Working for the Devil (Dante Valentine Series #1)

Working for the Devil (Dante Valentine Series #1)

by Lilith Saintcrow

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When the Devil needs a rogue demon killed, who does he call?

The Player: Necromance-for-hire Dante Valentine is choosy about her jobs. Hot tempered and with nerves of steel, she can raise the dead like nobody's business. But one rainy Monday morning, everything goes straight to hell.

The Score: The Devil hires Dante to eliminate a rogue demon: Vardimal Santino. In return, he will let her live. It's an offer she can't refuse.

The Catch: How do you kill something that can't die?

Dante Valentine Novels
Working for the Devil
Dead Man Rising
Devil's Right Hand
Saint City Sinners
To Hell and Back

Dante Valentine (omnibus)

For more from Lilith Saintcrow, check out:

Gallow and Ragged
Trailer Park Fae

Bannon and Clare
The Iron Wyrm Affair
The Red Plague Affair
The Ripper Affair
The Damnation Affair (e-only)

Jill Kismet Novels
Night Shift
Hunter's Prayer
Redemption Alley
Flesh Circus
Heaven's Spite
Angel Town

Jill Kismet (omnibus)

A Romance of Arquitaine Novels
The Hedgewitch Queen
The Bandit King

Blood Call (coming August 2015)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316003131
Publisher: Orbit
Publication date: 09/01/2007
Series: Dante Valentine Series , #1
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 416
Product dimensions: 6.78(w) x 4.24(h) x 1.11(d)
Age Range: 13 - 18 Years

About the Author

Lilith Saintcrow was born in New Mexico, bounced around the world as an Air Force brat, and fell in love with writing when she was ten years old. She currently lives in Vancouver, WA.

Read an Excerpt

Working for the Devil

By Lilith Saintcrow

Warner Books

Copyright © 2005 Lilith Saintcrow
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-446-61670-2

Chapter One

My working relationship with Lucifer began on a rainy Monday. I'd just settled down to a long afternoon of watching the holovid soaps and doing a little divination, spreading the cards and runes out on the hank of blue silk I'd laid out, when there was a bashing on my door that shook the walls.

I turned over a card, my lacquered fingernails scraping. The amber ring on my left middle finger sparked. The Devil card pulsed, landing atop a pile of flat runestones. I hadn't touched it. The card I turned over was blank.

"Interesting," I said, gooseflesh rippling up my back. Then I hauled myself up off the red threadbare carpet and padded barefoot out into the hallway. My rings flashed, a drift of green sparks snapping and popping down my fingers. I shook them off, frowning.

The lines of Power wedded to my front door twirled uneasily. Something nasty was on my front step. I hitched up my jeans, then reached over and curled my fingers around the sword hanging on the wall. I lifted it down, chucked the blade free with my thumb against the guard.

The peephole in the middle of the door was black, no light spilling through. I didn't bother looking. Instead, I touched the door, spreading the fingers of my right hand against smooth iron. My rings rang and vacillated, reading theflow of whatever was behind the door.

Oh, gods above and below, I thought. Whatever it is, it's big.

Bracing myself for murder or a new job, I unlocked the door and stepped back, my sword half-drawn. The blue glow from Power-drenched steel lit up my front hall, glimmering against the white paint and the full-length mirror hung next to my coatrack. I waited.

The door creaked slowly open. Let's have some mood music for effect, I thought sardonically, and prepared to sell myself dear if it was murder.

I can draw my sword in a little under a second and a half. Thankfully, there was no need to. I blinked.

Standing on my front step was a tall, spare, golden-skinned man dressed in black jeans and a long, black, Chinese-collared coat. The bright silver gun he held level to my chest was only slightly less disconcerting than the fact that his aura was cloaked in twisting black-diamond flames. He had dark hair cut short and laser-green eyes, a forgettable face and dreamy wide shoulders.

Great. A demon on my doorstep, I thought, and didn't move. I barely even breathed.

"Danny Valentine?" he asked. Well, demanded, actually.

"Who wants to know?" I shot back, automatically. The silvery gun didn't look like a plasgun, it looked like an old-fashioned 9mm.

"I wish to speak with Danny Valentine," the demon enunciated clearly, "or I will kill you."

