Friday, April 19, 2013

The Collector (Dante Walker #1) by Victoria Scott

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Dante Walker is flippin’ awesome, and he knows it. His good looks, killer charm, and stellar confidence has 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 10 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 long ago buried.

I’ve been craving some snarky, bad boy action lately and Dante Walker fits that bill perfectly.  As a soul collector it’s his job to steer people toward his way of thinking so that he can eventually deliver them to his boss. He doesn’t ask questions. He does what’s asked of him and gets the job done. Of course, having a little fun and messing about while on duty is a bonus.

His latest assignment to lure Charlie to the dark side ends up being his most challenging to date. She’s simply not as easy a mark as he assumed. She is one of those truly kind-hearted, selfless individuals that Dante is allergic to.  He works hard at coaxing her to embrace her wild side (if she has one) in hopes that he can loosen her morals. He certainly has his work cut out for him! As his time runs out, he also discovers that he's not the only one after Charlie and has to determine who he can trust and what to believe.

Here’s what I liked: Dante is a d-bag and he's completely okay with it. However, around Charlie, he finds himself in the unfamiliar role of wanting to protect her more than convert her. He starts off being not attracted to her but then begins to care for her as he gets to know her better.  Her good-natured heart brings to the surface all his unresolved feelings about his family and his past. 

What didn’t quite work for me was Charlie’s character. She comes across as flat to me so much so that I couldn’t quite believe it when he started developing feelings for her.  I felt that she is just a list of positive attributes but not an actual person.  Still his reaction and internal dilemma about Charlie are surprising and ridiculous. 

I’m still happy with The Collector. It has an interesting and fun premise that kept me tuned in. There are more characters who add extra drama and tension to things. Some things were a bit far-fetched which is baffling because if I’m willing to believe that a soul collector is out to seal people's fates then what was with my eye rolls when he paid for everyone to go to Vegas? Regardless, The Collector is entertaining because Dante, the cocky s.o.b. really powers the story. 

~ Bel 

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