does not read like one. The characters (primary and secondary) are well-developed, the world setting is extremely well done, the story itself is terrific. Other than a little slow pacing at the beginning the novel moves at a steady clip to the very satisfying ending.
Wicked as They Come is fantastical, intriguing, mysterious, and fun! Since I've run out of superlatives, I will simply say that I loved Wicked as They Come and the Blud series is now an automatic buy.
I give Wicked as They Come 5 Qwills.
You may read Delilah S. Dawson's Guest Blog - Want a Wicked Vacation? Try a Parallel Universe! - here.
I liked Wicked as They Come so much I'm giving one copy away!
What: One commenter will win a copy of Wicked as They Come (Blud 1) from The Qwillery.
How: Leave a comment answering the following question:
What have you read recently that you loved?
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Who and When: The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Tuesday, April 3, 2012. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.
*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*