"Come on in," I said. "And put that thing away. Didn't your mother ever teach you it was bad manners to wave a gun at a woman?"

"Who knows what a Necromance has guarding his door?" the demon replied. "Where is Danny Valentine?"

I heaved a mental sigh. "Come on in off my front porch," I said. "I'm Danny Valentine, and you're being really rude. If you're going to try to kill me, get it over with. If you want to hire me, this is so the wrong way to go about it."

I don't think I've ever seen a demon look nonplussed before. He holstered his gun and stepped into my front hall, peeling through the layers of my warding, which parted obediently to let him through. When he stood in front of me, kicking the door shut with one booted foot, I had him calculated down to the last erg of Power.

This is not going to be fun, I thought. What is a Lord of Hell doing on my doorstep?

Well, no time like the present to ask. "What's a Lord of Hell doing on my doorstep?" I asked.

"I have come to offer you a contract," he said. "Or more precisely, to invite you to audience with the Prince, where he will present you with a contract. Fulfill this contract successfully, and you will be allowed to live with riches beyond your wildest dreams." It didn't sound like a rote speech.

I nodded. "And if I said I wasn't interested?" I asked. "You know, I'm a busy girl. Raising the dead for a living is a high-demand skill nowadays."

The demon regarded me for maybe twenty seconds before he grinned, and a cold sweat broke out all over my body. My nape prickled and my fingers twitched. The three wide scars on my back twitched uneasily.

"Okay," I said. "Let me get my things, and I'll be happy to attend His Gracious Princeship, yadda-yadda, bing-bong. Capice?"

He looked only slightly less amused, his thin grim face lit with a murderous smile. "Of course. You have twenty minutes."

If I'd known what I was getting into, I would have asked for a few days. Like maybe the rest of my life.


Excerpted from Working for the Devil by Lilith Saintcrow Copyright ©2005 by Lilith Saintcrow. Excerpted by permission.
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.

