"Witty, and so intriguing. I started reading and didn't want to stop. Victoria Scott is a fabulous new voice in YA.” C.C. Hunter, author of the New York Times bestselling series SHADOW FALLS
Dante Walker is flippin' awesome, and he knows it. His good looks, killer charm, and stellar confidence has 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 10 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 collecthe realizes this assignment will test his abilities as a collector, and uncover emotions long ago buried.
The Dante Walker series is best enjoyed in order.
Book #1 The Collector
Book #2 The Liberator
Book #3 The Warrior
About the Author
Victoria Scott is a YA writer represented by literary agent Sara Crowe. She is the author of THE DANTE WALKER trilogy (Entangled Teen) and THE BRIMSTONE BLEED trilogy (Scholastic). Victoria has a master's degree in marketing, and lives in Dallas with her husband.
Read an Excerpt
A Dante Walker Novel
By Victoria Scott, Liz Pelletier
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2013 Victoria Scott
All rights reserved.
I'm in a slump, off my game, throwing up bricks, swinging and missing.
I'm having an off year.
My boss isn't pleased, and he's not the type of guy you want to piss off either. He's the ultimate a-hole who doesn't buy excuses, even the champion ones I'm slingin'. But hey, it's a job. And generally speaking, I'm damn good at it.
I am The Collector.
It's not as bad as it sounds. I'm kinda like Santa Claus. We're both jolly guys with a passion for frosted cookies, the color red ... and sorting souls. My 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 I get the fun ones.
Two years ago, I was just your average seventeen-year-old guy. That's a lie. I've never been average. I look like a movie star and move like an athlete. That didn't change when I kicked the bucket. It's okay to be jealous, to covet me. It's a delicious sin—tastes like chicken. But don't envy my success as a collector. I earned it. Like Michael Jordan, I shot until I never missed. If there's a bad soul anywhere on planet Earth, I can smell him out and turn him in. Bag and tag.
Boss Man runs the Underworld, and I'm his number one guy up top. I'm so good, in fact, that I train the other five collectors on how to be more awesome. It doesn't take a genius to understand the game: collect souls that are sealed.
Seals are our friends. I say it slowly, because patronizing people is fun.
It's an easy gig. So easy, I've been bored lately. Maybe that's why my numbers have slipped. But don't fret. I got this. I've never met a hurdle I didn't like.
In fact, stumbling toward me is a herd of business suit–clad men way too old to be this wasted. What are they even doing on New Orleans's Bourbon Street? Being creepers, that's what. A guy with Dumbo-sized ears breaks away from the pack and heads toward a girl half his age. His arms swing in great big circles until yellow liquid splashes from his plastic yardstick drink.
Way to bring your A game.
The girl turns toward her friend in an obvious attempt to avoid eye contact with Drunk Ogre Man. But no matter. He whirls her around, shows her his colorful beads, and attempts to pull up her shirt. That's the deal, right? Beads for boobs? Not this time. Homegirl slaps him and storms off, her heels click-clacking down the paved road.
Ogre stares after her, and his friends howl with laughter. His red-rimmed eyes go big for a second, and then he starts laughing, too. He got off pretty easy, all things considered. But we're not done yet. Or better yet, I'm not done yet.
I gaze at the guy in a way only I can. A warm yellow light crawls over his skin and flickers. It almost appears as if his body is on fire. This light is his soul, and I can see the thumbnail-sized rectangles called seals that partially obscure it. Seals come from being bad, or as I like to say, exciting. If I could come back from the dead, the things I would do. I'd go out with a bang. But I can't. And unfortunately, collecting leaves little time for recreational activities, if you know what I mean. So I just keep punching the clock and doing what I do best.
Amidst the dude's mini black seals, there are other seals. Our seals. Collectors' seals are bigger than the ones you get automatically when you sin and therefore do a lot more damage. In order for Boss Man to know who's done what, our seals are different colors, and already this guy looks like Rainbow Brite. Now he'll have one more to add to the others. I flick a finger, and a sizzling red seal—the length of a human palm—attaches to his light. He didn't feel a thing, but he certainly deserved it. His soul light dims just a little more than before. Once his light is completely covered, it's over. Finis! We'll collect his soul and bring it downstairs. I form my hand into a gun. "Pow!"
Another one bites the dust.
Today I'm playing my part on Team Hell like a heavyweight. The game works like a gas gauge. On one side is hell, on the other is heaven. That little orange bar tips back and forth between the two, depending on who has the most souls. Collectors are Boss Man's insurance policy that Big Guy (A.K.A., lord of the heavens) doesn't win, but he should chillax. No one ever gets the upper hand. If they did, it'd mean the gates of heaven—or hell—would spill open onto earth.
Or some fairy-tale crap like that.
After Boob Man is gone, I stand in the doorway of the Cat's Meow bar, watching people do the same things that led me to where I am now. This city is one of our standard posts. Since there are billions of people and only six collectors, we have to concentrate on specific areas, or we'll never get anywhere. Most people go to Judgment Day, which may or may not mean eternity in hell, so Boss Man likes to bring them in before that happens if he can. And New Orleans, well, it's one of the easiest places to make quota.
Seals fly from my fingertips with ease. I don't have to think too hard about it, and for that, I'm thankful. I like this part of my job, the nameless faces. Collecting souls is nothing personal. I'm an equal-opportunity sealer. I'm not sure I could do it any other way.
But I guess I'm going to have to learn. I shove my hand into my pocket and rub the sleeping white envelope. I can almost feel it pressing against my thigh, as if it's alive. As if it has tongue and teeth.
I spin around and see Max running toward me in a gray Armani shirt. "Dante. Oh, Dante. Seal me! Seal me so hard!" He grabs my hips and pumps his toward mine. "Oh, Dante! You're so hot when you seal souls."
I shove my idiot-of-a-best-friend off me and laugh. Max dances around in a circle with one leg pulled up, and people move away as if he's mentally unstable. He and I are the only collectors that like to remain visible to the living. The other four roll incognito. Max finishes his dance and brushes his shoulders off.
"What the hell was that?" I ask.
