Home > Mitch's Musings > The Collector by Victoria Scott

The Collector by Victoria Scott

The Collector by Victoria Scott

The Collector

By: Victoria Scott

Release Date: April 2, 2013

Rating: 4 Stars

Summary: 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.



Review:

I’m gonna learn how to be flippin’ awesome… oh wait I already am XD

And later

I must say, I had a hell of a time following Dante Walker. Here’s the kind of guy who can insult cats and old people in the space of a single breath, and if what I’d just said doesn’t spark at least morbid curiosity, well, then The Collector is probably not the right book for you. But besides the easily offended, for the rest of us looking for a little edge to our black comedy, it’s always refreshing to see a character so unapologetically craven.

I know, I didn’t think there could be anything new to the done to death paranormal romance between the good girl and the bad boy either, I think I’d rather gouge my eyes out than finish another one, but Victoria Scott turns the genre on its head with The Collector. In retrospect, it’s so easy, as any Troper would know – Evil Is Fun while Good Is Boring after all, but unlike even those other paranormals written from male points of view, Dante Walker actually is the epitome of unabashed egomaniac. Who knew all that this genre needed was a little shock to the system in the form of one guy who knows how to put some swagger in his step and just exudes overconfidence? I’ll be honest, some of what he’s thinking is a bit uncomfortable to read about, sometimes because it just flies in the face of good taste, sometimes because it’s just too much of a male stereotype (aka ‘is this what women really think of us guys?’), and even sometimes because it’s just too true, but hey this is the book that turns the genre on its head after all, and who better to parody every single other male lead than Dante Walker? I’m ok with it, and plus, also means he’s not boring. Never boring.

If this book has a weakness though, it’d be Charlie Cooper. So she’s Dante Walker’s weakness (get it?), but that’s not what I mean, not really. I’m fine with her being pretty much the stereotype of the good girl, down to the not even a peep when Dante shows up in her room uninvited (her room! her room!!), but umm personally I thought the reasons why Boss Man and Big Guy targeted her made her a bit too super special in my book. Sure, it fits the overall plot of why a big shot like Dante would hang out with little old her, but, yeah, reason why Charlie’s so important in the whole grand scheme of heaven versus hell thing could’ve used a bit more tweaking. Although she’s a good character – mostly as in she’s a good person though, cause Dante is obviously the star of the show and she’s stuck with second fiddle syndrome. But the tradeoff though is Charlie sure has some funny friends and family, include a horny grandmother, a cool best friend in Annabelle, and Blue, who is way more than just the best male friend displaced by the new bad boy, because he’s actually somebody who gets a really good character arc, courtesy of Dante and Blue’s own choices towards the end of the book.

Speaking of Blue, he really goes to show that The Collector, while fairly predictable in some respects, is also very surprising in others. Dante’s voice loses some of his edge as the story progresses, but I chalked it up to him developing that annoying thing known as a conscience. A sign perhaps, that while Victoria Scott put a lot of fun into this, she also knew how to exploit the serious moments, so I can’t say this is not a book without depth. Yeah, it’s mostly fun and games in the first half, but only because there’s character arcs to be had in spades in the second half, both of the expected and the unexpected varieties. A lot of things I’d normally check off as predictable, Dante being the jerk with the heart of gold who Charlie sets on the path of redemption is easily gleaned from the summary, best friend and fellow Collector Max and his relationship with Liberator Valery is fairly transparent too, much of the ending pretty much as well, actually worked here despite not coming out of left field, because again, depth, that and character development. I for one totally guessed the stuff between Dante and his parents for example, but the scenes between him and his mother in particular are still really good for what they do, setting Dante up for where he needs to go. Or Blue again, how could I complain about the ending when he gets the sort of character development that makes me actually respect both him and Dante in the end?

So I didn’t actually learn how to be flippin’ awesome from reading this, but I sure as hell still had a great time. Hey, if Roger Ebert can get behind Bad Santa, I can definitely get behind The Collector.


Go to Mitch’s review on Goodreads.

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