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Working for the Devil (Dante Valentine Series #1) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 133 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a very entertaining book. Danny Valentine, Necromance, gets a job working for the devil himself. She takes along Japh, a demon helper, and the fun begins. This book just got better and better as you read through it. I loved the character of Dante Valentine. She is tough and smart. I have been reading all of the Laurell Hamilton Anita Blake series and have gotten tired of the neverending sex scenes and no plot. This book helped me find a new author to read having grown tired of Anita Blake and Laurell Hamilton's later books. This book did not have your standard ending, full of surprises and somewhat sad! The only recommendation I have for others who read this book is to have a dictionary handy when reading it. Lots of big words, and a glossary of the furturistic terms she uses in this book, like Psoi, holovoid, etc. would have been very helpful. Other than that, this book was well worth the money!
MsFit More than 1 year ago
I bought this book when the Walden bookstore in my town was going out of business. Just saw it on a shelf, the title caught my eye so I read the back and it seemed like it'd be a cool book to read. I was wrong, it is the BEST book series I could have EVER stumbled into! I love The Dante Valentine Series, each book keeps getting better and better! I'm just really sad that I'm on book 4 and there's one left...Dante and Japhrimel are MY Romeo and Juliet and I recommend this book to anyone who loves action, some romance, and surprises throughout every single book in the series.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just found this book and I was absolutely thrilled. This is a great story with strong and interesting characters. The play between Dante and Jaf was at turns frustrating and tender which made for a real page turner. This is a very hard book to put down so make some time to enjoy it!
harstan More than 1 year ago
Interrupting the soaps, Tierce Japhrimel, a demon, visits highly regarded necromancer Dante Valentine to meet his Prince or die. Put that way, the tough Dante agrees to go along with the gun toting demon to a meeting with Lucifer to learn what the Prince of Darkness wants from her. They catch the subway to Hell where Lucifer offers Dante a contract that she cannot refuse or she dies of course what the Prince wants her to do probably means she dies anyway. --- Dante is to capture a rogue demon accompanied by Japhrimel, who is more than a kick butt demon he is a demon assassin. Accepting the kind offer made in good faith, Dante begins to search for the rogue though she is distracted by other items not directly related to her investigation. Japhrimel somewhat keeps her focused as they argue over everything especially when she spins into sidebars. --- WORKING FOR THE DEVIL is a fun urban noir paranormal thriller that stars a bristly courageous loner, a no nonsense demonic sidekick, and a horde of paranormal and human cretins who make the mundane things like riding a train into a supernatural event. As the glue to the plot, Dante turns the story line into a fine investigative tale though her inquiries do not go into first gear until the latter half of the novel, but her capers occur throughout. Fans will want more starring this acerbic street tough necromancer. --- Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! Edgy and not to wordy, this was a different kind of book than I typically read, and I am so glad I decided to try it out. I ran across and read another book of Lilith Saintcrow's called "The Demon's Librarian" first and liked it so much I thought I would try one of her other series. It caught me right off from the beginning and it surprised me on how it ended. The plot was interesting and the characters were fleshed out. I am not usually a fan of "other" worlds with a lot of unheard of technology but Mrs. Saintcrow blended seamlessly the technology and arcane charac ters. I couldn't put this one down, this is a great read and I am anxious to start the second book in the series!
MIDNIGHTSKY511 More than 1 year ago
I am a lover of supernatural/fantasy. This is one of my favorite series. Ok probably my favorite series. A must read, page turner that fits the bill with a futuristic twist. I only wish there was more.
Victoria Sazani More than 1 year ago
This a great book. I love Dante. She is impetuous and courageous and I wish more authors were able to capture the strength and the natural instinctive capabilities of real women like Saintcrow can. And yea there is a shmalz aspect as there will be inherently in any romance novel. But she maintains some level of mystique and doesnt flog you with sex scenes. The level of action and Dantes inner dialogue and personality definately out weigh the eye rolls.
Guest More than 1 year ago
You won't be disappointed by this new series! It is a fresh and different as Laurell K. Hamilton's EARLY Anita Blake series 'books 1 through 9'. Dante's world is moody, dark, and organized religion has given way to the worship of personal gods from every pantheon imaginable. Oh, and demons walk the earth, looking human but definitely souped-up with power. One of them is Lucifer - yep, the very one - and he's commanded Dante to do an impossible deed for which she gets to keep her life. We can all relate to the boss from Hell, right? The first chapter is very funny!! And, there's Japh. Dante grows to accept him ... and so do we. Ms. Saintcrow must have had a eureka moment when she conceived this story. And the others in the series are equally fabulous!! Just read it. You won't be disappointed. These books are keepers!!!
Shrike58 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It's another dark urban fantasy and this one has many of the usual elements. Strong, yet damaged protagonist; check. Dangerous potential love interests; check. Desperate circumstances forcing an ad-hoc collection of players to cooperate to stave off disaster; check.What lifts this novel above the same-old cliches is that the author has chosen to create a rather bracing alternate reality in which to stage her tale, in that it's a post-Christian world where dark magic is in play, Lucifer is a reality, and Alistair Crowley is regarded as a prophet (as opposed to a dangerous fraud). The feel is a little like the "Detective Inspector Chen" novels of Liz Williams, only without the whimsical touches and, to be honest, not quite as well written. That this world could be better developed is one of the reasons I don't rate this novel more highly.
