Review: Wicked Ever After by Delilah S. Dawson (Blud #4)


Wicked Ever After by Delilah S. Dawson // VBCWicked Ever After (Blud #4)
Delilah S. Dawson
Published: Oct. 5, 2015 (Pocket Star)
Purchase: Amazon
Review source: copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

Reviewed by: Margaret

Rating (out of 5): 4 stars

Note: While review will be spoiler free, it does make reference to previous books in the series.

Criminy’s Clockwork Caravan is a magical place, but it exists in a world where even the cute and fuzzy bunnies have fangs. Sometimes the bright lights and fanciful creatures make you forget about the danger lurking in the background. I think that’s what happened in my case anyway. It’s been nearly two years since I read the last Blud book and I was feeling nostalgic for the whimsical clockwork animals and colorful carnivalleros. I had forgotten how this series so often takes you into the dark places so that you can really appreciate those bright lights.

Tish loves her life in Sang with Criminy Stain, her “naughty Mr. Darcy,” but she’s not exactly happy. She’s been aging at a magically accelerated rate and now looks and feels sixty, while her much older husband still looks twenty. Becoming a bludman like Criminy would reverse the process, but it would also prevent her returning to Earth to care for her dying grandmother. She’s holding on tightly to that last piece of her old life, even though it’s exhausting her. Dawson did a masterful job making me feel what Tish was feeling. But I didn’t particularly want to be so melancholy and miserable.

Tish thinks she’s found a solution for her problems when she hears that her grandmother might be willing to become a vampire. She drags her failing body back to Sang and asks Criminy to change her. But turning Nana into a bludman doesn’t work out quite the way Tish expected. This plot is perhaps more straightforward compared to the other Blud books in the series due to the shorter lengthWicked Ever After is just shy of 200 pages. But there are still some twists and surprises along the way.

I love the supporting cast of performers in both the Criminy’s caravan and Demi’s cabaret so I’m happy that they all got some time on the page in this finale. The couples from the other books, including the novellas, all made it in as well in a way that didn’t feel too contrived. Even the one character that I really wanted to see get his own story did (sort of.) I would have liked to see more Vale though.

Im happy ending the series this way, but it doesn’t leave me much hope for another Blud story in the future. There is one obvious opportunity that I hope Dawson can take advantage of someday. For now I’ll have to content myself with a re-read. I suspect there’s one in my very near future.

I think you could still pick up Wicked Ever After if you haven’t read all of the other books in the series, though I think you’d enjoy it more after all three novels. But you definitely want to read the first book, Wicked as They Come, in which Tish meets Criminy, before reading the end of their story. I would also suggest reading the prequel novella Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys from the Three Slices anthology, which features a younger Criminy Stain.

Sexual content: How do you top the trapeze sex in Wicked After Midnight? With a hot air balloon, of course!

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