Shocking Right From the Start

By Daniel Marks

Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers 17.99 464

Velveteen, aka Velvet, landed in ash-covered Purgatory when murdered. Souls here are waiting for another kind of death still wondering if there is a Heaven, but everyone has a place. Velvet dedicates her afterlife to “salvaging” souls trapped in crystal balls by those dabbling in dark arts and illegally haunting her killer in attempt to save his most recent victim, but things in Purgatory aren’t going well. There is a revolution stirring which could destroy much more than just Velvet’s home.

Gory details, harsh language, and Velvet’s internal issues make this a novel more appropriate for older teens. Author, Daniel Marks does not spare the reader of the emotional complexities behind the characters and the psychotic thought processes behind the villains. The reader relives Velvet’s disturbing final moments. Velvet is no innocent either, as her death turned her into a sometimes violent, bitter person. Her story is harsh but every part is vital to it and essential to Velvet’s growth. Letting go of the past and shouldering secrets while preventing the destruction of Purgatory is not for the faint of heart, which is why we have Velvet and her rag-tag team of helpers. It will be a morbid but creepily good adventure.

Reviewed By Isabel Hernandez

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