jjmcgaffey on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was only going to read a _little_ of the book, and finish it tomorrow. Now it's 0130¿ That's quite a story. It's still the one story Saintcrow writes - powerful woman and man (more or less) protecting her - then falling for her. But here there's a lot less of the mutual lack of self-esteem, not to mention that Dante is as capable of taking care of herself as Jaf is - in some ways more so. She's a licensed Necromance, armed with blessed sword, knives and guns when appropriate and with magical powers - he's a greater demon with all the powers inherent in that. The universe is truly weird - sort of Shadowrun, magic and tech quite thoroughly intermingled. The names and languages are just enough different that I don't know if it's supposed to be an alternate future (it used to be this world, in its past) or it split much longer ago (when it passed through now, it was already different). No way to tell, really. And it's based in Saint City, with Abracadabra making a brief appearance. All that aside - major changes, physical, emotional and mental, for several of the main characters. And I wonder if the end is as final as it sounds - there's hints of something more. Guess I need to hunt out more Dante Valentine stories¿too. I should just give up - I want everything by Saintcrow, no exceptions.
raenstorm on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It took me a couple of chapters to get into this one but once I was hooked I had a hard time putting it down. Now I'm anxious to get the rest of the books in the Dante Valentine series.The only thing that kept this from being an "amazing" read was my consistent confusion about how Dante's powers worked and exactly what was going on as she was using them. It wasn't until near the end of the book that it didn't take me out of the book while reading those sections. I think it's intentionally jarring but I'm noting it because I don't want others who might it confusing to think they're alone.Other than that, I really dug Dante. I always enjoy a strong female lead and she definitely fits that bill. And, like I said, I can't wait to read more about her.
squirrelsohno on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Let me start by saying I'm actually giving this book a 3.5/5, but since it won't do half, I'll just round it down. Working for the Devil is an intriguing book and you can't deny that the author has an interesting premise on her hands. The problem I had with it was because the author went too in depth into the lore of the land, so you might say. There was so much information that everything became muddled and mixed up. I constantly found myself turning back the pages trying to catch something again that I found myself unable to understand, and the influx of new information constantly overloaded my senses after awhile. There was too much in my opinion to keep up with, and certain characters (although there were not that many) started blending together and getting lost in the mayhem of the book.But as I said before, Saintcrow has an interesting concept on her hands, and I will definitely give her props for that. She's crafted an interesting and well plotted world along with characters that are interesting (however, many could use some increased characterization - a few seemed like dolls, and I never understood Japhrimel's real motivation besides "freedom!" but if there was back story why he wanted it I don't know). Dante was well written, but she could stand to have some more information and explanation in the further books. I hope they will get to this.It was fast paced and exciting, which overcame a lot of the muddled and confusing aspects of the book. I will read the next in the series even though I have heard bad things about it from my friends. I want to know what happens next I must say.
ncsbooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not the most perfect writing I've ever seen, but the story's good, the characters're fun and, all together not quite like much anything I've ever read before.
joyfiction on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A fun foray into the paranormal. Thoroughly enjoyable. A definite fun read.
bookwormteri on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I am really surprised that I had never heard of this series. It doesn't have the cult following that Anita Blake has, and it should (at least, after finishing the first in the series). Dante's world is very different from ours, but it was not hard to follow and I didn't feel like I was missing out on explanations or that the narrative was stopped to explain things. The only thing that this book is missing is more character development for Dante herself. I enjoyed the book, but thought that she was really rude and mean throughout most of it. It is not until the end when you see how human she really is (even though she kind of isn't anymore). Action packed, great world, can't wait to read the next couple!
Kace on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a very uncomfortable book for me to read. Growing up in a strict Christian household, and still believing in the fundamental truths taught, a book that sports a pentagram on its spine, makes for uncomfortable reading. Heres the thing....shes a good writer. She created an intriguing (depressing) world, in which God is found to just a myth, and all creation descended from the devil, humans being his science experiment basically. Dante Valentine is a "psi" (if I've remembered correctly), a necromance, to be exact, someone who can raise the spirit of the dead to answer questions of the living.....thats the basic story.Dante is forced to work for Lucifer, and is granted a demon familiar, something she doesn't want. This first book introduces the main characters and story line....I appreciate the author just telling the story, assuming a person is just going to get her created world, instead of explaining the crap out of it, it makes for a more believable world when authors write with this assumption. On the other hand, I'm still confused about a lot.
crishaynes on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not your typical necromance novel. I liked the main character. She is tough and talented. I was very disappointed that the demon *******SPOILER******* died by the ending. I liked his character even from the beginning. I was happy to see Dante warm up to him. I am hoping he comes back in some way. I am running out to get the second book right away. There is a lot of action so it keeps you up really late, not wanting to put the book down. Every character is interesting. I am dying to see what comes of Eve too.
