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Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Collector (Dante Walker #1) by Victoria Scott

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.

I get giddy when I look at this book. I even made the rare decision to buy an actual copy for myself! This book had a CRUISE LINER’S worth of hype around it, and that something that I was nervous about. Until recently, I have avoided directly requesting such high profile books. But, something about the book really called out to me. (Not going to argue, it could have been the cover. I love when covers DON’T show the protagonist (erm…antagonists?) face.) I clicked the request button and waited nervously. SO many reviewers were requesting it! I got the email later that said I hadn’t been approved for the early round, but that my name had been added in a sort of luck-of-the-draw deal.

Later, one of the tour groups I’m a part of was given the book, so I thought “why not?” They approved 79 other bloggers, but I was not one of them. Yeah, I was mad at that point… but I calmed down and BOOM, three weeks later, the lovely publicist gave me an ecopy in the 8th round of blogger calls.

YAY! I was ultra-excited for two hours (complete with jumping around the house.) then I sat down and thought “WHAT HAVE I DONE?!” I’ve gone to such lengths to get this novel….what if I hate it? Then I thought, what the heck am I doing? Why am I so worried, I’m never this way over novels!

So I sat down.

And surprised myself…because I LOVED IT! Ha! This book is so clearly written. I say it that way because it’s not over decorative in its descriptions, it’s witty, it’s sarcastic…and at other moments, deeply tender.

Victoria captures a pretty good window through the male mind (I can’t say for sure of course, I’m not a guy) but this book doesn’t try to gussy up guy thoughts. Moreover, the transition Dante goes through resonates. People rarely choose to change...and if they do, they have already changed on the inside. Dante is influenced by Charlie before he’s even aware of what he’s doing.

When he finally does notice, he takes a step back, juggles his options, and has to decide which side of the fence he wants to fall on. (and change the fate of the world in the process) through a surprising ending.  Further, there are subtle allegories with deeply moral backgrounds woven through a story of sin better than any other (technically secular) novel that I’ve ever seen (and does it ball parks better than any religious author.) I can’t recommend this book enough. I’ll be eagerly awaiting the next installment in the series. (and watching Victoria’s works to boot.)  Scroll down for commenting and click the red Chuck on the shelf to enter a GIVEAWAY!

This book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Warnings for this novel includes cursing, underage drinking, and a few sexual scenes.

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