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I read a variety of genres but tend to favor romantic fiction, whether paranormal, steampunk, or historical. Some dystopian, UF, and even an occasional mystery might make their way onto my reading list. Otherwise, anything that sounds quirky and fun goes! :)


Wicked as They Come (Blud, #1)

Wicked as They Come (Blud, #1) - Delilah S. Dawson http://zemfirkablogs.blogspot.com/2013/04/book-review-wicked-as-they-come.html

“Spanish Caravan" by the Doors

Carry me Caravan take me away
Take me to Portugal, take me to Spain
Andalusia with fields full of grain
I have to see you again and again
Take me, Spanish Caravan
Yes, I know you can

Trade winds find Galleons lost in the sea
I know where treasure is waiting for me
Silver and gold in the mountains of Spain
I have to see you again and again
Take me, Spanish Caravan
Yes, I know you can

Are you ready to step through the looking glass, right into a Vampireland…er, I mean Sang?

One day, Tish is a nurse, living alone with a cat, after she broke off from her controlling fiancé; trying to pick up the pieces of her broken self. Another, she finds herself naked, save the mysterious locket she accidently picked up at an estate sale of her former patient, lying on a stone being watched by a mysterious gentleman, who might have been Mr. Darcy’s extra-naughty cousin. What is one to do when they find themselves in such circumstance you ask? Well, of course, you must realize that it is a dream! Only that it’s not and you are the gentleman’s mail-order bride. Welcome to Sang, where, if you are a Pinky (i.e. human), beware that even the cutest fuzzy bunny is there waiting to sink his sharp, pointy teeth into your flesh. Indeed, the lands of Sang are full of teeth.
“…contemplating the dark possibilities of a forest where Snow White had more to fear from her animal friends than from any wicked queen.” (p. 162).

Tish, or Lady Letitia, Fortune-Teller as she becomes known, has no choice but to join the traveling circus, whose master is none other but our mysterious gentleman: Criminy Stain, Gypsy King. (Ok, I admit I’ve rolled my eyes a few times while reading the novel, just because of his name. It is somewhat fitting within the whole world building but “Criminy,” really?) As Tish reluctantly starts to accept her new reality, and contemplate her options of getting back to her own world, the slow beginnings of a relation between the two main characters start to sprout.

Through numerous endearments, such as “love” and “pet”, which is how Criminy insists on referring to Tish throughout the novel, (which also irked me to no end); we meet the various carnivalleros of the Criminy’s Clockwork Caravan, whom I found to be quite interesting, unusual and at times very colorful characters. Thereafter, the adventures commence, and armed with their magical abilities and convenience of occasional use of Tish’s blood as currency, the two travel the lands of Sang, through various events, trying to recapture the mysterious locket (that of course, gets stolen at the first opportunity), so that Tish may return to her world, while also saving the Bludmen (i.e., vampires) of Sang. Well, you get the idea: at the end love conquers all, cause nobody likes to read a sad fairytale.

Personally I am not a big fan of circus, and thought I wouldn’t enjoy the story as much when the said circus was introduced, but surprisingly I did. It added an interesting layer to the story, a bit of magic, and a fairy-tale feel. In fact, I think I found the whole novel to be very much like an interesting mix of some of the great fairy-tales: a dash of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, a drop of The Little Scarlet Flower (which is essentially a tale of Beauty and the Beast) and perhaps something else unique, and steampunk to boot. Overall, I think Ms. Dwason has offered a captivating debut novel and if you are also on a lookout for a great PNR/Steampunk read this is the one for you!

Things that didn’t impress me:
Perhaps, my biggest problem with this novel was that I didn’t fall in love with the main characters. I didn’t relate to Letitia, nor Criminy for that matter.

Letitia either cries, whines, faints, sleeps, or pretends to be fearsome and motivated, but that is usually short lived.

Criminy underwhelmed as the love interest. He was not very gentlemanly, or hero-type. And even, the long awaited love scene on the submarine (oh yes! There is a submarine involved.) fell a bit short in my opinion. Plus, I couldn’t get past the black scales covering his hands (which is the general attribute of the Bludmen in the series).

Other comments:
I kept hearing the Doors playing in the background while reading the novel, hence the lyrics of the “Spanish Caravan” in the beginning of the review. In general, the lyrics of a few of the Doors’ songs would’ve fit quite right within this novel: “People are Strange” or possibly, “Hello, I Love You,” don’t you think?

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