I am always leery of starting a new series especially a new paranormal series. Having little information about how the book is written means it could go either very well or extremely badly and you just don’t know. One of the great things about writing reviews is that I receive books that I might not have otherwise picked up on my own. This book is one of those books. Reading the back of the book, I wasn’t too sure about what I might find within the covers. The story sounded like a mash of steampunk, paranormal, and time travel that I wasn’t sure could work. I am so glad that this book was sent to me because it does work and creates such a compelling story that I can’t wait to read the next one in the series.
Delilah Dawson builds a world, Sang, that is completely unlike our world. Everything is a blood sucker including the wild animals like bunnies. Anyone or anything that drinks blood is called Blud and the non-blood drinkers are called Pinkies. The world is regulated to make sure that the Blud don’t’ get out of hand and end up slaughtering or turning all the Pinkies.
Tish Everett is a regular person who has just gotten out of a very bad marriage and works as a home care nurse for the elderly or infirm. She loves her job and spending time with her grandmother. Tish doesn’t know what possesses her to steal the old locket from the home of a former patient at the estate sale. She just can’t help, but think that the necklace belongs to her. When she falls asleep wearing it, she awakens in Sang and meets Criminy Stain.
Criminy Stain is a Bludman. He is also the owner/manager of a unique traveling carnival that moves throughout Sang performing. Criminy made the locket that called Tish to him and he believes that means she is meant to be with him. Criminy isn’t sure of the full impact of the locket or how long Tish can remain in Sang. Together they must figure out how to handle their attraction to each other and the complications that it causes.
I loved every minute of this story. There is so much going on between trying to figure out how Tish can stay in Sang, whether or not she can leave her grandmother, how to fit into a world that is completely alien to her, the tension with the Coppers, and the underlying prejudices that surround this world. Every aspect of this book enhances the others. This story may appear to be simple upon first glance, but it has so much depth to it and so many intersecting plot lines. Ms. Dawson does a phenomenal job of not only keeping the story moving and keeping our interests, but also blending every part into a collective whole that works together. This story doesn’t become muddled or convoluted despite all the disparate elements.
I love the main characters. Tish reacts just the way any of us would if we were suddenly transported to another place. Her reactions help us to understand the new world and to root for her to figure things out so that everyone is happy. Since everything is new to Tish, we learn along with her about this new world that Delilah Dawson has created.