The Warrior by Victoria Scott
War between heaven and hell is coming, but Dante Walker makes it look damn good.
Dante's girlfriend, Charlie, is fated to save the world. And Aspen, the girl who feels like a sister, is an ordained soldier. In order to help both fulfill their destiny and win the war, Dante must complete liberator training at the Hive, rescue Aspen from hell, and uncover a message hidden on an ancient scroll.
Dante is built for battle, but even he can't handle the nightmares where spiders crawl from Aspen's eyes, or the look on Charlie's face that foretells of devastation. To make matters worse, the enemy seizes every opportunity to break inside the Hive and cripple the liberators. But the day of reckoning is fast approaching, and to stand victorious, Dante will have to embrace something inside himself he never has beforefaith.
About the Author
Victoria Scott is the author of the DANTE WALKER trilogy (Entangled Teen), and the FIRE & FLOOD series (Scholastic). Victoria has a master's degree in marketing, and lives in Dallas with her husband. She hearts cotton candy and loves chatting with readers.
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A Dante Walker Novel
By Victoria Scott, Liz Pelletier
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2014 Victoria Scott
All rights reserved.
Dinner with a Demon
If war is coming, I make it look damn good.
I am: sharp eyes for hunting, broad shoulders for fighting, strong hands for gripping a weapon. I am built for this. I will protect Charlie, and I will rescue Aspen from hell. There's nothing I wouldn't do for my girls, and I plan to do it all. Blood will spill, and I will spill it without a second thought.
I am a machine.
Like a sinister boxing match, the rivals lie ready. In one corner, we have five collectors, people who work for the underworld administering sin seals to those still alive. Working alongside them are dozens of humans who do their bidding. These dirt bags are called sirens.
In the other corner, we have seven liberators, people who work for the heavens that can dissolve sin seals on living humans. We all wear cuffs, called dargon, which allow us to walk the earth after death and to sense each other if we're nearby. But that's where our similarities end.
The collectors want Charlie, my girlfriend, and Aspen, my friend. They want them because an ancient scroll said they are a savior and soldier sent to fight in a brutal war between heaven and earth. They have Charlie's soul, and Aspen ... Well, they have all of her. This is what I like to call a crap storm situation. Because if the liberators have the savior and the soldier — body and soul — on our side, we'll most likely triumph over hell. Otherwise, we'll be grossly outnumbered and outmatched by the collectors and their swarm of human soldiers.
Since hell has Aspen, and Charlie's soul, things aren't exactly stacked in our favor. To make matters worse, a victory for hell could tip the delicate scales between heaven and hell in the latter's favor, making it possible for demons to walk the earth unrestricted. Que chaos and suffering for all mankind.
The bottom line is that war is imminent, and Kraven, the self-proclaimed leader of our group and juiced-up liberator, says soon there will be a sign. After that sign, war will arrive within two weeks. Good thing since sirens are lingering outside our humble abode. Who knows when they'll finally decide to break down the door?
Spinning around, I find Charlie standing against the bathroom doorframe. Here is the girl who will save us all. The girl destined to fight in this battle alongside Aspen and whose charity will usher in Trelvator — a hundred years of peace on earth. Blond hair spills over her shoulders, framing a heart-shaped face. Her skin is porcelain, her smile is bottled sunshine, and her body is sick in a good way. She is perfect.
She's perfect because I made her that way, because I talked her into signing a contract in which she traded her soul for beauty. Even though I've fought to change the person I am, the person who did that to her, I'm still a demon at heart. Big Guy may be Lord of the Heavens, and I may have gold dargon wrapped around my ankle, marking me as a liberator, but inside, deep down, a demon growls.
Sometimes I still feel the old cuff around my ankle.
The one I wore as head collector.
Charlie wraps her arms around my waist, and her fingers clutch my back. My armor falls away in an instant, and I'm no longer what I was a moment before. Now I'm sharp eyes for watching her, and broad shoulders for easing her worries, and strong hands for holding her tight.
"Are you ready?" I whisper against the crown of her head.
"Yes," she answers. "I'm excited."
I doubt that's entirely true. Cancer ate her Grams until nothing remained. Aspen, my first assignment as a liberator, gave her body and soul to Rector, to hell, so that I could escape with Charlie's soul. Only after I surfaced from the mouth of Hades with what turned out to be my soul did we learn that Charlie and Aspen were the savior and soldier we needed to win the war. So, yeah, I think Charlie may not be as excited as she claims.
Then again, I've pulled out all the stops tonight. Dinner by candlelight, food made by my own hand, and me as company. Pow! Charlie's mind may be filled with sorrow, but soon, it'll be filled with the awesome that is Dante Walker planning a date. In a Hive. Of angels planning for war. But whatev. It'll still be better than bacon, which is serious.
I tilt her head up and move my mouth close to hers. Then I speak so that our lips brush against each another. "I'm going to make you forget."
"Forget?" she says, confusion lilting her voice.
"Yeah, I want you to be with me tonight. No thoughts of what lies outside these walls."
Humans who work for demons, who want to steal Charlie away.
"I can forget," she answers. "If you hold onto me, I can do it."
I wrap my hands around her cheeks and press my mouth to hers. Her head falls back, and she mimics the movements of my lips. The warmth of her, the feel of her tongue, washes over me. It makes my heart feel like a missile.
Her hands climb higher up my spine, over the dragon tattoo covering my back. Her chest grazes against me, and her hips connect with mine. For a moment, I contemplate killing the date idea and carrying her back to my bedroom. Yes, there is impending war. Yes, the girl I think of as a sister is in hell. But blood still burns through my body, and right now — always — it burns for Charlie.
