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By: Daniel Marks
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 2012
ISBN: 978-0-385-74224-5
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor 
Review Date: October 21, 2012

WOW! That’s the way to start out this particular review, because the author has thrown a brand new world into the YA mix that truly blows the mind.

Velveteen was only sixteen when she met a brutal end at the hands of a serial killer. When her soul left the world, however, she ended up in a place that is neither Heaven nor Hell. In fact, with all the back alley businesses, and various groups that do particular odd jobs in order to keep this world running, this city of the dead feels very much like a regular city.

Here, things called shadowquakes are going on that have been rocking the city and making people fearful that they’re going to die. Why? Because the Departure is coming. You see, the Departure is all about a few like-minded people banding together in order to get out of the city. They don’t know what will happen once free, but they’re definitely planning on getting the heck out of there.

Velveteen is the leader of an important group. She and her friends travel when they need to save or collect a soul. Think of them as the Search & Rescue team (the salvagers that rescue wayward souls). On one trip, however, she and her crew duke it out with a dark force and end up saving a young man named Nick, who is not only handsome but funny, and has Velveteen’s heart tripping over itself when he looks at her.

Nick becomes part of their crew and the gang has to prevent the city of the dead from falling to ruin, as well as deal with Velveteen’s very own solo journeys to earth where she spends her time haunting and destroying Bonesaw - the serial killer who took her life.

This author offers a truly amazing world. From little things like having to wear ash on the face in the city of the dead; to the origami store run by one of the kind men who Velveteen cares about; to the crew that contains everything from a humorous playboy to an undertaker with heart to Velveteen’s bff and her brother - who are the best poltergeists in the biz - this book is perfectly ‘drawn.’

Yes, this is more than dark - but the plot, romance, humor, haunting of the bad guy - you name it, there is something fresh on every page.

Quill Says: A YA that goes well beyond what’s already been done. All that can be said is, “Give Us More!”

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