"My new move," he says matter-of-factly.
My fellow collector is six years older than me but acts like he's thirteen. We met a couple of years ago after he kicked the bucket and came onboard. He talks so fast, I have trouble understanding him sometimes. I like to think he was the World's Best Car Salesman before he croaked.
Max spreads his arms out and gestures to his suit. "Hey, what do you think of my new threads?" The only thing Max likes better than money is the stuff money can buy.
"Not too bad."
"Not too bad?" He covers his heart in mock offense. "Shit. This work of art is on the cover of GQ. Know what else? George Clooney wore this very suit to a party last weekend."
"No, he didn't."
Max runs a hand over his clean-shaven jaw. "No. No, I guess he didn't. Think anyone else would buy that? I might try it on the honeys tonight. Oh, check this crap out." He reaches down and tugs his pant leg up. The gold cuff wrapped around his ankle is decorated with Smurf stickers. "One of the other collectors did this after I crashed last night. Can you believe that mess? I can't get the damn things off."
I roll my foot around, feeling my own cuff pinching my ankle. The heavy restraint enables collectors to walk the earth. It allows us to eat, breathe, and carry on a normal existence among the living. It also allows Boss Man and the other collectors to know where we are if they're close by. A little Big Brother if you ask me, but then again, we're given the option to remove it, if you call breaking off your cuff and dying a final death an option.
Max elbows me. "Who're you fantasizing about?"
"No one. I'm thinking about these damn cuffs. I wish there was a way to stay here without them." Max doesn't realize I know exactly where these cuffs came from. And I can't tell him. The only reason I know is because Boss Man explained it while training me for my pending promotion. Maybe I shouldn't be proud that the devil tells me his secrets. But I am.
"Well, there ain't. So you can just get over that one, pretty boy." Max rubs behind his neck and squints against the sun. "At least we're able to get out of hell from time to time. Besides, why are you even tripping about it? Everyone knows you're getting promoted to Soul Director. Then it's permanent placement on earth, hombre. It's like you hit the Underworld jackpot. Speaking of jackpots, I feel like gambling. I've got the itch."
"I bet you've got the itch," I say.
"You're nasty, you know that? Just foul." Max walks backward away from me, bumping into people as he moves down the street. "You nasty, you nasty. You mama said you nasty!" And then he's gone. Vanished into thin air.
I shake my head at his dramatic exit. I feel bad for not mentioning the envelope. But he'll just make it into a big deal. I pull it out and stare at it. Inside is the name of my target: Charlie Cooper. Boss Man wants her soul, says he'll forget my recent downslide if I deliver. This is unusual. He typically doesn't pinpoint specific people, and I hate that it's going to make things personal. But I'm not here to question, only to do my thang.
It's not like I have much of a choice.
I'm on it, I told Boss Man when he handed me the envelope. Like white on rice.
I didn't say the last part. He wouldn't appreciate the humor.CHAPTER 2
Hittin' the Hooch
I'm standing outside a two-story colonial house in a neighborhood so sweet I feel like gagging. Cooper is spelled out on the brick mailbox. I'm in the right place. As if I wouldn't be.
The front door is painted a rich, bright red. The corners of my mouth curl into a smile. Have I mentioned my love affair with red? It's a beautiful, trusting relationship. Nothing coated in such a wondrous color could ever be bad. I stride up the walkway, run my hand over the red wood, and sigh. Then I see something that ruptures this magnificent moment.
At the end of the walkway is a cat. It struts with arrogance. You'd think it just won the Nobel Prize. But it didn't. Know why? Because it's a freakin' cat. In case you missed the memo, I. Hate. Cats. I loathe them. They're built with creepy little teeth and finger blades. I don't know about you, but I'll pass on that freak show.
The cat sees me and rolls its eyes. It does. I swear it. In my head, I imagine punting it across the street. I throw my arms up like a human goal post and scream, "It's good!"
Behind me, I hear a click. I spin around and see an old woman who clearly thinks she's a young woman glide through the red door ... She's wearing a silk kimono that shows way too much old-person leg. Her processed blond hair is sprayed out around her face, and she's wearing more makeup than Lady Gaga. Without noticing me, the woman bends at the waist and reaches for the morning paper.
Thanks for the invitation. As a matter of fact, I will come in.
I breeze past her into the house. I'm sure she felt something, but her eyes persuade her otherwise. That'd be my shadow kicking in, the thing that allows me to become invisible whenever needed. It's the only kickass ability collectors have, thanks to our cuffs.
Inside the house, I catch the scent of old people. You'd think the young girl would cancel out the smell of dinosaur, but it doesn't. Not even close. I wonder where the chick's parents are and why they aren't around.
Every inch of the house is covered in flowers and lace and screams tacky. It's like Martha Stewart vomited, and this is the crap that came out. I shake my head. These people need an interior designer. Stat. Mother would never have let this happen. She had refined tastes, and Dad was boys with Benjamin Franklin. Thinking about my father makes me remember That Night, and my stomach lurches.
A muffled voice creeps down the stairs. I'm too far away to hear what's being said, but I know it's her. Heading up, I imagine what kind of chick I'm dealing with. If Boss Man wants her soul, she's got to be pretty bad, and I always did dig the bad chicks. In fact, most things I dug when I was alive were bad. Guess that's how I ended up here. Most people got this thing in their head saying they'll be with Big Guy when it's all over. But let me tell ya, spend every day living only for yourself, every day indulging in little sins thataren't that big of a deal, and one day I may be showing you the ropes in hell. Amen.
At the top of the stairs, I shake off my shadow, making myself visible again, and run through the rules in my head. I can do pretty much anything to bring this girl in, but I can't physically hurt her. All collectors know hurting a human could trigger war on earth between Boss Man and Big Guy. Everything else, though, is fair play. And I'm not above pulling some dirties to get what I want. I swim a hand through my hair. It's showtime. I push her door open ... and my chin drops.
