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Review: The Collector by Victoria Scott

Published: April 2nd 2013 by Entangled Teen
FYI BTW: Paperback • 352 pages • Series Goodreads Rating: ★ ★ ★ 1/2
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.

(Read more on Goodreads.)
Dante Walker is an equal-oppurtunity-insulting douche bag who just so happens to have lucked out in the career-post-death department, working as Lucifer's underling and climbing steadily up to a shiny, highly coveted promotion. As leading Collector among the few who've managed the privilege, this guy swears he got it like that. And in most cases that type of attitude inspires a certain reaction from outside parties.

That kind of cockiness sets itself up for failure, but with his track record completely unmarred by screw ups of any variety, his less-than-humble claims are backed up hardcore. And from the first page all you get is this SASS and BLUNT meanness that learning more about Dante Walker shouldn't make the to-do list but IT DOES. It so does. Because those kinds of prickly layers are just begging to be peeled away until we're left with the resolved mystery, and in spite of his, er, lack of manners there's this troublesome, undeniable truth: Dante Walker is kind of extremely lovable.

Say what you will about that boy, he won me over within two pages. TWO. Not only because his meanness and sarcasm shouldn't technically be funny but is—he's a loving person, whether he admits or try doesn't ever. He's viciously protective of those who matter and he has the capacity to see people for what they're worth, who they are. So while I wouldn't call his center exactly gooey nor very near to the surface, his heart is not only present but MASSIVE. And so it's no wonder that he was my favorite part of reading The Collector by Victoria Scott. Followed swiftly by the charm of Charlie, of course.

ALSO: MAX *dies*.

I loved that this wasn't your typical YA paranormal romance in every way even though it has a lot of typical elements. There's no super spiffy writing inside Dante's ongoing inner monologue pov except in those well-placed moments of clarity and disarming insight that spotlight his growth. In fact, Dante talks like all the boys I ignored back in high school because I thought them incapable of holding an actual conversation with me. But that's what makes him believable and fun, and so many points go to Victoria Scott for embracing teenage tomfoolery and all the accompanying slang. And we've all seen a plotline like this one, a demon who collects souls for Hell and can't afford to have his biggest job yet foiled, and yet Scott has twisted it up enough and added enough of her own flair into it that it was just the right amount of unpredictable. More points! And the romance... Our sexy Dante does not get himself a regulation hottie to take to the sheets midway into the book and instead he gets Charlie, in the throes of the hellish and very familiar nightmare of puberty—crooked teeth, frizzy hair and all!

I do have a couple of complaints, though: the pacing needed to vary a bit more to keep my attention hardwired and, this might just be me, but Dante needs to stop saying things like "sweet girl" every five sentences ASAP please goodness. No, seriously, gritting your teeth is bad for you. But I'm nonetheless remarkably impressed with what I assumed was going to be an over-the-top, way ridiculous book—well, it is but in the best way possible instead of that other one where heavy eye-rolling is involved. Now I have to buy The Liberator, damn it!

Best one-liners - "Seals come from being bad, or as I like to say, exciting."

"Collecting souls is nothing personal. I'm an equal-oppurtunity sealer."

"Something squeals loudly, and I ready myself to kill some sort of rodent. But it's Charlie.

And scenes of course - I spin around and see Max running toward me in a gray Armani shirt. "Dante. Oh, Dante. Seal me! Seal me so hard!" He grabs my hips and pumps his toward mine. "Oh, Dante! You're so hot when you seal souls."

At the end of the walkway is a cat. It struts with arrogance. You'd think it just won the Nobel Prize. But it didn't. Know why? Because it's a freakin' cat. In case you missed the memo, I. Hate. Cats. I loathe them. They're built with creepy little teeth and finger blades. I don't know about you, but I'll pass on THAT freak show.

Charlie studies me for a moment, then reaches for the radio and flips it off.
"This is my favorite."
"Off?" I ask.
Charlie rolls down the window. She lays her head on the open window frame. "I like the sound the world makes."

I bought my copy as an e-book from Amazon.


Marathon said...

I liked that this was a bit different too, but such a strong focus on her looks bothered me, especially since her awkwardness and physical unattractiveness was blown up to epic proportions. It's not something I can get behind. But otherwise, this was a lot of fun.
Great review.

Marathon said...

It was very different and in a good way for me. I actually liked that it focused so much on her look, giving us the exact opposite of what we've come to expect of late. It was so much fun, and I glad you had fun too!
Thanks ^^