From Entangled Teen
Release Date: April 2nd, 2013 (TODAY!)
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.
The Collector may have been one of my most anticipated releases of this year! After reading a few character interviews, I was dying to meet Dante Walker and he really lived up to my expectations.
Dante Walker is a soul collector and in order to receive a ‘promotion’ and earn the right to stay on Earth he must collect the soul of one Charlie Cooper. Easy peasy, right? So Dante would think. But Charlie is working out to be a lot more difficult than he could imagine.
Some of my favorite characters to read are boys that are sarcastic and a little bit cocky and arrogant, but in a charming manner. That is definitely Dante Walker. His point of view on things often made me chuckle and shake my head. He’s direct and to the point and it was so entertaining! I was always wondering what the boy would think or say next. Now Charlie… she was not like I expected. Yes she was innocent, sweet and oh so pure, but I didn’t expect the importance of beauty to be so important to the storyline. Dante’s first reaction went like this,
She looks like a porcelain doll… beat three times with an ugly stick.
Geesh. Kind of a douchebag thought to have, right? BUT, and please listen to the but here, Dante goes through an unbelievable transformation from start to finish. In order to get Charlie to start sinning so he can take her soul, he inserts himself in all aspects of her life. When he sees what a difficult task this may be, he turns to using beauty and vanity, offering Charlie a way to become beautiful. At first I was disappointed, at Dante and the plot because I didn’t want beauty to be so important to any romance I hoped would blossom between these two, but as I kept reading, I slowly started to see change in Dante. Regret and disappointment started to peek through his rough edges. He slowly began noticing Charlie’s beauty shining through without any superficial changes. And guys, this is where I truly fell in love with the story and Dante.
Maybe it’s that I’m accustomed to her face, the way her cheeks glow when she’s excited, or the curve of her mouth when she smiles. It’s her face – Charlie’s face – and in a strange way, I like it the way it is now. Without any changes.
Such a change, right? A much needed change. I love when a character can make a turnaround like this and it was done so slowly and in a believable manner. He becomes conflicted by what he wants for himself and what he wants for Charlie and her future. The plot obviously has more to it with other collectors stalking Dante and the quest to discover just what is so important about this girl that would cause the ‘Boss Man’ so much interest in obtaining her soul. I thought all of this was really interesting to read. I felt like the plot was a tiny bit predictable at times, but just when I’d think we were on a predictable path, the author threw some surprises out of left field at me that I did not expect! I love when that happens in a read.
Do I have any gripes? Yeah, a couple. Occasionally, and in certain circumstances, I felt Dante’s voice to be a little overkill. Don’t get me wrong, I love the boy, but sometimes it just felt like too much. Also, there was a huge overuse of ‘Boss Man’ and ‘Big Guy’ to refer to God and the Devil. I get Dante likes to give nicknames and be funny and whatever, but some of the other characters were using those names too and it kind of gave off a cheesiness to the plot that I wished wasn’t there.
I strongly recommend this one for those who are looking for a great fun read and like seeing characters transform!
I’m a YA writer represented by Laurie McLean. Author of THE COLLECTOR (Entangled Teen, April 2013) and THE BRIMSTONE BLEED (Scholastic, 2014). I have a master’s degree in marketing, and live in Dallas with my husband. When not writing, I can be found munching cotton candy and snuggling obese cats.