"What are we having?" she mutters, breaking our kiss. "I guess I am hungry."
"We're about to have each other. Screw food."
Charlie laughs lightly, but she also takes a backward step. I'm not even sure if she does it on purpose. It's been a week since I returned from hell. A week since I left Aspen behind. In that time, Charlie hasn't so much as slept in the same bed as me. Granted, I'm not sure Big Guy would be real pleased that we ever did this in the first place, but what do I care? It's not like he and I have a relationship. Not like him and Kraven do, apparently.
The last seven days, all Kraven has done is walk around muttering to himself. If before he was Mr. Clean in his ever-present white clothing, now he's Mr. Clean sniffing the fumes from his own products. Valery says he's waiting for the sign that will determine the day of war. I say he's bat-shit crazy, and we need to skedaddle before he makes like the Unabomber and blows us all to kingdom come.
"I made you dinner with my own two man hands." I cup Charlie's chin. "So you need to prepare yourself for the mind freak that is my culinary skills."
"Should I call Wolfgang Puck?" she asks, smiling.
"And tell him he's out of business? Yeah, you might want to give him a heads up. It'd be the honorable thing to do."
I take her hand and press a kiss into her palm. Her fingers curl over the place I touched like she's self-conscious of her hands. She shouldn't be embarrassed. Fierce? Yes. Badass? Check. Anyone who saves me from hell by shooting blue lights from their hands and into the belly of a demon is A-OK, even if I don't know how said blue light works or if it'll make another appearance. Even if it does unsettle me to my core that Charlie has this untapped power that I never knew about.
As I lead Charlie toward the Great Room, I pretend everything is okay. We need this. What I don't show her is what lies inside my mind.
You left Aspen in hell.
You are selfish.
I do my best to push these thoughts down. I'm doing a decent job quieting those voices when we turn a corner and see Blue. Before I do anything else, I glance at Charlie. She radiates like the North Star, like she's never been truly happy until now. It feels like a sucker punch.
"Blue." Charlie lets go of my hand and rushes toward him. Blue looks up from a book he's holding and sees Charlie coming toward him. He drops the novel to his side and opens his arms to her.
I want to break his arms.
Then I remember he hates me because I left the girl he's crushing on, Aspen, in hell, and I want to break my own arms.
Blue wraps Charlie in a hug, but it's different than he's done in the past. He doesn't cling to her, he just holds her for a moment before letting go. When he eyes me over her shoulder, he grabs onto Charlie's nonexistent biceps and gently pushes her away. It's as if he thinks I've trapped him somehow. Like I used Charlie as bait.
"I've missed you," Charlie says, gazing up at Blue. Her words sting, though I don't know why. Blue's attention is elsewhere now. On a different girl. It just so happens that girl is in hell.
"What are you looking at, prick?" Blue snarls in my direction. "I told you to stay away from me."
Blue's stance reminds me he's not the guy I met months ago in Peachville, Alabama. He's neither lanky nor goofy. Not since he died fighting Rector to save Charlie. Not since he came back with a liberator cuff around his ankle. Now he's tall and strong and doesn't look half bad, for a dude. Even with big, dopey eyes and a head full of blond curls that makes him look in the way of canines.
I have so many things I want to say to him right now, but I can't find the words to defend myself. So instead, I move forward and take Charlie's hand again.
"I'm not going to apologize." My voice is firm when I meet Blue's gaze. "Not to you. I don't owe you anything."
"What about her?" Blue's top lip curls in disgust. "Did you owe Aspen anything? A fighting chance, at least?"
"Blue," Charlie says. "You know he didn't have a choice."
"Like hell he didn't." Blue points at me with the book in his hand.
"He thought he was saving my soul," Charlie whispers.
Blue's gaze whips to her face, and his own features soften.
"Come on," I say to Charlie. "We have a dinner to get to."
Blue's anger resurfaces as we move past him. "Enjoy your dinner, Dante. I'm sure you can forget what happened down there easily enough." And then, quieter, "Selfish asshole."
All I think when I hear his last remark is, I want this pain.
When we get to the Great Room, Charlie's eyes widen, and her mouth upturns in a smile. She touches two fingers to her lips like she's wondering how it got there. Her other hand loosens in my grip.
"Grams would want you to try and be happy," I say.
"Grams wouldn't want any of this." Charlie moves toward the table. When she turns toward me, her face is still pulled into a smile, but it isn't real. Seeing her this way, pretending to be happy, it's like spotting water in the dessert.
Before I even know what I'm doing, I'm crossing the distance between us. I pull her chair out, and she sits, tucking a purple skirt the Quiet Ones dressed her in beneath her. The Quiet Ones are liberators as well; two girls that have chosen to serve the savior and soldier in complete silence rather than fight. I'd say this is copping out, but what are you gonna do?
"I'll have you know," I say, doing my best to sound cheerful, "that every last course tonight is red."
"Seriously?" she says. "You created an entire dinner around our favorite color?"
"I aim to please."
A human shuffles out from the kitchen area with two plates in his hands. I've questioned Kraven a dozen times on how it's okay that they've brought humans into the Hive. He assures me they don't know what we are, but I have my doubts. I also have my doubts on whether dying by the hands of a siren or collector is a reasonable occupational hazard for anyone to risk, especially if they don't know about that hazard.
The man, a guy in his mid-fifties with grey pants positioned way too high on his waist, sets down our first course. Charlie picks up the smallest fork and pierces a leaf of red cabbage coated in raspberry vinaigrette. Before she puts it into her mouth, she pauses.
"What is it?" I ask. "It can't be that bad. You haven't even tasted it."
