Title: The Collector (Dante Walker #1)
Series: Dante Walker Trilogy
Author: Victoria Scott
Expected Publication: April 2nd, 2013 by Entangled Teen
Publishers Synopsis: 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.
**NOTE:** An eBook of this title was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. However, that did now influence this review in any way.
Amy, Ana, Celeste and Jag put The Collector on our bottom shelf…
Describe The Collector in 3 words.
Amy: Dark. Light. Potential.
Ana: Boy gathers soul.
Celeste: Heaven. Hell. Souls.
Jag: Not hot enough
Initial thoughts on Dante Walker and did your perception of him change as the story progressed?
Amy: I’m not gonna lie, my expectations for this proclaimed ultimate bad-boy were sky high, and unfortunately I just never fully connected with Dante. There were a lot of the characteristics I loved about him; His cockiness. His arrogance. His sexiness.. you know, all the things we all love in our bad dudes, but it seemed like as the story went on, Dante became more and more of a softie and less and less of a bad boy.
Ana: I wanted to like Dante..I really did. But instead of the bad boy I was expecting, I actually got someone who was mean. His internal dialogue and side comments were self-centered and cold-hearted…even towards the Charlie. He did changed as the story progressed but, unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to redeem him in my eyes.
Celeste: I LOVED Dante when I first started the novel. His inner dialogue was fantastic. He was so cocky and full of himself and I couldn’t get enough. As the story went on he softened up so much (too much). He went from cold-hearted and selfish to kind and selfless, frankly a bit of a, well I can’t say the word here, but he was a pushover. It was actually a little too fast for me and not really believable. I preferred the original Dante. If he only had a soft spot for Charlie I could have bought it, but all of a sudden he sobbing at every person that he crossed paths with that was struggling.
Jag: I wanted to love Dante and this book so much but I think it fell short in the execution. The concept was great but Dante’s character, though cocky and confident at first, just never seemed ‘bad’ enough for me. He never had that edge that the bad boy needs, the edge that remains even after he falls in love. Dante went soft, too soft. I also had a difficult time getting a ‘visual’ on Dante, since it was written from his perspective I didn’t get any real glimpse into what he looked like. All the focus what on heinous looking Charlie. ::Kanye shrug::
The imperfectness that is Charlie Cooper..
Amy: I actually wished Charlie’s character would of just been a plain-jane type of girl, rather than almost repulsive or super pretty.. It would of made things a bit more relateable and believable for readers. I did love her overall though. Bad looks aside, she was admirably strong, kind, gentle and extremely loving. She may have been a bit of a nerd (which is exactly why I loved her) but she also wasn’t afraid to be who she was. The emphasis on how horrid looking she was just didn’t sit well with me.
Ana: I totally agree with Amy. I wish Charlie was been more “everyday”. She was a great girl who cared for others and the world she lived in but the huge focus on her crooked teeth, limp and bad hair left me cold.
Celeste: Well, Jag, looks like I’m the one with no soul here lol…while her soul is pure and full of good, she was physically unattractive. But that is part of what made Charlie, well, Charlie. No matter what she kept going and never lost faith in herself. She truly was a very strong person who had been through so much. I definitely admired her. She also had a great bit of spunk, which I didn’t expect but loved! (LOL when she named Dante’s car!!). I just couldn’t get past the ugly, especially the bad teeth and skin. Gross.
Jag: I just didn’t think she was all that and a bag of chips. I’m sorry she was sweet and nice and self-less but really REALLY he saw that much in her that his entire being changed. I could deal with the fact that she was FUG, but I just didn’t get it, any of it. I think Amy is right. she would have been more relatable had they just made her a plain Jane.
Amy: It just didn’t seem real for me.. Dante wasn’t physically attracted at all to Charlie in the beginning. It seemed like she just kinda grew on him. I understand that romance can develop as friendship progresses between people, but in this case, I just didn’t feel the chemistry or connection between the two characters.
Ana: I didn’t feel the heat. Maybe it was because it was so fast or maybe because my initial feelings about Dante made this transformation unbelievable but, either way, I didn’t get the tingles.
Celeste: Ack, I couldn’t feel it. Just personal taste, but this is where the story lost me. In Dante’s eyes Charlie was not attractive. So to me that means no chemistry. To me Charlie was like a kid sister to Dante and it just didn’t work for me at all.
Jag: FIZZLE not sizzle. I just never felt the unresolved sexual tension. There was no chemistry, no connection, I was let down.
Collectors vs. Liberators.
Amy: Such a unique take on angels and demons! Loved it.
Ana: Unique take on the whole angel/demon thing. I like that both heaven and hell are battling in a very tangible was for our souls.
Celeste: Now this part of the story is what I loved. It was a very original take on the whole angels/demons thing that has been done so many times. I think we only brushed the surface finding out about this world and their capabilities. I wish there had been more focus on this.
Jag: I really thought the concept and storyline were really unique. I’m always a fan of the good versus evil and I think the author’s spin on that had a lot of potential. She has left a lot to still discover in the next book.
Holy action and gold cuffs, Batman. And how about that ending?
Amy: The ending was probably my favorite part of the book. It was great! Things definitely got intense and we got some pretty cool insight into the world of the Liberators and Collectors.
Ana: Agreed…the ending was the best part. I felt like I was finally delving into that world and learning more about how everything works.
Celeste: The ending totally picked up for me! I wish there had been that much action all along because it gave the story the depth that I was craving. The whole concept of the cuffs and the metal was very cool.
Jag: I agree the ending picked up and was the best part of the book.
Was it rec worthy? Any hopes for book #2?
Amy: Gah, I so wanted to love this book bad.. The potential for the storyline is huge! I plan on reading The Liberator even though I had some issues with this story.. I still very much enjoyed the author’s writing style and sense of humor, and I’m curious to see how and if things change for and between Charlie and Dante. Everyone has their own thoughts and expectations on romance, that aside, there were some very good elements to this unique story so I’d say check it out and see what you think!
Ana: It’s always sad when I go into a book with great expectations and come out the other side disappointed. This happened to me. However, the beauty of books is that they affect people differently and I happen to know that lots of readers enjoyed this book. The writing was good and the story was unique…I just wasn’t fond of the execution. So, as for me, I don’t think I’ll be reading book 2.
Celeste: I love the whole concept of the collectors and the liberators….BUT I wish we had gotten a few more tidbits along the way about all the rules in this world, but maybe that was the idea….to wow me at the end? If the romance had worked for me I would have been more in love with this book. Sooooo no, I’m not going to read book 2. That is just a personal preference, so keep in mind this book could easily knock someone’s socks off if they were sold on the love affair between Dante and Charlie.
Jag: It hurts me not to love this book, I mean really people…Look.at.the.cover The writing was good, there were moments of humour, the story was unique but without the chemical spark of romance, I’m folding my cards and taking my money with me.