Series: Dante Walker, #1
Released: April 2nd, 2013
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Rating: 2.5 stars
Word Rating: Ugh
Reviewed by: Kate
He makes good girls...bad.
Walker is flippin’ awesome, and he knows it. His good looks, killer
charm, and stellar confidence have made him one of hell’s best—a soul
collector. His job is simple: weed through humanity and label those
round rears with a big red good or bad stamp. Old Saint Nick gets the
good guys, and he gets the fun ones. Bag-and-tag.
is nothing personal. Dante’s an equal-opportunity collector and doesn't
want it any other way. But he’ll have to adjust, because Boss Man has
given him a new assignment:
Collect Charlie Cooper’s soul within ten days.
doesn't know why Boss Man wants Charlie, nor does he care. This
assignment means only one thing to him, and that’s a permanent ticket
out of hell. But after Dante meets the quirky Nerd Alert chick he’s come
to collect, he realizes this assignment will test his abilities as a
collector…and uncover emotions deeply buried.
The premise is that Dante Walker works for Satan (or "Boss Man," as Dante calls him), wandering around places like New Orleans, tagging people who do bad things (sometimes while being coerced by Dante or one of his colleagues). He's doing great and loves his job, yadda yadda, until one day he is given an assignment to mark Charlie (I freaking love when girls are named Charlie), a nerdy teenage girl who is essentially a saint and who will do great things for the world.
I think you'll probably know pretty quickly whether this book is for you. Dante reads as, like, a really hot Jamie Kennedy character. He has this profoundly unappealing beta-male-playing-alpha swagger. I probably would have loved him when I was in elementary and middle schools (I don't mean to belittle grown-up women who like this book; it's just that anything that stinks of posturing or faux power just does nothing for me.), but not as an adult. Basically, I don't think I'd sleep with Dante, and this book relies pretty heavily on the reader's attraction to him.
But even if you enjoy the beginning of the book--and Dante as a character--it may lose you in the back half as the narrative structure gets sloppy and a bunch of plot points you'd already figured out (even just basic stuff like the identity of a character's fiancee and another character's boyfriend) are unwound in a way that is reeeeeeeally boring if you picked up the clues early on. And there are some things that are just logically problematic, like the revelation that Dante, Satan's #1 guy, has only been dead two years. What? Two years? No. No no no no no. I don't think so. I mean, I know that everything here relies on Dante's seeming powerful, and that it is helpful if he talks and acts like a modern dude, and that it's mad-creepy when the romantic hero is, like, a billion years older than his lady (ahem, Twilight), but... I don't know. There's gotta be a better way to fix those problems.
And why the eff is Dante obsessed with his Dwayne Wade-autographed chucks? And Charlie has absolutely no personality. And there's a weird love triangle-type thing that ends in a way that is CLEARLY a set-up for the next book. The characters--across the board--go from being moderately well-defined and individual in the front half to being muddy and everyone-is-awesome-and-a-hero-ish toward the end.
Like I said, not for me. YMMV.