She lowers her fork. "I just thought we could ... "
Boom. I didn't see that coming. I want to tell her to forget it. That I'm not boys with Big Guy and never will be. But she raises her chin and squares her shoulders, and I know I can't deny her this. One, because I'd do about anything to make her happy. Two, because she has blue, glowy hands that make me wary of pissing her off.
"So we'll pray." I straighten in my chair.
Charlie smiles. Then she lowers her head and closes her eyes. I watch her for a moment, and then catch one of her eyes slipping open.
"Why aren't you praying?" she asks.
"I thought you did it out loud," I respond.
"I'd rather do it quietly, if that's okay."
I open my hands as if to say, whatever does it for ya.
"You have to close your eyes," she says with a playful quirk of her lips.
I want to kiss her again.
Charlie lowers her head, and this time I do, too.
Dear Big Guy, way to abandon my ass in hell. Where were you? I thought you were all-powerful. Not for the likes of me though, huh? Guess I don't blame you. I don't do crap for you, so why would you do anything in return? No biggie. I'm a lone wolf, Big Guy, howling at the moon. I don't need your help rescuing Aspen, and I don't need help protecting Charlie. I'll do it myself. Pow!
I stop praying and glance at Charlie.
Her eyes are closed. Her lips move in this gentle, quiet way, like she's really talking to someone. All the worry lines I've come to memorize have vanished. Gone is the tension in her shoulders. All that remains is this peace that seems to hum, like rain falling outside.
I always knew Charlie was religious, but I've never seen her pray. The way she's concentrating, you'd think she truly believed Big Guy was listening. That it's as simple as that. Open your mind and talk to him.
I don't want to rupture her fantasy, but he's not there. Not really. Big Guy has his own agenda and having a real relationship with Charlie isn't part of that. Something dark yawns awake inside of me thinking about him fooling her this way. It begs for me to break something, to destroy this peace like a lion attacking his prey.
But then my sweet girl raises her head.
And I wonder if I am wrong.
She seems in this moment like someone who has something she didn't before. I want that something. I don't want that something.
I just want to freaking eat.
"Ready to dig in?" I ask, suffocating the darkness.
"Thanks for doing this, Dante. It means a lot." She takes a bite of the salad.
And then, somewhere outside the Hive, through the cold January snow —
A trumpet sounds.CHAPTER 2
At first I think my salad is just that bomb. That my menu selections require trumpets and marching bands.
Then Valery races in, all breasts and curves and red hair. She looks like she was sleeping with full makeup on. Not surprising. My head fills with a soft buzzing as the cuff on my ankle senses hers. She trots up to us wearing a yellow nightgown that falls mid-thigh. It's a bad color on her. Redheads and yellow don't mix.
"Hey, Red." I stand from my dining chair. "You going to bed at 8:00 these days? Wouldn't surprise me considering your age and all."
She jabs a manicured nail in my direction. I'm wondering who's doing her nails in the middle of nowhere, in a piecemeal house on the edge of an ocean cliff. "I'm like five years older than you, Dante."
"More like ten."
"I am not —" She stops and shakes her head. "Did you hear that noise?"
"The sound of your heavy breathing? Yeah, I heard it a mile away. You had to run, what, thirty feet to get here?"
"I heard it." Charlie comes to stand beside Valery. "It was like a blast of sound, like a musical instrument."
For the first time, a chill tiptoes down my spine. I thought I'd imagined what the sound was. That it was actually Kraven outside, setting off one of his bombs in a trial run. Valery lays a hand upon her chest. She does that a lot. I'm not sure whether it's an unconscious tic or one she does because it's so Hollywood starlet. I'm guessing the latter.
Red opens her mouth to say something, but Max interrupts her.
"What are you doing out here, Val?" he asks, striding across the room. His usual lopsided grin is gone. Max is my best friend, my boy, my brotha from another motha. But lately, he's been less friend and more Angry Fiancé Who's Not Allowed to Marry His Girl. I guess Big Guy still hasn't given the ex-collector a full pardon. I'm sure I haven't been given one, either. Difference is I don't care. And Valery does. She won't marry Max until Big Guy stamps his approval on the deal.
"Did you hear the sound?" Valery asks him.
Max nods, but his glassy eyes never leave her yellow nightgown. I guess for him, a redhead in yellow is the equivalent of a bong hit.
"So we all heard it," I say. "What does it mean?"
Valery smiles too quickly, and the gesture says everything she doesn't. "Nothing. It's probably just the sirens messing around."
"The sirens?" I step closer and lower my voice. "You mean the hundred or so humans clinging to the ocean cliff outside the Hive like freaking cockroaches? The ones who work for the collectors? The ones who want to slaughter us in our sleep?"
"Don't be so dramatic." Red flips her hair off her shoulder. Max watches her hand fly through the air with fascination. Like she just did a magic trick and he can't believe his eyes.
"What was that sound, Valery?" I say, making sure to emphasize that I'm not using my nickname for her.
"It could be that ..." she starts.
Charlie lays a hand on Valery's forearm. "What is it?"
Excerpted from The Warrior by Victoria Scott, Liz Pelletier. Copyright © 2014 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
My fav in the series
I found the last installment of the series to be alright. I guess I expected it to be more action packed but alas it wasn’t. For a while there wasn’t really a lot happening for me. I found it starting to get interesting after they found out who the first betrayer was. I was kinda shocked about that one, I didn’t see it coming. But I really started to get into it when the battling came but it I wished it was longer. It seemed like it was condensed so it seemed a little rushed. I think too, I used to find Dante endearing but I found him to be quite not in this one. He was a little much for me. He seemed more like an egotistical a-hole in this one or maybe he was in the past books and I had my blinders on. I will give him on humor, at times he did make me chuckle a few times because a lot of the things he said was outrageous and off the wall. I did like the relationships Dante had with everyone and it seemed a lot of relationships grew more in this book. I did like the epilogue in the end, it gave a little more on the group so that was good. Overall I found that it ended with everything tied up. No questions hanging or guessing which is good. Pow.
