Title: The Collector
Author: Victoria Scott
Series: Dante Walker #1
Genre: YA Fantasy
Summary (from Goodreads)
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.
Hmm this was an odd one. On the one hand, Dante’s character is an obnoxious twit, well and truly vile. His self congratulatory tone, his chauvinistic attitude – both grated on me enormously. But on the other hand, that’s the point. He’s meant to be a git, and he does go through some believable character growth throughout the novel – not losing his character, but softening, becoming nicer.
I’ve seen a lot of people swooning over Dante on various blogs, but for me there was nothing attractive about him, even when he started being nicer. I get what the writer was trying to do, having him say that Charlie wasn’t attractive, having her change and become more beautiful, but less like herself, and therefore less attractive. But, I felt there was a little too much emphasis on how ‘ugly’ she was in the beginning, which just sent out a bit of a horrible message and I couldn’t really get over that. Don’t get me wrong, I love a bad boy, but being inside Dante’s head and his thought processes was just a little too much – the allure of a bad boy is in his mystery, in suspecting there’s a soft inner core that you can bring out. When they’re horrible it’s because they have to be to protect their fragile little hearts, and I never really got that sense with Dante.
The plot took its time at the beginning, then seemed to rush to a bungled end that introduced several new characters and gave us no reason to care about their fates. There was some emotional punch involving an established character, but otherwise it just didn’t quite work.
That said, it was a fairly entertaining read, and a great premise, with plenty of opportunity to develop it further in the next books. And now that Dante’s not such an odious character, perhaps his narrative won’t be so difficult to digest.