Her bedroom is painted a blinding shade of pink, and glittering posters drape her walls. A queen-sized bed stands in the middle of the room, shrouded in a sheer pink canopy. So many pillows litter her duvet that I'm sure she must sleep on the floor. There isn't a surface or shelf that isn't covered with glass figurines. It's a room built for a seventeen-year-old who still believes she's a princess.
My target has her back to me and is blabbering away on a retro corded phone. It is, of course, decorated in pink and white rhinestones.
"I know. I know. This final is going to be way hard. Like, ridiculous hard."
Her voice has the slightest Southern ring which might have been endearing, had I not been pressed for time. Boss Man made it crystal clear I have ten days to complete this job, and I always come in under deadline. There's too much riding on this to screw up. If I deliver this one measly soul, I'll be promoted to Soul Director. Like Max said, that means permanent placement on earth. And let me tell you, never having to visit the Underworld again? Serious motivation.
I knock once on the open door and sigh.
"I don't think I'm sleeping from now until finals are over. If I don't get an A in this class, my grandma will skin me alive and make it look like an accident."
Come on, get a clue. I knock again and clear my throat. The girl spins around. My eyes widen at the sight of her. This is the girl Boss Man is after? She looks like a porcelain doll ... beat three times with an ugly stick.
I take it all in: glasses, frizzy blond hair, a spray of pimples, and a stick figure so not attractive on a seventeen-year-old girl.
"Oh. Em. Gee. I have to let you go. There's a guy standing in my doorway," she says into the phone. Then, quieter, "Yes, very. I've got to go. Tell ya later." The girl hangs up, and an enormous grin stretches across her face. She grabs a lock of blond hair and curls it around her finger. "Hi."
"Hey," I say. "Your grams let me in."
"Oh, yeah? You here from the pharmacy?" She continues smiling like a lovesick moron. I can't help but smile back.
"No, I'm here to see you," I say, which apparently pushes her over the edge. The girl's eyes widen, and she does this whole nervous laugh thing. I shake my head, but it doesn't affect her. "Are you Charlie?" She nods, and her expression changes. Only slightly, but I pick up on it. She's surprised I know her name. "I just moved here. My mom knows your grams. She said I should come by and introduce myself. Said we might get along. Name's Dante."
Charlie's blue eyes study me from behind her thick glasses. "Where you from ... Dante?"
"Phoenix." Lying has always come easily to me. Don't judge.
"Why did you guys move to Peachville?"
"Mom got a new job here. Said she always wanted to move to Alabama. Something about the trees in the fall." Here's a free tip: adding details to lies makes them more believable.
She nods her head as though I said something profound, then turns and walks to her window. For the first time, I notice she's wearing purple jeans. My God, it's like she stepped straight out of an '80s movie. Her wavy hair falls to mid-waist, and I think how she looks better this way. From the back.
Excerpted from The Collector by Victoria Scott, Liz Pelletier. Copyright © 2013 Victoria Scott. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
There was so much hype for this book before it was even published. Everywhere I turned (in the lovely world of the internet, bloggers and goodreads that is) there was all out excitement for this book called The Collector. And girls everywhere were swooning over this guy that most of them didn't even know yet named Dante Walker. Though I couldn't blame them, I mean seriously, Dante freakin' Walker...the name just oozes sexiness. So I was curious and did some poking around and pulled up the blurb... He makes good girls...bad. Yep. That's all it took. But you had to worry and wonder, with all this hype and excitement.....would the book be able to hold up? Would it be any good? Good? No. Freakin awesome? Hell yeah! Pow! I don't think you see enough "Pow!" on a day to day basis. Ha. Anyway. Hands down, Charlie is my all time favorite book heroine. Period. I mean she finds happiness and joy in anything. Seriously anything...jumping on the bed for crying out loud! How can you not love someone like that? And she was nothing like I anticipated her to be. But you know, that's okay. I liked this Charlie. Start to finish. And then there's Dante. He's an arrogant, self centered, cocky, materialistic, soul collecting demon from hell. Yeah I'm with you. I love him too. I don't think I've had as much fun reading a character in a long, long time. Even if he made me cry. Twice. Jerkface. This book is filled with humorous moments and dialogue. You can really see Victoria Scott's personality shine in this book. Most of us have been following her for a while before the book was released and you can see it in her blog posts and things like that. So even before I started reading it, I knew I was going to be laughing. A lot. Nothing else was predictable though, every time I'd think I had something or someone figured out I kept ending up wrong. I hate being wrong!