MY THOUGHTS This is probably my favorite out of the whole series! In this book, it's war. The war between heaven and hell is starting. Dante is on the side of heaven for a change and has to continue training. All the while, he keeps having dreams about Aspen, his friend that he left in hell and his girlfriend keeps distancing herself. First all: I wasn't as much of a fangirl over this series. Really, a demon who falls for a girl isn't a new story, but this series has turned into so much more after that first book. This book was very dark and very fast-paced. My stupid synopsis doesn't do any justice. Lastly, there are so many things happening in this book and many of them very surprising! Dante is a very interesting character and he has a very unique voice. His way of thinking was annoying in the beginning of the series, as he is very arrogant and a jerk, but I've grown used to him. I loved the character growth that he has gone through! Sure, he's still arrogant, but he's an arrogant liberator now. As for romance, I did really like Dante and Charlie together. Charlie is such an awesome girl! But, really, I wasn't really caring about their relationship in this book. I want to know more about Kraven and Anabelle! Seriously, I was shipping the hell out of them! IN CONCLUSION This was a great conclusion to the series and I really liked these books! I'm a bit sad to see this series go, but I really liked the way it ended!
How did I not read this sooner? This is now one of my favorite books! Dante is super funny and hot hot hot. The writing was superb and had me hooked from day one! Original concept and fantastic plot. I was blown away at the end and was happy I couldn't guess the ending. Well done now can't wait to read book 2
Dante freaking Walker. Well, Victoria Scott. You did it, okay? I kinda love Dante Walker. It was a long journey for me. See, I've always LOVED Charlie Cooper. She is strong, compassionate and authentic. Dante, not so much. I've always loved his dialogue (both internal and external) but I never really bought into his ego. Yeah, that changed in THE WARRIOR. Dante put his money where his mouth is and kinda rocked my world. It's a book very aptly named. Prepare for an action packed end to the Dante Walker trilogy. You will get to a point about 6/13 of the way in and you will physically be unable to put the book down. You'll know you're at that point when the find yourself gasping at the betrayal that will leave you with an open mouth that will probably dry out before you get around to closing it. You know what? I think another reason that I connected with Dante this time is because I gained a better understanding of his past. You get to see glimpses of what Dante's life was like when he was human and it made him seem more, I don't know....vulnerable? You can see that Dante's cockiness comes from a place of insecurity that I didn't really feel until now. As always, my favorite part of this series is the wittiness. I stopped bookmarking pages because EVERY SINGLE PAGE has something worth of that one finger click. Chapter 17 in particular made me pee my pants. Thanks to Victoria Scott I now have to wear Depends every day of my life to make sure that embarrassing episode never happens again. OH! One last thing. My distaste for epilogues has been squelched. At least temporarily. This one is done right. POW! OH! And one last one last thing. This book is dark, yo. I know you'll go in expecting some tenseness based on how things ended in THE LIBERATOR, but Scott kicks it up a notch in this one. Some parts were downright frightening. And gross. And OMG SO GOOD. I can't wait to hear the collective SQUEE'S for Dante when this book hits e-readers everywhere!
The Dante Walker books by Victoria Scott have been one of my favorite books to read. And trust me when I say that Dante Walker is one bad boy that you will be falling head over heels in lust with. I am pretty sad that The Warrior is the final book in this series. I, for one, am going to miss Dante’s cocky attitude, his conceited ways, and just everything that is Dante! He is a character that readers won’t forget, that’s for darn sure. In The Warrior, the liberators are getting ready for the ultimate battle against the collectors. If they lose, demons will walk the earth and life will be forever changed. Hell still has their claim on Aspen, the soldier in the prophecy, but the liberators/heaven has Charlie, the savior. Although Dante has his Charlie back, safe and sound, in his arms, he is still gung ho on rescuing the girl (Aspen) who has come to be like a sister to him, from the fiery pits of hell. But is it even possible? With Aspen visiting Dante regularly in his dreams, does this mean that their souls have connected somehow? Or does it mean the one thing that Dante is afraid has happened…that Aspen is dead and it’s all Dante’s fault. With the final days of the most important battle of their lives, Dante needs to figure out who the traitor is that hides within the liberator’s stronghold and find out what the words on the scroll mean so that they can figure out how to win this battle. Lines are crossed, trusts are broken, and faith is tested in this final installment in the Dante Walker series. Dante Walker is one of those characters that you just can’t get enough of. He’s also one of those characters that, even though it’s been sometime between books, readers can easily fall back in love with just by his first words that come out of his mouth. I love his cocky bad boy attitude, even though he is not much bad boy anymore. He’s more like a love sick puppy…with great one liners and still sexy as all heck. If you’re looking for action, The Warrior by Victoria Scott has it all. With the collectors and their sirens being a constant threat (they’re hanging off the side of the cliff waiting after all), and with black holes popping up at any time inside the liberators compound (thanks to a frickin’ traitor – gah!), Dante and the crew are constantly on their toes. And then the final battle… so many feels guys. Even before the battle! Ugh… You know that final books have to go out with a bang. There will be multiple twists and turns and gasp worthy moments…there will be lives lost (obviously!) and big revelations. That is what you will find in The Warrior. What I also did find was myself chuckling to myself throughout the book. Dante delivers some of his best lines in this final book. From the beginning straight through to the end, Dante doesn’t miss a beat… Victoria Scott has created an amazing series and some unforgettable cast of characters. I’m sad to see it all wrap up, but all good things must come to an end. *single tear* Fans of bad boys, angels and demons, and prophecy reads will really enjoy the Dante Walker series by Victoria Scott…
