Review: The Collector by Victoria Scott

April 14, 2013 4 - 4.5 Stars, Angels, Demons, Humorous, Incredible Heroines, Paranormal, Victoria Scott 3 ★★★★

The Collector by Victoria Scott
Series: Dante Walker # 1
Published by Entangled Teen on March 25, 2013
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
He makes good girls...bad.

Dante Walker is flippin’ awesome, and he knows it. His good looks, killer charm, and stellar confidence have made him one of hell’s best—a soul collector. His job is simple: weed through humanity and label those round rears with a big red good or bad stamp. Old Saint Nick gets the good guys, and he gets the fun ones. Bag-and-tag.

Sealing souls is nothing personal. Dante’s an equal-opportunity collector and doesn't want it any other way. But he’ll have to adjust, because Boss Man has given him a new assignment:

Collect Charlie Cooper’s soul within ten days.

Dante doesn't know why Boss Man wants Charlie, nor does he care. This assignment means only one thing to him, and that’s a permanent ticket out of hell. But after Dante meets the quirky Nerd Alert chick he’s come to collect, he realizes this assignment will test his abilities as a collector…and uncover emotions deeply buried.
It took me a long time to accept Dante.  A looong time.  I’ve never liked people (real or fictional) who advertise any aspect of their supposed greatness.  I mean, if you’re a genius, beautiful, an athletic superstar, or just an overall wonderful human being, you shouldn’t have to tell everyone, should you?  People should be able to spot these magnificent qualities without any assistance from the magnificent quality-possessor.  So, about Dante….  He’s got the looks.  He’s got the swagger.  And he lets us know it.  Repeatedly.  When I was about 50 pages into the book, I described him in my Teaser post as a tool and a jackass.  But a funny thing happened between this demon from Hell and me.  As Dante grew and matured, my feelings about him grew, too.  Was I actually starting to like this guy?  By then end of the book, I was a Dante fan, and that was a great feat that Victoria Scott pulled off.

Other readers’ ability to enjoy this book will likely hinge on whether or not you believe Dante’s transformation is believable.  If you read a few pages from the beginning and then skipped towards the end, you’d be amazed that the narrator is the same guy.  But it worked for me.  He changed for a girl.  Not just any girl, but Charlie, who’s alternately tough and fragile, homely and beautiful (you’re going to have to read to see just how that one works), and always sweet, kind, and loyal.  Because I believed that even someone as arrogant as Dante could fall for Charlie, I accepted his transformation. Actually, it becomes clear that that part of him was there all along, but the pain of his past life buried it deeply.  When he falls, he falls hard, and it was hard for me to watch his pain as he risked his life to protect Charlie.

But enough about the romance.  Let’s talk about the fact that this book is about a dead guy who works for the Devil and who’s assigned the job of “collecting” the soul of sweet, naive Charlie.  This was a new one for me.  Dante initially had no idea why he was sent to capture Charlie’s soul, and he didn’t care.  It was just a job for him.  When we find out why sweet Charlie is so important, the stakes are raised for the folks both upstairs and downstairs.  If Dante doesn’t follow through on his commitment to Boss Man (The Devil), there will be hell to pay, and that’s not a metaphor.  Likewise, the repercussions for Charlie are not pleasant, and this sets up an epic battle between good and evil, as as one side tries to take Charlie’s soul, and the other tries to protect it.

Victoria Scott gives Dante a great voice.  Setting aside some of his douchier comments, she gives him a lot of humorous lines.  He’s also got his kind, tender moments, although it takes a lot of work to drag that part out of him.  Scott ends on a great cliff-hanger, and it looks like the sequel is set to come out in August!

Side note – If you like witty author banter, and if you’re not following @VictoriaScottYA, you should.  She told me over Twitter that she would lock me in her basement and feed me mini chewy Sweet-Tarts.  Yes, that was the essence of the Tweet, and yes, I completely stripped out any and all additional context that would reveal that it was actually very funny and sweet.  So, even though I’ve implied she’s a kidnapping psychopath, I get the impression that she’d be OK with that. 🙂

Note – I received an ARC of this book from the publisher for review.

Review posted at Goodreads and Amazon


3 Responses to “Review: The Collector by Victoria Scott”

  1. Chelsea

    Great Review! I loved the writing style and Dante’s transformation. I didn’t instantly like Dante either but was definitely turned around by the end too. I found myself rolling my eyes a few times at his conceitedness.

  2. Florentine van Doornmalen

    Ah I’m so relieved that you turned out to like Dante 😀 I really have read multiple reviews about this book and the reader either hates him, hates him in the beginning and then loves him through his transition, or absolutely loves him straight off. I am the latter 😉

    Will you be looking forward to her second book?

    See you around buddy!!

    Florentine @ Readiculously Peachy

  3. rivie bleu

    They are usually annoying, when they know they’re the best (I mean, even if they are the best) and they feel like they’re more than others just because of that. But aren’t most of them like that? In fiction, at least. I can’t believe he changed, I think that’s a good thing. So if we see he’s just awesome at whatever he is best, and later we see him actually being good, I’ll fall for him too lol

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