laurenbethy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
So, this book is not for the highly religious and/or sensitive person due to the language and nature of the world the book takes place in; saying that, it is truly an urban fantasy book (maybe even a little futuristic) and I definitely liked it a lot. Dante Valentine is a messed up girl with a dark past, but its just made her super tough, and completely able to take care of herself. However she gets forced into a difficult situation and some interesting stuff occurs. Once I started reading it I pretty much was completely obsessed with finishing it, although the ending was VERY upsetting! I'll still read the next one with high hopes. Recommended to any fans of urban fantasy.
krau0098 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the first book in the Danny Valentine series by Lilith Saintcrow. Amazon kept recommending this book to me as a great book to read. Guess what? I really did like it!Danny is a Necromance; that is she communes with the dead. In order to make some extra cash on the side she often takes up bounty hunts. The rumor of her hobby has reached Lucifer, yes the Devil himself, and he has sent one of his demons to bring Danny to hell to offer her a job. A demon is on the loose, a demon that's been granted immunity from hell, and Lucifer needs Danny to take the job. To help keep Danny alive Lucifer sends along his right hand assasin, Japhrimel.This is a face paced, fun book, with a dark sense of humor. Much of the humor is somewhat cutting and sarcastic. The whole book is very dark and reminds me a little bit of Sin City or Gotham City. The cast of characters is very entertaining and each has their own bits of dark past that gives them great depth. There is a little kung-fu taste to the book, as Danny fights with a katana and has her own specific version of honor. Think Kill-Bill, with more magic and not quite as much revenge.There is non-stop action, more than a little violence and gore. The thing I liked best though was the creativity of the book. The book takes place in a future earth type setting. As such, there is some bandying about of tech-talk that leaves the reader wondering at times. Yet, the incorporation of magic and demons into this tech world is done seamlessly. I was very impressed.My only complaint would be that the writing is not as high level as I usually like; but for this book the writing style fits the context. Some of the book reminds me a little of Kim Harrison's "Dead Witch Walking" series. This series has a lot more edge and darkness to it though; I guess if I had to compare it with something I've read before (although it's a very unique book so that is tough) I would compare this series to the Sonya Blue Series by Nancy Collins. Although, Danny is not as screwed up as Sonya was and this is a more comfortable series for me to read than Sonya Blue was.The main story was tied up nicely at the end of the book. Still, I yearned to know more about Danny after I finished the first book. For instance what horrible things happened at the school she went to? What really happens to the demon? How will Danny deal with her new...physique?Loved the book. I ran right out and bought the second one as soon as I had finished the first.
amf0001 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
New author for me, very happy to have found her! The vampire slayer theme is getting real old, but Saintcrow has rejuvenated it, with a fast paced, exciting novel, the start of an excellent series.
amberwitch on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The beginning of a - so far - well written and engaging urban fantasy series. Told in 1. person by the usual powerful and strong female hero battling her inner demons while she saves the world. Dante Valentino - an accredited Neuromance and bounty hunter - is hired at gun point by the devil to kill a demon and recover a stolen artifact. As part of the deal she is equipped with a demon familiar who is to help her and protect her while doing the job. Dante has a personal score to settle with the demon, making the job mean more to her than just staying on the good side of the devil. The details of the world-building are convincing and engaging. The dark and gritty futuristic setting makes for an excellent backdrop for Dantes exploits. The technological details are a bit vague, but not in a way that matter or detract from the story.I like Dante as a character. I like her ressourcefulness, the fact that she wears sensible clothes for the job instead of the to ohigh heels, too short and too tight clothes of many of her fellow urban fantasy series protagonists. Her inner demons are realistically portrayed, and her response to them ring true.
kusine on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was so surprised by how much I like this novel. The writing was excellent, the story fun, and the alternate universe (or future, you decide) was interesting and well thought out. The characters were real, three-dimensional people (even the ones who weren't technically people ;) who I really enjoyed reading about.
jshillingford on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I admit it. I'm an urban fantasy junkie. So, this new offering from Lilith Saintcrow caught my attention. And happily, it was worth more than a look. Danny Valentine is a Necromance - able to commune with the dead via her god, Anubis. Necromances are one of several paranormal species now known to humanity. But Danny has attracted the attention of the Devil himself, and no one refuses a job offer from him. Great action, well defined plot and a great heroine all make Saintcrow's new series a winner.
LadyofDreams on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Excellent book! Well written characters. It catches your attention from the very first page, and keeps it throughout. I have to say that the main characters are pretty sympathetic, although some of the secondary characters could have been fleshed out a bit more. But, for all of that, I wouldn't change anything in the book, I just hope that there are a lot more in this series by Saintcrow.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The main character seemed really angry all the time. I would have loved to read more humor and learn more about the world they inhabit.