It's been a while since I've read a YA Paranormal that grabbed my attention. From the beginning of The Collector, I was interested. I wanted to know more about Dante and how he became a Collector, but I also wanted to know what made Charlie so special. So...Dante. He's a bit arrogant, determined, and most definitely has some baggage. As a Collector, he works for the Bad Boss Man. Meaning, he tags souls and ultimately sends them to hell. Now, Dante is up for a promotion, but he just needs to collect one more soul. One last assignment, then the job is his. He's sent to get Charlie, but what he finds, isn't exactly what he thought. He was expecting a bad soul. Someone possibly on their last few runs with the dark side. But, Charlie is a geeky, awkward teen, who is as pure as can be. So, now Dante has to figure out how on earth he is going to take her down. After several failed attempts, he finally comes up with a solution. It's a last resort type of thing. Unfortunately at this point, Dante is feeling conflicted because Charlie IS a good person. She makes Dante think about his past and what he's doing. He's getting a conscious back. I liked watching Dante see Charlie in a different light. She truly represents good and she made Dante think with his heart. I did like Charlie and Dante and usually I'm more of a character reader. However, the overall storyline won this book for me. I liked the message of the story. Forgiveness, good, & love to name a few. I also like where the story is heading. Or at least where I think/hope it is. There were a few twists thrown in that surprised me in a good way. So, yes, I'll be continuing on with the series. I need to see if my predictions are correct. Definitely check this out if you are a fan of YA Paranormals. Quotes: ~Maybe I shouldn't be proud that the devil tells me his secrets. But I am.-Loc 111 ~For a moment, I forget all about the contract and just relish the grin on her face. Though her smile is less than perfect, it does something to me, makes my chest tighten in a good way. It also makes me feel as if I did the right thing.-Loc 1641 ~I will protect this girl with everything I have, because if something happens to her, I will lose myself. I will cease to exist. And I will take everyone with me.-Loc 3614
Dante stole my heart from the very first page! The Collector is an amazing debut by author Victoria Scott. For reasons that are too spoilery (yes, I know it's not a word!), Dante lands downstairs when he dies, and in order to be able to walk on Earth, he chooses to become a Collector. There are some intricacies and politics tied to exactly how it works, but it works fine for Dante. I mean, he is handsome, confident, and loves the perks that come with the job. The problem is that he is sent to collect a special soul, namely Charlie. At the beginning of the story Dante is all those things I said above, plus selfish, angry and cocky. You might think that these adjectives are negative, but somehow Ms. Scott created a character that is full of depth and is so ‘bad’ that it becomes endearing. In contrast, Charlie is Dante’s complete opposite. She is not outwardly beautiful, but her soul is pure and bright and so is her personality. Dante feels an inexplicable pull and attraction towards her, but he has a work to do and he is use to look out for himself. The transformation and the conflict that overtakes Dante is as fun to read as the rest of this story, and it’s gradual as well. Other characters in the book are well fleshed out and add to the story. Annabelle and Blue are Charlie’s best friends and they form a tight circle of support and protection around her. Max is Dante’s best friend and also a fellow collector, he is also cocky and self-assured, but a loyal friend. Valery (Red) is a bit confusing to me, but can’t add anything else, least I spoil the book for you ;) The plot is well thought out and it has a few twists and turns. Not everything is explained in this installment and, to be honest, there are a lot of unanswered question at the conclusion of the book. The writing is a gem. The story is told in first person, from Dante’s point of view and his thoughts are a thing of beauty. I also appreciate that, although the story lasted about two weeks, the romance piece didn’t feel like insta-love. If you like ‘bad boys’, paranormal stories, demons and angels and a great romance, The Collector is the book for you.
Dante Walker. Those two words have been the object of obsession and anticipation for many months, and now the time is finally here when he is revealed to the world in all his slightly egotistical but oh-so-sexy glory. I'm not a usually a fan of guys who are full of themselves, but Dante is in a league of his own, and let's face it, he's definitely got a few somethings to show off. "I look like a movie star and move like an athlete. That didn't change when I kicked the bucket. It's okay to be jealous, to covet me. It's a delicious sin - tastes like chicken." But you know how it is with guys like Dante (if there truly is such a thing) ~ all that big personality is usually trick, a mask to cover up something else ~ something he doesn't want to think about, something he doesn't want others to see. Dante goes much deeper than his "I'm-hot-and-I-know-it" persona, and it's that element that makes us love him so much. Charlie Cooper isn't his typical mission. Just looking at her and you've got to wonder what the heck the devil would want with her soul. "My eyes widen at the sight of her. This is the girl Boss Man is after? She looks like a porcelain doll...beat three times with an ugly stick. I take it all in: glasses, frizzy blond hair, a spray of pimples, and a stick figure so not attractive on a seventeen-year-old-girl." But as he carries out his job, she surprises him at every turn. Charlie is an innocent, caring, fun, and overly chatty teenager, and there's something about her that gets under Dante's skin, poking and prodding at emotions he thought he'd left behind long ago along with a few new ones he never considered himself. "Second chances - they were never for me. But Charlie, she just gave me one. She just saw something in me. And maybe I can be the thing she sees." Dante's cockiness and tendency towards bad versus Charlie's generous innocence is fascinating to watch as they bounce off and affect each other to move to actions neither would have expected of themselves. I loved Victoria Scott's take on demons and angels, the balance between good vs. evil, and how anyone can earn a second chance. Not only that but the concept that beauty is relative, that it is truly defined by who you are. Dante learns that his superficial way of looking at life and death is pretty cheap and that the way he's come to define himself isn't necessarily true. He's not a know-it-all. Go figure. :) Victoria Scott has created characters that you can carry with you and a story that is as memorable as it is admirable, funny, emotional, and complex. Her witty writing style and ability to weave a novel full of growth, conflict, and hope are just a few of the reasons I will pick up anything she writes in the future. Five fabulous stars across the board :).
'The Collector' is the amazing first book in a new young adult paranormal romance series that follows main character and major hottie, Dante Walker, as he takes on his latest assignment as a Collector - a demon that is charged with collecting souls for "Boss Man" and the Underworld. This job is no different from the others, except that once he's finished it, Dante will get a major promotion and will never have to return to Hell again. The only problem is that this target is different. Charlie Cooper seems like a dorky teenage girl, but Dante quickly realizes that she is so much more than that. Once he realizes just what this girl means to the people who love her, to the entire world, and to the Big Guy upstairs, Dante sees that this assignment will change his life - and him - forever. Oh lord - where to even begin? This book had me hooked from the first line. The writing was phenomenal and I was immediately sucked into Dante's world. He's the typical bad boy main character - he's completely gorgeous and he knows it - and lets everyone else know too. On top of his looks, he's cocky and has a serious attitude problem. He literally believes he's the hottest and baddest guy on the planet. That is, until he meets Charlie. Charlie is such a sweetheart and I love her in this book. She's innocent, naive, trusting and so incredibly pure. She changes the people around her for the better and Dante is no exception. Underneath that bad ass exterior, there's good still inside of him - and Charlie can see it. She has such unwavering trust and faith in him. We see Dante really grow and change in the book - for the better - and I LOVE the guy he became. Perfect guy: hottie with a total heart of gold and one that will die for you? YES PLEASE!! Anyways... The plot was original and intense. I loved the Biblical references that related to Charlie's destiny as well as the angels and demons aspect to it. I enjoyed learning about the collectors and the liberators and the other history that the author included in the book and I really hope there's more of it in the next installment. The plot itself was fast paced and had me tearing through the pages as fast as I could read them. There was a bit of everything in this book - action, adventure, fantasy, paranormal, romance - a really great mix of multiple genres to round it out. The dialogue in the book was fun because there was lots of cultural references and actual slang that's used in normal conversations, so it didn't feel fake or forced. There are so many different aspects to the book and the story that I can't possible highlight them all, so suffice it to say that this book went way beyond any expectations and hopes I had. It completely blew my mind in the best kind of way. I have to admit that I *may* have shed a couple of tears at one or two points in the book, which is rare for me, so that's definitely a clue to the author's talent. Honestly, this is one of the best books I've read and I can't recommend it highly enough. The only issue now is having to wait for the second book to release. Fans of paranormal romance or just a great story will want to read this - now. But be warned - you will fall for Dante when you read this book. I don't normally have "book boyfriends," but I fell for him hard. And now I claim him as mine and I will fight you for him. :) Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
awesome book! fresh voice in YA paranormal romance. funny, sexy, and fast paced!