I must say that I truly enjoyed the Dante Walker series. Victoria Scott was able to create such a fascinating character through Dante. He's not for everyone, but I loved him, even when he made me cringe. What I truly enjoyed throughout this series was the character development. We really get to see Dante become so much more than just the superficial collector he started as. Even though he fights against it often, his growth was a beautiful thing (even if he did maintain his swagger, snark, and crudeness). Not only does Dante grow in leaps and bounds, but the other characters as well, from Charlie to Aspen to everyone else. I loved the depths that were explored within this entertaining story. This final book also takes us into action upon action, situation upon situation, mystery upon mystery. I felt like I was right alongside Dante trying to piece everything together, see how it would all end, imagine yet try not to imagine who wouldn't make it in the end, and not give up hope. There were many twists and turns, and I truly respected all the thought and plot that went into this series, and this last book in particular. Along with the action, there was also some love and romance in the air. Up to the very end, I was fascinated, intrigued, and entertained. No spoilers here. You'll have to read it to figure out what I'm talking about. But I was satisfied with how it all turned out. As with the previous books, I had some theological issues and question some of the choices of these characters and why these things were found acceptable amongst "liberators." Because of this, I couldn't give it 5 stars. But had I not had these issues, I would have bumped up my rating. I loved the Dante Walker series. Each book has gripped and entertained me. Each book has shed increasing light on Dante Walker and his misfit friends. Each book has developed into more and more of a fascinating picture. The Warrior, our grand finale, was fabulous, entertaining, action-packed, and romantic. And I must say that Victoria Scott is a fantastic writer. I was completely impressed with all the things coming out of Dante's mouth and mind, and how three books in, she could continue to come up with new ways and sayings that made Dante so very "Dante." Well done!
Oh, Dante… I just can’t get enough of you. This story starts right where The Liberator left off. With Aspen still in hell, the war between heaven and hell, angels and demons, is quickly approaching. Dante and his team are working hard to prepare for the war… and to protect Charlie. Yes, most of this series seems to center around protecting Charlie. Nothing else could possibly demand this much of Dante’s attention. It’s easy to tell how much he loves her. Their romance is one of my favorite aspects to this series. Especially in this one, where we get a few sexy scenes with Dante and Charlie. (They’re so stinkin’ cute!) I have to admit, I felt like there were wayyyy too many relationships blossoming in this book though. Every time a new character walked in, someone had a crush on that person. It was a little too convenient. But since I love romance in novels, it didn’t bother me all that much. It was just something I noticed. Man, if it was only that easy to find a significant other in the real world. ;) The best part of this entire series: DANTE! His voice is hilarious!! One of my all-time favorite MC’s, ever. He’s so conceited, sarcastic, snarky at times, and downright hilarious!! If you haven’t met Dante yet, here’s a little taste: “That was pretty cool how you tumbled with Kraven. And you really don’t have to treat me like I’m some supreme being.” I say. “But you can call me Jesus if you want.” Oh, you want more, you say? Here ya go! “Don’t try to understand us. It’s impossible, like staring into the sun.” How can you not love that guy?! And someone who’s almost as cool as Dante? His BFF, Max! It’s nearly impossible not to love these two. As Dante’s best friend, Max is very similar in his sarcasm, yet has his own unique silliness and sense of charm. Gotta love these “brothers from a different mother!” My only complaint was this story, as opposed to The Collector and The Liberator, was a little too easily put together. Like everything was perfectly timed and planned out, all to happen at an exact point. But I do have to say the story was very quick-moving, there was always something happening, and there was definitely a lot of excitement, especially around the halfway point. It wasn’t as earth-shattering as I had hoped though. I thought for sure Victoria Scott would take us on an amazingly-insane ride to end this series, but I wasn’t left with that “WOW!” feeling I had hoped for. Because of this, this is probably my least favorite in this series. Still an amazing series that I would strongly recommend. I’m missing Dante already…. :(
