Wicked as they Come is the first book in a new paranormal romance series by debut author Delilah S. Dawson. And I have to say that is one of the most refreshing reads I have read in a while.
It opens with Tish at the house sale of a former patient of hers. She is somehow drawn to a silver locket with a red ruby. She accidently steals it and through a spell she is transported into the dark and gothic world of an alternative of Britain in the early 1900’s.
Dawson weaves a tale that pulls you along to the point where you don’t even realise you are almost halfway through the book and as lost as our heroine, Tish.
I sympathized greatly with Tish when she lands in this world where the rules she lives and abides by no longer apply. She is a fish out of water, but while some authors may have chosen to make Tish the weaker more vulnerable character, Dawson gives her a side that means she is a born survivor. We know this since Tish managed to get out of an abusive relationship with an ex and it has made her more wary of men. After being controlled by her ex, she fights for her independence with every ounce of her being even with our dashing hero intent on wooing her.
It does take Tish a little while to get used to her new surroundings, especially as it turns out that she has gift of clairvoyance in this Otherworld. She can foretell the future, but has little control of the gift. It’s eerie, yet does prove useful in her mission to get back the locket.
Though the book can get very heavy and dark at times, there are humorous parts to lighten the mood. One such part was when a Bludbunnie bit Tish’s ankle. I couldn’t help laughing at the image of a cute fluffy bunny with vampire like teeth, bopping around the countryside.
On the subject of the bunny, the world is different due to the fact that humans, or Pinkies as they are referred to in this world, are in the minority and the Blud people are the dominant species, at least in the sense of being top of the food chain. They are unlike Vampires, for as our hero Criminey, points out he is as alive as Tish and has a heartbeat, just like her.
All wild animals are Blud species too, and the only non Blud animals are contained in the city to help keep the Pinkies fed. Let’s put it this way, Snow White really would have to watch out in the forrests of this world!
Criminy is an intriguing character. He came across as bit like Spike from the Buffy and Angel TV series. He has that slightly cocky attitude and is so sure that Tish will stay with him in the end. He will do almost anything for her, even if it means putting himself in danger. I did fall in love with his character. He had this dash of suave sophistication while also having dangerous side. Criminy is the epitome of the bad boy with the heart of gold, which I am such a sucker for. By the end of the book I was glad that Tish picked him.
The interesting thing about this book is that Tish isn’t stuck in this world at first. Whenever she falls asleep in our world, she is wakes up in the otherworld and vice versa, as long as she has the locket. It is this fact that makes the theft of the locket so important.
Tish is smart and starts to put pieces together about the relationship between her world and this one. The pieces begin to fall into place when she meets one of her patients in the Otherworld. In our world she is a care nurse for the terminal ill or those that are housebound. So when she comes face to face with Casper, who in our world is a gifted pianist that ended up in a coma after a motorcycle accident, it makes Tish wonder how many others have ended up here.
The subplot is cleverly woven in with the main plot of getting the locket back for Tish. This is all to do with the villains plan to wipe out the Bludmen, women and children. We get to witness this first hand and the brutality of its execution is not lost on the reader. It also shows Tish that there is more at risk than just herself.
The end of the book does come to a satisfying conclusion for Tish and Criminy, but I am looking forward to the next book as it is all about Casper. We are given hints on what his future holds, but I can’t wait to read what happens.
A wonderful start to a new series, that had me dying to find out more. It is a dark macabre tale that Tim Burton would only wish to dream of. It has a slight Alice in Wonderland twist to it that I just love. Many a midnight hour was burnt with me not wanting to put it down. For those who like this type of book, I can see them doing the same.
BOOKS IN SERIES ORDER
- Wicked As They Come
- Wicked As She Wants
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