I have been dying to get my hands on this book; it was one of my Waiting on Wednesday posts several weeks back. I fell in love with the cover immediately and the synopsis made it even more difficult to wait. Following Victoria Scott on Facebook and Twitter didn’t make that wait any easier, watching her post pictures of the book and talk about the upcoming release. Ugh. I wanted to strangle her for taunting me. But I remained strong, held my head high, and made it until release day. That’s a lie. The Collector was released a few days early. I’m not certain I would have lasted otherwise. I clicked on the gorgeous picture of Dante staring up at me from my Kindle and I began to read, fingernails firmly planted between my teeth. The excitement was overwhelming! Page one, page two, page three… my hand slowly recoiled from my mouth at the realization that I was not happy with these first few pages. I felt a sharp pain invade my chest at the idea of not liking this book after all the waiting. I felt that Dante was far too cocky and I wasn’t sure how I would be able to stomach his insolence dripping all over the rest of the pages. I wondered how so many readers could post about being in love with this arrogant bastard. I continued reading because I wasn’t giving up that easily, and before long Dante wasn’t so intolerable. A few more pages, he was almost likable. By the time I was a few chapters in I could feel the hook slowly penetrating my skin. I did fall in love with Dante! I did! Seriously though, this book ROCKED! Victoria Scott is one talented author. I can only hope to be this brilliant as a writer. It’s hard to believe this is her first published novel. The character development is the work of pure genius. Her writing style is so modern and easy to relate to. The more I learned about Dante, the more I fell for him. Every character in this book is a blast to read about. Charlie Cooper is such a charming girl who becomes even more so as the story goes on. To simply say The Collector is entertaining would be a gross understatement. I am so glad I don’t have to wait too long for the second installment. The Liberator is expected to be released in August 2013. That’s months away, I know, but it’ll go by quickly. I promise. The Collector is a book I will recommend to everyone. There is a little bit of everything in it — the paranormal, romance, suspense and drama. I laughed, I cried, my heart raced, my nails became little stubs of nothing on the end of my fingers. Victoria Scott is an author to watch!
I really loved this book. It has been one I have been wanting to read ever since I had read some teaser somewhere from the author. I will say, the first quarter of the book, I despised Dante; I didn't like him at all. But, that all changes, Charlie, his assignment is what really changes him, and I loved this change. I don't want to give away too much, so won't tell too much of the story, but to tell you I loved it. If you're someone like me, who loves Paranormal books, and like having some funny stuff too, then your going to love this book. It's written so well too. I was sucked in right from the start, and could not put it down. The last part of the book will have you on the edge of your seat freaking out, I know it did me. I can't wait to read the next book,The Liberator: Dante Walker Novel #2. It does not end on a huge cliffhanger, just a few unanswered questions, but ones you want to know. I have a theory on one, but since it would be a spoiler, I can't mention it. I highly recommend this book. Give it a try, it's a great change to be inside a guys head like this. Though I would have loved some from Charlie, or even Valery, who I also liked. 5 out of 5 stars. Don't miss out on this one! I received an ARC copy of this book from the author for my honest review.
Collecting was an easy job until I meet Charlie..... Where to start this review.... OMG Victoria has written a book that brings you to another level of LOVE and I have to say I love me some bad boys but Dante Walker took it to another level! Lord he made you want to jump through the pages and smack the ever living life out of him. He tried your patience but if you held on long enough you got to see a special side of Dante that he did not know he had. This series started out with a bang and will end with a bang. Dante Walker is a soul collector. He collects the bad souls as he says "bag and tag". It is easy go in get the bad soul and move on. Have a little fun party hardy and do whatever he wants. That is until he is summoned by the big boss to bag and tag a soul Charlie Cooper. Dante being so dam arrogant says okay what could go wrong. He thinks he is just going to swoop in and get Charlie and be done but when he meets Charlie he realizes that he is in deep waters. See Charlie is different. Different from what he is used to and so she takes him off his game and he does not even realize it at first. Charlie Cooper is just living her life having friends in school with her friends. Then comes Mr hot and smoking Dante and things change for her as well. At first Charlie can't understand why Dante is such a tool towards her but Charlie being Charlie is nice. I on the other hand would have shuttle kicked Dante up his kister if he ever spoke to me like that let alone treat me like that but Charlie God I love her character was so patient and kind and in the end well you will have to read it to see what happens with Dante and Charlie. This is a Paranormal Must Read! So what you waiting for go out and get it!