I was waiting (not so patiently) for the release of this the final book in the trilogy, and hoping it would be as wonderful as I anticipated. Unfortunately, it was not the wonderful ending I waited for. It was so above and beyond what I imagined it to be! I was drawn in and not released until the end of the very last page! Dante Walker definitely made the wait so worth it! This book has it all, angels, demons, good guys, bad guys, suspense, drama, hysterical one liners, romance, love, friendships, heartbreaks, grief, triumph, and even pulls a few tears from the reader. It's a one of a kind book that could stand alone without the other books in the trilogy, but it makes the trilogy a solid stand out series! If someone doesn't pick this up to make a movie out of it they are missing a great opportunity, because I think this one could easily top twilight and hunger games! Victoria Scott, again you do not disappoint! I look forward to whatever your next adventure will be. Maybe a follow up of Dante, Charlie, Annabelle, and Kraven's children having to take on a whole new set of wild adventures. Who knows, it's just a thought! POW! (((Wink)))
The Warrior is the third novel in the Dante Walker series by Victoria Scott. So beware of spoilers for the first two books. As we know the books have been leading up to an ultimate war. How could things not end that way with the how they have been escalating. We spend about 60% of this book preparing for it. Although there are scrimiches and fact finding missions intertwined. Plus a traitor in the mix but you have to figure on that. There are characters we have known from the beginning and characters that are new to group. To be honest even though I had my guesses it’s kind of like the who done it crime where everyone could have a possible motive. No matter how well you think you know them. With that being said I have to tell you how unpredictable the ending is. I’m not talking about who prevails and who doesn’t, it’s the little things. The things that are written in the scroll that can sometimes seem obvious and sometimes not. Some of my guesses were wrong, some were right. It had that element of surprise in many ways and I think that Victoria did an absolutely fantastic job with it. Not only that, I was so happy that all this anticipation of a battle lead up to a real battle. Not just one big epic push that you feel unsatisfied with but things that happen to bring it all together. I was super happy with the ending. I thought it played out so well and made perfect sense. It was a great climax to this story. There is some definitely sad things but they had to happen in order to bring us to the happy things. Dante is as always interesting. The thing that I have loved about him in this series, which has endeared me to him even when he is full of himself is that even though he has developed and learned. His basic character is still the same. The changes that happen to him, that he makes for his life are not far fetched or out of character. He stays true to himself, his basic self. When we finally meet the end game Dante it’s still Dante. Just the pimped out version. I’ve never been strongly attached to Charlie. I’m not sure why, maybe it’s because it’s not in her point of view. The thing that has been interesting to me in all 3 books is how Dante mentions things he misses about her original self, before the contract. Like he’s not fully happy with the changes she’s made. Which I think is something important to take note of. Dante thinks any version of Charlie is beautiful. She is a strong tough girl and even though her distance from Dante because of what happened with Aspen makes me sad. She really fits into her role perfectly. I might not be overly attached to Charlie but I like how she influences Dante. How her importance to him helps shapes him. Of course there are so many other great characters. If Dante and Charlie were at an awards show their list of...I would like to thank… would be pretty long. I don’t want to delve too much into them because I don’t want to give anything away about their stories. I can tell you that the characters that you thought were kick ass, quirky and annoying are still as enjoyable as they were before. One thing I was thinking about with this book is that it’s a battle between Heaven and Hell, and how as I writer I imagine it’s hard to address. You don’t want to focus on one religion so that’ it’s relatable so you have to strip it down to the basics. Heaven, Hell, Angels, Demons and redemption. I really liked how it was done with this series. It’s unique with it’s soul sealing and collecting and it’s one of my favorite things about the plot. I really enjoyed this conclusion to the Dante Walker series and I will definitely miss him. I’m not sure how my life will go without him telling me how awesome he is.
5 stars - A masterful puzzle woven from trust and love! First Impressions... I have loved this series from the start. Every book has been 5 stars. Dante is fun, powerful and insightful. I was totally excited for the end. The Characters... Not sure if anyone would be surprised by this but Dante is my favorite in this book and this series. His strength and self-importance is endearing and so funny but what really draws me to him is his doubt. His love for Charlie brings him from a collector to a liberator but he's never been convinced that he's good enough. He goes through the motions but be doesn't believe in his worth. But there is a masterful plan to teach him and he goes kicking and screaming. I see so much of myself in him. I just adore him for his weakness. Charlie has always been sweet. She is not the focus except as Dante loves her. I care for her and she did stress me during this book but she is not my passion. Other characters endured themselves to me but again were not the focus. This is Dante Walker's show and he definitely stole the stage. The Story... I am always amazed at Victoria Scott's magic. She weaves a puzzle and has you thinking but always holds back just enough that you're never sure until the characters are. Hidden between her living, breathing characters the clues are there and clear, should be all seeing. Fun and addictive, this story had me laughing and crying. I was captivated as Dante figures things out about himself and then about how to fix the problem at hand. The themes are strong of forgiveness, self acceptance and love, all wrapped up in a very enjoyable journey. Did I Put It Down... Nope. In The End... If you enjoy the YA scene, if you enjoy paranormal, or if you just love a great story with some meaning behind it, then you need this book, this series. Pick it up.
