PJV Quickie: Victoria Scott delivered a Young Adult Paranormal Romance like I’ve never experienced before in The Collector. It was ridiculously dark, but still possessed that uplifting naiveté of voice that is the essence of the Young Adult genre.
YA Paranormal Romance Novel,
The Collector by Victoria Scott.
Title: The Collector
Author: Victoria Scott
Series: Dante Walker #1
Type: Young Adult Paranormal Romance
Publication: April 2nd 2013 by Entangled Teen
Review: Readers, I would like to introduce you to Dante Walker. You will not like him at first, in fact you’ll probably want to throw a wet sock at him and hiss profanities — probably while fanning yourself and flashing him at the same time — but please don’t judge.
Yes, I have to agree with Dante. You see Dante is a straight-up demon, he walks, talks and oozes bad-boy. You like bad-boys? Dante will be your dream-come-true. His job is to collect souls and he is damn good at it. His latest assignment comes straight from his Boss Man, collect Charlie Cooper’s soul. He has a time limit also, ten days. At first he thinks it will be no problem, until he lays eyes on Charlie. Charlie is nothing like he expected, she’s awkward, a total nerd and she sees the good in everyone. But, she is also the ticket out of hell for him, a promotion and a big one, so he doesn’t care about Charlie. He only wants her soul.
The Collector is a book that tests the limits of the genre. It isn’t hot bad-boy hunk, meets shy but pretty young girl — they fall in love and she redeems him. No, this is a book about second chances. Second chances given to people you wouldn’t think would be given a second chance. Scott even makes you, the reader, give this character a second chance. Like I said before, you will not like Dante at first, you might not even like Charlie. You are looking through Dante’s eyes and his POV is egotistical and caustic. [frame align=”right”][/frame]He doesn’t like Charlie at first, so his description of her is terrible. It was a big risk that Victoria Scott took when writing this book. Because you want to have that instant relation with the characters, The Collector didn’t have that. It intrigues you, but any affinity with Dante wasn’t there. Then slowly something happens. You get a glimpse here and there. It was brilliant character development from Victoria Scott. You start thinking, “Could Dante be feeling something? Is that guilt?” You suddenly start flipping through the pages wanting to find Dante’s good side. It has to be there, right?
And then it hits you.
Yup, Dante has swag for days. Swoon ladies, swoon.
I mentioned that this was a hard review to write, frankly because I was blown away by most of the book, but then suddenly felt disappointed at other times. And when something like this happens, I usually focus on the negative more, because that is usually easier to define. Not this time! Let’s break it down.
What blew me away?
- Transitions. Dante’s character development.
Dante goes through a big transition. But, so does Charlie. Both were wonderfully done. The fact that you are within Dante’s head as he slowly processes his transition is irresistible to me as a reader. His transition also makes sense, because you start seeing that Dante wasn’t what you first thought him to be.
- Phrase Turnology. (I made that up) Victoria Scott’s epic use of dialogue and inner-monologue. Damn woman you can turn a one-liner. And being inside Dante’s head was like a comedy of demon-awesome.“So, let’s get this rollin’. What’s your dealio, Fire Crotch?”
- Secondary Characters. The brightness of the side-character. None of them were 2D. None. I really enjoyed reading about Blue and Dante’s reaction to him, his hatred and then admiration.
- Romance. The anxiety of the “maybe” romance. Drove me nuts. I loved that. The fact that through most of the novel I didn’t think that Dante and Charlie would hook-up, unless it was forced because of necessity, was excellent. So, I wasn’t waiting for the inevitable kiss…and declaration of love. I didn’t know if Dante would witness Charlie falling for someone else, or would actually fall for her…without her falling for him, thus teaching him a lesson…had me all prickly. It was a good feeling.
Between the dialogue and characters, this is a top-notch read for me. Victoria Scott did an amazing job and I think Entangled has another winner on their hands.
There were some things that were wrong with the book, at least in my discriminating mind.
- Coincidences. Things all seemed to tie together in the end in a series of coincidental facts. Random characters knew each other, Charlie ran away in a fit of rage, right when the bad guy was lurking around. The bad guy seemed to be everywhere, even though it seems the demons were restricted to normal modes of human transportation.
- The Plot. Some things didn’t make as much sense as others. The fact that there were only a few collectors on Earth made me doubt the paranormal elements. If Max and Dante are restricting themselves to Peachtree — I’m sure there are a ton of other sinners around the globe. You would think there would be more and actually you would think they would have more talents then just “shadowing.” If Dante was supposedly Satan’s right hand man – the guy isn’t doing very well. And also, because Dante had only been a demon for a couple of years. You would think that Satan would be pretty embroiled with his cronies that fell with him. This led me to think that the shallow plot was good, the deeper plot though was not-flushed out.
- Conclusion. Once Dante made his final step toward his end transition everything just happened. Perfect for a HEA, story-book ending, but it felt rather lack-luster to me, compared to the vibrancy of the first two-thirds of the book. I also saw the title of the second book, so upon introduction to liberators I knew there would only be one outcome in the end. I thought that between the coincidences that led to other characters quick transitions, along with the antagonists sudden appearance, the end of the story was the weakest part of this novel.
Even though there were some issues, I do feel that this book was really well-done and fabulous for a debut novel. I can’t wait to read more from Victoria Scott, I believe this is only the start. Dante is still awesome in my book, too.
Can’t wait to read The Liberator.
Recommendations: This is a very mature Young Adult Novel and I would say that it is a Parents Beware, mainly because of the very graphic language and some sexual references, even though there isn’t sex in the novel. Fans of The Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout, you should really enjoy The Dante Walker series.
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