What it's about: Dante is a Collector - working for the Big Boss downstairs. He's awesome, he knows it and so he flaunts it. He's the best collector there is, and he's in line for a big promotion that he desperately wants - but it means bringing in good girl Charlie's soul. So begins an adventure of trying to turn a good girl bad, and learning about humanity and what lies within. What I thought: If you haven't noticed, I've been one of Dante Walker's biggest fans, long before I ever read the book. Being on the street team, and singing Victoria Scott's praises for a book not even released, gave me super high expectations. But lo and behold, it was an amazing book, so I never had anything to worry about! Dante may grate on you at the beginning - there is nothing I dislike more than a cocky, arrogant jerk who think's he is God's gift to women. This pretty much sums up Dante. But of course, this isn't just a story about a jerk trying to make a good girl sin. It's a story of the jerk that finds out he does actually have a heart, and no, it's not made of stone. Charlie, the imperfect, not overly attractive girl who show's him what it's like to mean something, to change something. Victoria Scott has given us a new set of characters we can't help but loving, despite where they're from and what they do. Not just Dante and Charlie, but Blue, Red and the others too. She's given us a new story, something paranormal, that hasn't been done several times before, and you can't help but fall in love with this non-existent world. If you are looking for a new fictional crush, you have found it here ladies! Dante will make you angry, cry but certainly weak at the knee's! Plus the twist at the end left me begging for more. The Good: Dante changing. It's beautiful! The Bad: Sharing Dante.... and waiting for the sequel! Rating: 5 Bookstacks
Dante Walker is a soul collector. When the boss man gives him a job with a time limit, he thinks how hard can this be? That is until he meets his target, Charlie. Charlie is a quirky, nerd with a true heart of gold. This job will test his abilities as a collector and bring his past to the present forcing him to deal with what he hasn’t been able to put behind him. This novel has a lot of hype around it, all my friends cannot wait for it to be released, and you should believe the hype. From the very first page I loved this novel. Dante is young, hot, and bad…the perfect villain. The character you want to hate but still keep hoping he will see the error of his ways. Charlie is a good girl, unlike any other. She is what many would call a good-two-shoes and of course attracts the bad boy, Dante. I kept hoping Charlie would either wake up and take a chance on the bad boy or wake up and get far far away from Dante. I loved when she told Dante that she saw the good in him, at that point I had a great idea on where the story was heading. The young adult novel will certainly be a favorite of many. I will recommend it to my daughters and their friends, my family, and my friends. This is a story that everyone, male or female, will love. The second book cannot get here fast enough.
Excuse me while I fangirl ALL OVER Dante! (while wearing a pair of red converse, of course.) The rumors are true, Dante Walker is "flippin' awesome", he had me at "finger blades" and he reminds me of a Twix cupcake. Wait. A cupcake? Yeah, I said it 'cuz that's how I roll... Dante is tall, dark and sinfully delicious, just the way I like my chocolate cake. From the outside he looks like any other confectionery perfection, I mean, did you see those red kicks he's rockin'?, but one bite reveals quite a few surprises. Dante's got a rich, multi-layered flavor that is to.die.for, yanno, if he wasn't already a goner. *shrugs* His snarkiliciousness can be a tad crunchy at times, much like the graham cracker that tends to float to the top during baking, but his heart is made of melted goodness that closely resembles the homemade caramel filling. I know what you're thinking - the caramel kinda tastes like liquid sin and, yeah it does, but it isn't all bad and neither is Dante but it's cool, we'll play along with his "Bad to the bone" persona, m'kay? Dante's job as The Collector seems simple enough - for every sin he "helps" a person commit regardless of size, he gets to tag them and then it's a first class ticket on the "Hand basket Express" for that poor soul, no passing Judgment Day and no collecting a pair of white fluffy wings. See, Dante knows there's a battle being waged for our souls and all those "little sins" add up, but in order for the scales to stay balanced, you gotta decide whose Team you're on, Big Guy's or Boss Man's, the latter of which will most likely earn you a front row seat in "The Collector 101" class. Being the Boss Man's right hand dude does have it's perks but it also has it's challenges - the biggest one Dante will face is about to come in the form of Charlie Cooper. Now, if Dante is a Twix cupcake, then Charlie is a rainbow funfetti cupcake. At first glance, her vanilla exterior may look as if she's made of "lame" but it isn't long before all that beautiful color hiding inside comes bursting out like, *POW* and when it does, poor Dante doesn't stand a chance. He'll begin to question everything he's ever thought to be true about his job, Boss Man and Big Guy, and more importantly, himself. Dante Walker may not believe in second chances, but before this fast-paced, action packed romance is over, a second chance just might believe in him. (I believe in you too D, just so you know. *smooshes you*) Final verdict: I love you SO HARD DANTE WALKER! Favorite Quote(s): "But let me tell ya, spend every day living only for yourself, every day indulging in little sins that aren't that big of a deal, and one day I may be showing you the ropes in hell. Amen." <-- Can I get a witness? "I came as Awesome Sauce," I say. "You probably wouldn't recognize it."
These were my honest, true to life reactions after I read The Collector by Victoria Scott. My name is Stacy, and I just read The Collector. To me, this is like a badge of honor. It’s like saying you’re proud to be an American. Have you seen the cover? Victoria hit the cover jackpot and I just want to lick it. Dante was so swagger. His swagger makes me want to say things like, “I got this.” I loved this book so much I want to marry it. As awkward as this statement is, it’s true. It comes down to perfect pacing, a killer voice and a motely crew with flair and personality. Charlie, Charlie, Charlie. This girl has got it going on. BA BAM. I want an Escalade and she shall be named Elizabeth Taylor. Cute is as cute does. I suddenly have an urge for skittles. Sometimes it’s the quirky things that make you fall in love with a character. Reaping’s never looked so cool. It’s true. Take a look at the cover, again. I want swagger, girl swagger. “I got this.” The Collector was a totally fun, upbeat and cute read. Yep, these adjectives are true and also things I never thought I would say about a reaper book. *I received this book from the publisher for honest review
Dante walker might be flippin' awesome, but Victoria Scott is a freaking genius! The Collector is, by far, in my top 3 reads for 2013. The Liberator cannot get here fast enough. I remember when I featured this book on my blog as my very first "Waiting on Wednesday" pick. After meeting Victoria at a writing conference and learning about the yumminess that is Dante Walker, I knew that I could not wait to get my hands on this book. So worth the wait. This book had everything for me. I laughed (a lot), I swooned (more than a lot), I melted, I cried. I don't even know where to start, there is so much goodness here. First, Dante. Yes, he's a jerk. And an arrogant a-hole that you want to smack. But what else would you expect from Hell's top guy? When you're awesome, you're awesome...right? He's the anti-hero, the guy that will do anything to save himself. But to see his journey...*sigh* His transformation to realizing his own worth, to forgiving his own sins - well, it was just awesome. I just want to hug him. Charlie is your atypical, but yet amazingly perfect heroine. I love how she knows who she is. I love how she sees the world and the goodness in it. I love her missteps and her flaws, because she's not perfect, and that's what makes her so endearing. She was relatable, wonderful, and someone who I probably would have considered a friend in school. I love the secondary characters in this book. Annabelle, Blue, Max, Valery - love them beyond words. They added depth and contrast perfectly, and I loved watching their interactions with Dante and Charlie and seeing how everyone's stories and lives were intertwined. The only thing that I wasn't 100% on was the big bad. He kinda came out of left field for me, which is fine. Part of the "enemy" made sense, but then the other part wasn't as cohesive. Didn't mean I didn't love the story anyway. Cause I did. I highly, highly, highly (did I mention highly?) recommend this book. If you're a fan of YA, you will love it. And you will become a fan of Victoria Scott because she is just awesomesauce.