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** The Warrior by Victoria Scott Book Three of the Dante Walker series Publisher: Entangled Teen Publication Date: May 6, 2014 Rating: 4 stars Source: eARC provided for the blog tour Summary (from Goodreads): War between heaven and hell is coming, but Dante Walker makes it look damn good. Dante’s girlfriend, Charlie, is fated to save the world. And Aspen, the girl who feels like a sister, is an ordained soldier. In order to help both fulfill their destiny and win the war, Dante must complete liberator training at the Hive, rescue Aspen from hell, and uncover a message hidden on an ancient scroll. Dante is built for battle, but even he can’t handle the nightmares where spiders crawl from Aspen’s eyes, or the look on Charlie’s face that foretells of devastation. To make matters worse, the enemy seizes every opportunity to break inside the Hive and cripple the liberators. But the day of reckoning is fast approaching, and to stand victorious, Dante will have to embrace something inside himself he never has before—faith. What I Liked: Wow. Another series over! 2014 seems to be the year that I finish series, which is a good thing. I tend to start series, and not finish them. I'm so glad I had the chance to read this particular set of books. Victoria Scott has such a unique writing style, filled with humor and plenty of teenage voice. Dante has a lot on his plate - with Aspen stuck in hell, Kraven behind everyone for training, and cracking an encrypted message. Blue blames Dante for leaving Aspen in hell, even though Dante didn't exactly try to leave her there - she stayed. A lot is riding on that encrypted message, as well as Charlie and Aspen's role in bringing about peace on Earth. How will things shake out? I guess you'll have to read this book to find out... I'm going to keep this review kind of short and vague, because I don't want to spoil anything. But basically, this is a great conclusion novel. You know how I'm always scared of reading conclusion novels, because they tend to be super sad and bittersweet and scary to read? Well, I jumped into this one with two feet - I wasn't too worried about a bittersweet ending. It just didn't seem like Scott's style - and I was right. The ending, as well as the book overall, is pretty positive. I mean, a good portion of this book is gloom and doom, because Aspen is in hell, but you just know things can't stay like that. There are new characters, there are old characters, and then there are old characters who are brought into the spotlight on a more personal level. I like what Scott did with Annabelle, the Quiet Sisters (I think that's what they're called?), Kraven, Blue, Max. Everyone's roles seem more important, more crucial. The cast of characters in general is pretty likable and fabulous, in my opinion. Scott has a way of introducing characters and giving them unique and fresh voices. I love Scott's writing style. There is so much humor to this book (and series), despite everything being about war and death and collectors and liberators and the balance of good and bad things. Dante is soooo funny - his inner monologue is really entertaining. The romance is clean (meaning, no love triangle) - thank goodness. I can't stand love triangles. Throughout this entire series, there is NO LOVE TRIANGLE. Yay for that! Also, I like how Scott brought romance to several other characters - I definitely didn't see some of them. Heh. Overall, I'm quite pleased with this series. I'm not saying it's my all-time favorite series and I'll be reading it forever and ever, but I'm so glad that I got to read these books. I'll definitely be continuing to read Scott's books, followed next by Salt & Stone! Out in 2015. Yay for that! What I Did Not Like: I really can't think of too much for this section... at times, the story dragged a wee bit. Also, I feel like not a lot of BIG things happened, but maybe that's why the story dragged a bit? Like, the climax could have taken place from the very beginning of this book. But it didn't, so the story seemed a little stretched out. Would I Recommend It: I would definitely recommend you read this book, if you've read books one and two, or even just book one. It's a satisfying, intriguing paranormal series, and while I'm not in the habit of reading paranormal novels, I wasn't going to miss this one. As a series, I would recommend the books! Especially if you enjoy paranormal books. Especially if you like humorous books. Especially if you like reading from a guy's point-of-view. Rating: 4 stars. What a finale! It wasn't heartbreaking or bittersweet, like many series conclusions tend to be. I'm glad for that - I hate bittersweet endings. Tragic endings can be okay. But bittersweet - a little bit of both? Nah. Thank you, Victoria Scott, for NOT writing a bittersweet ending!
The main reason this series is so fun is because it's just so different than all the other paranormal books. And its main character, Dante Walker, is one of the most wildly unique, hilarious protagonists ever. Victoria Scott is so talented at creating original stories with unforgettable characters, especially in this book. In fact, I think The Warrior might be my favorite out of the trilogy! Everything about this book was perfect: characters, plot, action, pacing, romance. There was hardly a thing I disliked, and it's not often that I read a book like this that I just want to gush over. But I'm still so blown away by how amazing this book was that I can't help it! I just love all the characters. I'll admit I was a little nervous going into this book that I would forget all the minor characters, but it was easy to remember them. I love all the varied interactions and relationships between the characters, and not just the romance. Yes, Dante and Charlie are adorable, but I also loved the deep friendship between Dante and his best friend, Max, as well Dante's friendships with Anabelle and Blue. It was just so sweet to watch how all the friendships and romances grew. Although, admittedly, my heart was totally broken by some events that happened at the end of the book. The romance takes a backseat in this book since there's so much plot development, but that's not to say that it isn't present. In fact, there's several romantic storylines scattered throughout the story, and I quite liked that. Even though Dante is the only narrator - and even though he's quite sarcastic - the cute moments between characters such as Anabelle and Kraven, and Max and Valery, were added in perfectly. And of course, Dante and Charlie remain an adorable couple. Dante is so protective of her, but I love how by the end of the book, he learns how to let her fight for herself and be her own person. The plot blew me away with the detailed world-building and suspense. There's never a lack of action, and the big battle and showdown at the end does not disappoint. Not only did I love the action scenes, I love how Victoria Scott holds nothing back. She's not afraid to let characters get hurt. *sniffle sniffle* Plus, there are a couple fantastic twists, seeing as how Dante and the others must decide who can be trusted. The first twist completely blindsided me - it was so shocking and painful that I couldn't believe it. The second one, I kind of saw coming, but I still felt the emotional impact. Scott is so good at making you invested in the story so that you feel everything the characters are suffering. And the ending was just great; that epilogue wrapped up the series perfectly. I've enjoyed this series so much. It's guaranteed to make you laugh and cry, and you'll be completely wrapped up in the characters' journeys. I'm going to miss Dante Walker and the rest of the gang, but I'm so glad I got the chance to read this series! You don't want to miss out on this addictive series. *I received a free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks!
FEELS CLUTCHING end to Dante Walker's story. Dante's struggle to find forgiveness (something he doesn't think he deserves) and to have faith not only in himself, but in the Guy with the plan, brings the entire series full circle. The relationships that develop and progress were my favorite part of this, and I especially enjoyed watching Dante and Kraven throw down. Speaking of Kraven...he needs his own novella or something because that dude is full of secrets and---other stuff. O.O The Warrior is a fast paced, action packed, FEELS CLUTCHING end to Dante Walker's story. One that has all of the humor and witty banter readers love as well as a few surprises, but leaves no question unanswered. What Left Me Wanting More: Nothing. Everything about this ending was exactly how it should have been. Final Verdict: Thank, Victoria Scott for bringing Dante Walker into my life! Y'all both got swagga for days and I love you! ;) Favorite Quote(s): "Dear Big Guy, way to abandon my a** in hell." "Well, you do have seductive hair. That's a weapon if I've ever seen one."
