Published: April 2nd, 2013
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.
Dante Walker is up for a promotion at work and being the best at what he does, is fully confident that he'll get it without a problem. That is, until he meets the girl he's supposed the corrupt. Oh yeah, by the way Dante is a soul collector for Lucifer. He has exactly 10 days to get Charlie Cooper over to the dark side and collect her soul for his boss - or else. But with Charlie being a major force for good and an unassuming, semi-ugly average nerd Dante has his work cut out for him. Dante is an asshole and he knows it. But the more time he spends with Charlie, the more he feels like he could be a good person. He wants to change. But by the time he actually does, will it be too late?
I thought this sounded like a good book. I figured I would laugh quite a bit and end up liking the main characters, hoping for the romance aspect by the end. Mostly what I wanted by the end of the book was for Dante to SHUT THE HELL UP. I really didn't like him whatsoever. The moment he first sees Charlie, this is his first thought:
“My eyes widen at the sight of her. This is the girl Boss Man is after? She looks like a porcelain doll... beat three times with an ugly stick.”
Yeah, that's really someone that I want to read about and sympathize with! I don't think so! Also, most of his time is spent talking about how great he is, which is enough to turn me off a character completely. I get that the whole point is that he's a douchebag who gets reformed, but I thought the reform was really not all that believable. I mean, he only changes his tune AFTER Charlie is pretty much an entirely different person!
Speaking of Charlie, I was able to at least tolerate her, but I didn't really like her all that much either. Yeah, I get that she's supposed to be heaven sent and a force for good, yadda, yadda, yadda. But no one who has been through that much crap and is a public high school student is that gullible or outright 'Awww shucks' stupid. Because that's how she came across to me. There is a fine line between innocence and stupidity and she was really straddling it. She's known Dante for less that a week and yet Charlie manages to sign her soul away to the Devil in a contract she doesn't even read, because Dante tells her she's signing it away to God. Since when have you ever heard of signing your soul away TO GOD??? Never! I did appreciate that (at least on Dante's part) this was free of insta-love. But I felt like Charlie fawned over him far too much and things happened way too fast for me to really believe their relationship had any substance to it. Also, he treats her more like a kicked puppy he wants to rescue, than a girl he wants to kiss and be in a relationship with. Charlie's friends Annabelle and Blue were good additions to the plot, but they really didn't have all that much development. Another point that had me unable to suspend my disbelief: the three of them decide to skip school and fly to Vegas and party with Dante, a guy they've know for less than a week!
The whole soul sealing thing and the anti-seals that Charlie was putting out at first kind of confused me. It was an interesting concept but I didn't find it executed all that well. I know a lot of girls will read this book and swoon over Dante, even if he is a complete and total, unrepentant asshole. And Charlie is a genuinely good person, which is nice to see every once in a while. To be honest though, I'm proud of myself for getting through this book when I really couldn't stand the characters for the majority of it. That and the lack of insta-love (even if the actual romance goes from zero to sickly sweet REALLY fast) are the only reason this book gets two stars. That and the fact that I did smile a couple times, even if most of the time I was cringing.
VERDICT: 2/5 Stars
*I received an Advanced Reading E-book Copy from the publisher, via NetGalley. No money or favors were exchanged for this review. This book was published on April 2nd, 2013.*