A cocky, arrogant bad boy you cant get enough of? I can't wait until the next book. This was a great story.
This book does not disappoint! Can't wait for the second one... hurry, hurry, hurry!
Loved this book and it's amazing cast of characters. I laughed and felt ALL the emotions from anger to sadness. It's a fun YA. Watching Dante get his world rocked was a sexy ride. :)
LOVE Dante! I couldn't put this book down....so amazingly written. I can't wait for the next one....HURRY!
Dante Walker is sin on two legs--literally. It's hard to resist his swagger, and of course, I totally didn't. I gladly surrendered the wee hours of the night to finish this sometimes saucy, sometimes sweet, always sexy book. Scott conjures an original protagonist who's funny, human and inhuman all at once. Once Dante's story--his one-of-a-kind voice--sucked me in, I couldn't stop reading THE COLLECTOR. A huge thumb's up for an exciting, entertaining, anything-but-ordinary paranormal romance. This one's an adventure wrapped up in redemption and heartbreak, and I can't wait to see what Scott's got up her sleeve for book two!
Dante Walker is one hot Collector. It’s not just that he’s gorgeous—he is. And he knows it. It’s not just that he’s the epitome of the ‘bad boy,’ because again, he so is. And it’s not just that his one liners make me laugh (I can’t help it, I have a thing for hot guys that make me laugh). No, what makes Dante Walker so hot is the journey he takes as a character and the hidden nuances we get to discover about him throughout, thanks to his relationship with Charlie Cooper. These two characters kept me smiling throughout the entire book, and I missed them when I reached the end. Victoria Scott is a lot like Dante: bad ass, funny, and talented as hell. I’m so glad the world is getting to meet the characters I fell in love with so long ago. But remember….Dante is mine. (*grin*)
Dante is one bad mother. I fell in love with him from the first page of THE COLLECTOR. I knew going in that Dante would be a little rough around the edges, and Scott doesn't hold back with the true bad boy character, for which is extremely refreshing. He doesn't wobble, walking the line between good and bad, he's full-on and doesn't hold back. I found Dante's swagger and cocky-as-all get-out attitude humorous and deserving of sworn-worthy praise. But that's not all there is to him--he's forced to face some very hard choices, and grows through the story to reveal the amazing and lovable guy underneath all that toughness. This is what I loved most about him, the moment he realizes that he's fallen for the one girl who calls him out on all his crap, and he jumps into protector mode to save his girl. Charlie is a breath of fresh air herself, and she and her band of wonderful friends, along with truly adorable side characters, make this story one that won't soon be forgotten, and one that will linger with me while I impatiently wait for the next installment.
I’m so lucky that I snagged an ARC of this book and was able to read it early. I’ve been sitting here for five minutes trying to come up with a single word to describe THE COLLECTOR, and I can’t. I just love it too much. Dante Walker is a bad boy and knows it, and he’s used to getting his way no matter what. he’s the Boss Man’s right hand, and he’s sealed more souls than the other five collectors combined—which is why the Boss Man wants to give him a promotion. The only catch: Charlie Cooper is his polar opposite. Dante is smooth and mischievous; Charlie is klutzy and awkward. Dante’s the life of the party, the snap-your-fingers-and-get-any-girl-he-wants guy. Charlie? Well, she’s the picked-last-for-dodgeball girl. So naturally, when the two cross paths, Dante assumes Charlie will be quick and easy to corrupt, and that he’ll be on his way to that promotion in no time flat. The only problem? Charlie’s not the weak-willed girl she seems on the surface. As Dante gets to know his assignment, he soon realizes that he’ll have to work harder than ever if he wants to seal the deal. And to make matters worse, he thinks someone’s watching him, trying to keep tabs on his situation so the Boss Man knows what’s going on. There are so many wonderful things to say about this book. It’s author Victoria Scott’s first YA novel, and I really think she nails it. THE COLLECTOR is a unique story that touches on the supernatural (there are soul sealers and collectors, after all), and the loveable, true-to-teenage-life characters deal with everyday high school pressures on both sides of the popularity line. The novel is fast-paced, which makes it very easy to sit down and lose yourself in. (Ahem … I may or may not have read the entire book minus the first three chapters in one sitting. Okay, I did. I won’t lie.) As I read, I picked out people I knew from my own high school days in each of the characters, and I’m sure all other readers will be able to do the same. I can’t wait to see more from this author.