I can’t believe the time has come for this series to end! Reading The Warrior was a bittersweet experience. I found myself not only excited to see how the war between Heaven and Hell would play out and what would become of all our beloved characters, but also sad to know it would be the end of Dante Walker’s story. I will keep this brief since it is a finale book but I think fans of the two previous books will be pleased overall. Like a lot of finale books with a war brewing, I was worried the pacing would start out slow with all the action focused on the end. And in ways I think that can be said for this one as well but there were some really great moments sprinkled in during the wait that grabbed my attention. I think part of my problem is I get so anxious for what is to come. I must say, Victoria Scott managed to throw a couple surprises at me! There were things I saw coming, definitely, but a few things I didn’t see that left me in shock and feeling all kinds of feels I can’t get into much further without spoiling. I will admit, though, that I teared up a time or two but in the end I was pleased how everything wrapped up. Dante Walker has always been such an interesting character I have thoroughly enjoyed reading. His voice was like no other – full of so much arrogance but in a charming way. He made this series just so much fun to read, always putting a smile on my face and making me laugh. He changes so much in these books but you can count on him to never fail and throw his cocky attitude around. Even though things get a little heavy in this book, he continued to be who he was, as always. "If war is coming, I make it look damn good." Charlie showed so much growth as well and was a huge force to be reckoned with, though part of me missed that quirky girl we first met in The Collector. My love for Annabelle grew in this book as I found myself getting very invested in her own story happening, a little love triangle blossoming on the side. In fact, I even wanted more of it! Really, all of the secondary characters added a great flare to the overall ending. I was invested in them all, which made the war that much more stressful! I needed all of my favorites to be okay and well, that added a lot of excitement and nerves to my reading experience. If you haven’t already started this series, I would absolutely recommend it if you are looking for a fun paranormal read. Dante Walker is a one-of-a-kind character with such a memorable voice and the series was consistently a delight from start to finish.
Such a fantastic, unpredictable and action-packed conclusion! Dante... Be still my heart. I'd be happy to have you as my warrior any day. THE WARRIOR is a fitting final installment Victoria Scott's trilogy. If I could only use two worlds to describe THE WARRIOR those words would be "suspicion" and "suspense". As the group of humans and Liberators prepares for the prophesied battle with the Collectors and the Big Bad leader of Hell himself. Dante must figure out a way to retrieve Aspen, deal with seeing disturbing visions of her in his dreams at night and protect Charlie. Jeez, how much is one guy - even a guy with mad skillz like Dante - suppose to handle? Dante Walker has transformed so much since his days as a Collector, even still he never loses that spark that many readers love most about him.While I love his 'tude and cocky humor, I equally enjoy the sweeter side of him. The side that swears to protect Charlie at all costs. There is plenty of that side seen in this installment. There is also plenty of beating himself up anytime he feels as though he's failed her. Some may find this self-deprecating character flaw to be annoying, but luckily Dante doesn't dwell on any single issue for very long. So much is happening that even Dante is constantly kept on his toes. In addition, Dante's "suspicion radar" is turned up to the max in this installment. Because we are inside Date's head the entire time, I'll admit that his insecurities and suspicions made the story insanely unpredictable. THE WARRIOR is easily the least predictable of the entire series. So many things happened to the characters that I had no idea would happen - darn you, Dante for jumping to conclusions and convincing me that you were right! Oh my goodness, I was wrong on more than one occasion. But in my defense, so was Dante. I felt a bit disconnected with Charlie in THE WARRIOR. Her and Dante are keeping things from each other - him, his dreams, and her... Well, she's dealing with the weight of the world internally in this book, and poor Dante is frequently left hanging in her wake... and so was I. I feared for her more than I could understand her. This constant fear pulled on my heartstrings and only made me love Dante more. I only wish that Dante and CHarlie could have been more into this together. If anything, that was my biggest issue with THE WARRIOR - not enough Dante-Charlie companionship, too many secrets. In the end I got it, but it really played with my emotions while I was reading. There is much planning within THE WARRIOR. When they say "the war between heaven and hell is coming", for a while there it's almost the equivalent to "winter is coming". Haha. Things do happen as the characters await the prophesied battle that will change the world, but so much of the book is spent leading up to that battle. Once they take to the road and as the clock ticks down in the final hours, things seriously heat up, though. Oh, my heart! That final battle! All the lead-up to it was sooo worth it. Talk about exciting! This is certainly a battle worthy of the world's fate being on the line. I just... I may have gasped once, maybe twice. No one is safe. No. One. Trust me when I say that the final scenes will draw both smiles and tears from readers. Pros: - Readers will be kept guessing until the very last page. Doubt nothing and trust no one. - There is one epic battle worthy of the many days spent planning. Dante. Endlessly defying authority and spewing out some of his best one liners, you know this is what you want to see in these books. Cons: - The planning may seem endless early in the book and the pacing may be a bit off, but still, even the first part of the book is broken up with plot twists and the occasional enemy invasion. I wasn't too bothered by the waiting. - Charlie's secrets weigh down her character and separate her from both Dante and the reader. There was a bit of a disconnect for me when it came to her. - It's over. No more Dante. Waaaahhhh!! If there's anything that I'm sad about when it comes to reading THE WARRIOR, it's that this is the end of our time with Dante. I'm gonna miss the unexpected banter that he brings to every page. But who knows, you never know what the future may bring... POW! Plot: 10 Characters: 8 Setting: 10 Pacing: 8 Style: 9 Grade: 95