Friday, August 2, 2013

Review: The Collector by Victoria Scott

The moment I first heard about this book, I knew I had to read it. I actually went out of my way to try and get an ARC (very unusual for me) for this one, but as sometimes happens, that didn't pan out. However, when I was doing a recent splurge shopping trip for my Kindle, I noticed that this was under $6 and didn't spare a second thought picking it up.

There are many things which drew my attention to this story. I'm always a sucker for characters working for the devil, especially if there is a shot for redemption or love--and we get opportunities for both here. I'm also a paranormal addict, though I don't read quite as much now as I did years ago. Last is the elusive, and hopefully interesting, use of a male main character in YA. That's not generally a selling point for me, but when it ties into things that are, I tend to consider it a nice bonus.

So, did The Collector convince me that I'll need to collect the rest of this series? Read on and find out.
(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.
Let me save those of you who plan to skim this for a verdict some trouble. If you love paranormal books, witty characters, great world building and a fascinating, unforgettable male lead, get this book now! 

The Collector is everything that I love about a good paranormal romance and then some. The world building that Victoria did for her Collectors and Liberators is both fresh and fascinating. There always seemed to be something new to discover and ponder, yet at the same time I never found myself overwhelmed, buried by an info dump, or bored. 

The idea of bad boy Collector Dante trying to corrupt the sweetly endearing Charlie started in one direction and then took off like someone on a cross country road trip. I didn't feel that I would be able to predict everything in this one, and any time I got close to thinking that, this story spun me for a total loop. 

The cast, overall, was great. I liked Charlie, although I must confess that I was kinda annoyed that she did get to change her whole appearance by the end and that while there are things that happen in the end which are sad, none are actually a consequence to the fact that she clearly did not value herself. I get it: teens don't want to be preached to, and this is a personal quirk. I'm actually not even saying it 'should' have been that way--rather, I'm saying my respect for her plummeted a little more with each new perfection she got. 

As for Dante, I mad loved this guy. And let's be real here: there are many moments in this book when, if he were a real guy, I wouldn't want to be in the same room with him. But as a book character, heck yeah he works. Here's the thing: for a character to have growth they need to start somewhere very different then where the end up. I appreciate the fact that Dante wasn't half-assed. I like the fact that I wasn't sure where he would end up in the end, or what he would do. (Nor will you get that from me.) I also thought his voice was well done. So often I feel like characters I read blend together, but Dante was wonderfully unique and a true breath of fresh air. 

i liked the way that things shifted gradually with him and Charlie and that, while the romance was great, there was so much awesome in this story all around that the romance wasn't under pressure to provide that all by its lonesome. 
If you've gotten this far, I'm pretty sure you know my verdict already. Buy it now! The Collector is a great paranormal romance. More importantly, though, I'm pretty sure it's one of the best books I've read not just this year, but during my entire time writing this blog. This is a run, don't walk, recommendation! 

The Collector Is A Recipient Of... 


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