Dante Walker is the best at what he does — tagging souls. He works for the “Big Man” downstairs (aka Hell). There are only six Collectors and Dante is the best. In fact, he’s so good, he’s a shoe-in for a promotion to be the Big Man’s right-hand. All he has to do is claim the soul of a sixteen-year-old girl named Charlie. With his smoldering looks, crazy swagger and off-the-charts sex appeal, Dante is confident that he can claim Charlie’s soul in less than the allotted ten days. But that was before he met her. Charlie isn’t at all what Dante expected. He thought maybe he would get a hot sixteen-year-old, ready to cut loose — someone who has lived it up in all the wrong ways and well on her way to losing her soul. Instead he gets someone short, with ratty hair, messed up teeth, glasses and the soul of a saint. Why does Big Man want her? Now Dante will need to turn on all the charm in order to corrupt this nerdy, ugly duckling who is practically perfect in every way — and it won’t be easy. I just have to say that Dante is probably one of the best characters I’ve met in a very long time. You don’t want to like him. In fact, he’s so cocky, you want to hate him, but he is so funny you can’t help but fall hard for him. He’s crass, uncensored and just doesn’t give a crap about anything but himself. Charlie is the perfect opposite of Dante. She is sweet, nerdy, innocent and absolutely clueless — not to mention she has nothing but sugar running through her veins. With that said, she wasn’t a total pushover. She was fine before Dante came along and opened up her insecurities. I absolutely adored her. Charlie’s friends Blue, a somewhat nerdy guy who had a mad crush on Charlie, and Annabelle, the slightly chubby, basketball-obsessed girl are a nice addition. They felt real, and were great friends to Charlie. On the other side of the spectrum is Max, Dante’s bestie and fellow collector. I really liked him. In fact, I wish he’d been in the book more. I vote for a Max spin-off. Ms. Scott captures Dante’s voice perfectly. There were several times when I seriously couldn’t stop laughing at some of the things that came out of his mouth. Even when he started to question the purpose of collecting Charlie, and she started affecting him in ways that she shouldn’t have, he never lost his humor. Topping it all off is a perfect pace, an engaging story and characters you won’t soon forget. It’s compulsively readable. I had to force myself to put the book down so I could get some sleep. When I heard about this book, I figured I was in for a typical urban fantasy with a smart-aleck MC. What I got was so much more. Not only is it a great story, but it has a great message. And if you don’t fall for Dante, there’s seriously something wrong with you.
This book is brilliantly cocky. Even from the synopsis we know we're in store for some impressive moves, but Victoria Scott takes bad boy to a whole new level. I wasn't sure that I could handle Dante, but I found myself completely impressed. His attitude did annoy me at first, but eventually we break down his shell and see the real man behind the mask. Dante's ego is massive and it adds this sarcastic and witty feel to the story Victoria's overall tone and voice of the book was set perfectly. When Charlie enters the mix we see the dynamic of good versus evil in a whole new way. For paranormal fans especially those who loved Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins and Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick this book is a must read! This story is about Dante and his swagger. No lie. Dante is hot stuff and he is the ultimate bad boy sealing souls for hell; but he meets his match in little plain and ordinary Charlie. And, this my good people is how you make a good story great. Victoria Scott introduces Charlie and Dante is all, oh pulease I'll have this soul in minutes. But oh no, there's more to Charlie than he first sees. She is this great person and her charm and love begins to rub off on our bad boy Dante. And boom. I was HOOKED. I read every single word until the very end, start to finish (no small feat) but I couldn't stop. I love this bad boy and his struggles at becoming something more. I also loved the shape the story took as their relationship grew. My favorite part of the book is Dante and his problem with labeling things as he sees them. From the beginning he thinks nothing but mean things about those around him, even Charlie. He looks down on himself as well and while I think he wants to be better, he sees his fate as sealed as well. But, he changes a lot throughout the story. He finds it in himself to become a better person with redeeming qualities and he stops at nothing to protect those he loves. His world is flipped upside down and he sacrifices everything for something greater. I'm a huge paranormal romance fan and Victoria Scott has created one of the best books I've ever read, over any genre actually. It really is an epic journey that I will definitely be following throughout the series. The overall story is just awesome. I honestly have no other words, nothing I say will do it justice. It's a story everyone must experience for themselves. I've read some great books this year so far, but THE COLLECTOR took me away and I have yet to land on my feet. It is currently number 1 of 2013! It really stuck with me and shocked me with its heart warming tale of love and sacrifice, I never saw the story turning into such an emotional ride, I was surprised and elated with the turnout. Victoria's writing is excellent and this book is a new take on the afterlife, a very creative story through the end. It's emotional and fast paced, it's constantly moving and changing and evolving. I loved it. Loved it. and I love it. Check this book out and also don't miss the sequel THE LIBERATOR out in September!
Okay, I am always nervous when going into a book that is super hyped up, but I had no need to worry with this one!! This completely lived up to my expectations! It had a little bit of everything!! Action, suspense, romance, humor, and some parts that will almost bring you to tears. (Well, I do tend to be totally over sensitive.) The characters were so great that I couldn't help but fall in love with them and become invested in the story and what happened! Dante was every bit as amazing as I was hoping he would be. Actually, more than I hoped he would be!! He can come try to take my soul any day! Not only is he drool worthy, he's charming, funny, and yes, he is actually sweet too!! Now he doesn't start off very likable. (Okay, I lie. Even though he was a total douche, I still liked him.) He has a beyond huge ego and arrogance that makes you want to smack him, but you can't help being drawn to him anyways. When you know you are awesome, why not flaunt it! Besides, he loves red and hates cats! My type of guy right there! Anyways, I am getting way off course. So he's not all Mr. Tough Guy really, he tries to be, but Charlie makes him want to be a better person. I loved watching his emotions change and seeing the good side of him come out while he left parts of the bad boy behind. Charlie was great!! She was the nerdy chick who doesn't fit in. She has some awesome friends, but she's not in anyway popular. She's pretty much a nerd without super good looks and designer clothes. She has a pure soul and hasn't really done many things that would taint her soul. She truly cares about people and the world in general and does what she can to make a difference. She is happy with herself the way she is, but she starts to want to be hotter and better for Dante and it was actually sad watching her go through that. She may not have looked perfect on the outside, but what is inside was pretty close to it! I really enjoyed the interactions and the relationship between Charlie and Dante. She is totally different than what he expected, and he has his work cut out for him, but the more time he spends with her, the more he questions himself and if it's right to do this. He has never let a job become personal before, but Charlie is different somehow. She sees the good in him even though he doesn't even think it exists. The storyline was awesome. I loved the cast of characters and how much growth they had. There are also a few secrets that get uncovered and a twist ending that although didn't shock me, was a pleasant surprise. I am now dying for the next book already. This book hooked me and I devoured it as fast as I could! Victoria Scott has created a world and characters that you can easily fall in love with!!