Wicked As They Come (Blud #1)
by Delilah S. Wilson
by Delilah S. Wilson
Publication date: 27 March 2012 by Pocket Books
Category: Adult Paranormal Romance/Steampunk
Keywords: Paranormal, romance, steampunk, vampires
Format: Mass market paperback, eBook
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 have to be honest and say that I struggled to finish this one. While it had a really cool premise, I had trouble getting into the story and was never able to connect with any of the characters. The pacing of the book was also off, with an extremely slow start, and didn’t pick up until the middle of the book or so. Unfortunately by then, I had a lost a lot of interest and was just trying to get to the finish line.
The book starts off well enough with Tish finding a locket at an estate sale. When she goes to bed, she wakes up naked in a strange world that is similar to her own but also very different. Criminy Stain is there, a mysterious stranger who claims that he cast a spell to bring her to him. Tish must learn to survive in this new, dangerous world while trying to find a permanent way back to her own world.
I think my main problem was with the characters. I found Tish to be whiny and annoying for most of the book. She has two men fighting over her and I couldn’t understand why either of them was interested. Criminy Stain, is the Mad Hatter in this tale, with his magic tricks and enigmatic nature. But instead of charming, I found him to be somewhat patronizing and a little manic. And while I am sure that there are many women out there who would find Criminy swoon worthy, he did nothing for me. I do give him points though for his infinite patience when dealing with Tish. I probably would have left her on the side of the road for the bludbunnies the first chance I got. The book was also lacking in the romance department. I didn’t feel any spark or emotional connection between the two. Even the sex scenes weren’t very exciting.
That’s not to say that I didn’t like anything about the book. It’s clear that Dawson is a good writer and I found the world of Blud to be very unique and imaginative. Dawson’s vivid descriptions paint a dark new world filled with terrifying, bloodthirsty (literally) creatures and ruthless Pinkies and Coppers. The idea of an oppressed vampire race is definitely interesting and I found myself wanting to know more about the history of Sang. I’d also like to learn more about how Tish’s human world and Sang are able to exist at the same time and if there are other parallel worlds.
I wish this had been more to my liking but you can’t win them all, right? If you’re interested in really unique worlds and don’t mind so-so characters, you might enjoy this more than I did.