Early Review: Wicked As They Come by Delilah S. Dawson

March 18, 2012 Review 7

*This title will be released on March 27, 2012*

Wicked as They Come (Blud, #1)

Title: Wicked As They Come
AuthorDelilah S. Dawson
Series: Blud #1
Cover Art: Tony Mauro
Genre: Paranormal Steampunk
Excerpt: Yes
Source: Publisher
Reviewed by: Abigail

  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books (March 27, 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 1451657889
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451657883

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Sexual Content:

A couple mild sex scenes


Good – A fun read with minor flaws. Maybe read an excerpt before buying.


Have you ever heard of a Bludman? They’re rather like you and me—only more fabulous, immortal, and mostly indestructible. (They’re also very good kissers.)

Delilah S. Dawson’s darkly tempting debut drops her unsuspecting heroine into a strange faraway land for a romantic adventure that’s part paranormal, part steampunk . . . and completely irresistible.

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?


WICKED AS THEY COME, the first book in the Blud series, transports us to an alternate England that is amazingly vibrant and unsettling.  Paranormal and steampunk smash blood and gears together in this fascinating world. Cute, fuzzy bunnies can bring down a sheep and strip it to the bone, blood is currency, clockwork animals are the only safe ones, and magic is real.

As amazing and intriguing as the world was, there was something lacking in the characters and plot. Tish is the protagonist, a nurse fresh out of a controlling relationship, who finds her way to vampire ridden Victorian England via an enchanted locket.  Tried as I did, I couldn’t connect with her.  She just took every strange and terrifying thing that happened to her in stride.  I’m all for calm and collected, but she needed to freak out a bit, worry a little, something.  Then there was Criminy Stain (love that name) a self proclaimed rake and Ringmaster of a circus.  Except he never did anything rakish, never did anything that made me think he was truly dangerous.  Tish constantly compared him to a gypsy version of Mr. Darcy, but he wasn’t ever arrogant or ill-tempered.

The writing was quite good and easily transported me to this alternate England, but the pacing was pretty slow.  The whole book takes place over the course of a week, and the first few days are especially slow in terms of plot, and the short time period just wasn’t long enough to create the credible bond between Tish and Criminy (magical fate not withstanding) that we’re supposed to feel.

Those complaints aside, the writing and worldbuilding are strong enough that I’m recommending WICKED AS THEY COME, especially if you like steampunk novels.  No details are available about the sequel, but three books in this series have been sold to the publisher.

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7 Responses to “Early Review: Wicked As They Come by Delilah S. Dawson”

  1. Rain Maiden

    Well poo, I was hoping this book was going to be a slam dunk. I love stories that move…slow, not so much. Thank you for the review Abigail I'm going to think about picking up this one.

  2. erin

    Thanks for the review…. I loved the cover and the premise… I was hoping for something fantastic as the premise seems so original. Hmmm… probably still gonna give it a shot, keeping in mind it is her debut.

  3. Abigail

    Me too. I still think the worldbuilding is fantastic, but the pacing and characters didn't do it for me. Might want to keep an eye out for A BLOOD SEDUCTION by Pamela Palmer. It has a similar premise (minus the steampunk elements) that worked much better all around than this book.

  4. Abigail

    I could see that happening. The Blud world was so amazing that I's be tempted to try book two when it comes out.

  5. Abigail

    I really was torn about this one because I can't praise the worldbuilding enough…but I wanted more from everything else. Too bad.