Review: The Collector by Victoria Scott

The Collector
Victoria Scott
Series: Dante Walker, #1
Released: April 2nd, 2013
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Rating: 2.5 stars
Word Rating: Ugh
Reviewed by: Kate

 Add to Goodreads

He makes good girls...bad. 

Dante Walker is flippin’ awesome, and he knows it. His good looks, killer charm, and stellar confidence have made him one of hell’s best—a soul collector. His job is simple: weed through humanity and label those round rears with a big red good or bad stamp. Old Saint Nick gets the good guys, and he gets the fun ones. Bag-and-tag.

Sealing souls is nothing personal. Dante’s an equal-opportunity collector and doesn't want it any other way. But he’ll have to adjust, because Boss Man has given him a new assignment:

Collect Charlie Cooper’s soul within ten days.

Dante doesn't know why Boss Man wants Charlie, nor does he care. This assignment means only one thing to him, and that’s a permanent ticket out of hell. But after Dante meets the quirky Nerd Alert chick he’s come to collect, he realizes this assignment will test his abilities as a collector…and uncover emotions deeply buried.

This book is fine, and I understand why so many people like it; it's just not for me.

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.


  1. I don't think that I'd enjoy this one either Kate. I've read an excerpt and Dante didn't appeal to me at all. Probably gonna pass on this one all together.

    Great review, hon! <33

    1. You absolutely would not like this at all, Mel. You would hate it.

  2. Yeah, I know everyone in the world liked this one, but it didn't work for me either. I disliked Dante immediately and the whole issue with her being too ugly was over the top. Exaggerated and counterproductive.
    Great review! I'm glad I'm not alone. :)

    1. I usually love bad boys, too--I love the Elemental books, for example--but Dante is just awful.

  3. I keep seeing that people love this one, but I haven't picked it up because I'm worried that I just won't like it. Great review!

    1. If you're worried that you won't like it, I think that's a pretty good indication thet in this case you will be correct.

  4. I wanted to read this book so bad, but then most of my friends who read it, told me that I probably wouldn't like it. Too bad.

    Great review.

    Glass @ Way Too Hot Books & Ja čitam, a ti?

    1. Your friends did you a solid. They really, really did.

  5. Well I guess I'm an anomaly then, because I really loved this book. I thought Dante was funny even though he was a super huge jerk. Although now that I've actually been faced with cocky obnoxious guys, I can totally see why Dante would be a turn off for a lot of people.
    Great review, by the way. I also think that Charlie had no personality; it was one of the things that bothered me.

    1. Most of my reviewer friends on goodreads really liked this, actually--I remember that Kat Kennedy's review, in particular, was really positive.

      And I am very close friends with a lot of really self-assured guys, and I've dated quite a few of them as well, but I don't like cocky guys because it's all posturing to cover up their insecurities, and cocky dudes are actually dangerous. Alpha males very rarely rape; it's betas who feel the need to dominate those much weaker than them because they can't win against those their own size who commit awful acts of violence. Just something to think about.

  6. Thanks for your review Kate, the thing about Dante working for Satan sort of reminds me of Sweet Evil. Most reviews I've read of this one has people raving about Dante, but at least you can leave him to the others lol.

    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

  7. The cover looks like a HUGE turn off. I know we shouldn't judge by the cover, blahblahblah, but....sometimes it is blaring obvious if the book wants me to read it by the cover, and this one, to me, screams "GO TO ANOTHER SECTION!!!!!!!!!!"

    1. You know, Lyn, it's funny... I read A LOT of romance novels. Like, I'd say I've maybe read 200 of them this year. So this cover WOULD NOT ordinarily turn me off at all. But because I read so many books with strong male love interest-y types, I really hate when I feel that one of those characters is written badly. I LOVE the Elementals series (you know Storm and all of those) about a group of not-always-nice teenage brothers, and that series is superficially a bit like this one.

      It's like 50 Shades of Grey! I love BDSM romance stuff! It can be such fun! But Christian is emotionally abusive and controlling in a way that I found to be super duper yucky.

      Different strokes. And if you're not into this type of thing, anyway, then this one is DEFINITELY not for you.

  8. Hmmm....I don't think I've come across a less than glowing review of The Collector. This is actually helpful b/c some tiny little part of me said "NO."
    I'm sick of cocky guys. Real badass don't have to swagger or convince you of their awesomeness. They just are.

  9. HAHAHAAH I COULD SO SEE THIS HAPPENING. I mean, you rating the book "ugh" and 2.5 stars. It's kind of why I too have avoided the book. I know a lot of people have said that Dante surprised them - that he was a great anti-hero and his humor came through for him, but I'm not so sure.

    You like when girls are named Charlie because of the gender subversion or you just like the name :D? (Bleh to --> "a nerdy teenage girl who is essentially a saint and who will do great things for the world." Hahah I like how your feelings on the book clearly come out even in that summary statement. Boo to girls constantly being forced into that "saint" role. Why couldn't we gender flip this novel?)

    Who's Jamie Kennedy? Damn I feel so behind on pop culture, sometimes, when reading reviews o.O. "beta-male-playing-alpha swagger." Nooooooo. Though I suppose at least he's not a true alpha? There are some really dickish alpha characters out there. But playing at being alpha also doesn't seem very great either. "stinks of posturing or faux power" -- yep. Me too, I think. That may be the result of having grown up with three older brothers and posturing a bit myself o.O. But also gender reasons.

    AHHH the general PNR traps. With YA PNR especially, it seems like plot points are just so obvious and need to be revealed from the start yet somehow aren't even though they're SO obvious. How can Dante have been dead only 2 years and become the #1 guy? "it's mad-creepy when the romantic hero is, like, a billion years older than his lady (ahem, Twilight)" <-- YES. Another reason why it's just so hard to get into PNR o.O. Or at least find the romantic interests attractive in the slightest.

    :( well, Kate. Did you finish Just One Year? Did you end up still loving Willem? I remember that was the status last I'd talked to you about JOY. And I'm hoping you have a good read ahead after this one and assuming JOY fills that role.



Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment on my blog!