Thursday, 15 May 2014

Review - The Collector by Victoria Scott

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.

There are 2 reasons I read this book. 1) The blurb is well written and witty. 2) Victoria Scott has done such a great job at marketing this book, creating SO much hype around it, that I felt like I wouldn't be friends with the cool kids unless I had this latest shiny toy.

And then there's the reviews. And boy, are there a lot of them. Through various competitions and ARC giveaways people managed to get their hands on this book some weeks ago and ALL I've seen since then is 5 stars and Dante Walker swoons, on Twitter, on Facebook, GoodReads, blogs... It's like this book was stalking me. I had to have it.

My first reaction after finishing the books was something along the lines of "well, I wasn't expecting that." I'm not sure exactly what I was expecting, but it wasn't that. From the cover and the whole 'bad boy' thing, I thought this was gonna be a bit darker, maybe something along the lines of the Lux series, but it wasn't... and I'm not sure how I feel about that.

I enjoyed reading it for sure. It was really well written and, like the blurb, it was witty and entertaining, but something about it held me back. I think that's the flip side of great marketing. I had certain, high expectations of The Collector that didn't quite match the actual book.

If I hate to describe it in a colour, it would be pink. Charlie, as a character, would be pink. Girly, sparkly, neon pink. I am not a fan of pink. There's not too much about her I really liked to be honest and she wasn't what I was expecting as a protagonist in the slightest. When she was first introduced and we hear her talking and see her bedroom, my first thought was "This isn't Charlie, no way. He's walked into the wrong bedroom". But alas, there she was.

I didn't really get the dynamic between Dante and Charlie, he's all bad boy and she's all nerdy and not that attractive, but somehow, as they always do, Dante falls head over heels for her. I get the whole 'she's the opposite of him/the other half of his personality/what he wants to be' type thing but I don't think she was likable enough as a character for me to want them to be together.

Dante is your typical brooding and mysterious YA character, which isn't a bad thing, I liked him. He was funny, attractive, sarcastic, and it was cute watching his feelings for Charlie grow... but to me, he wasn't any different to any other leading guy. There wasn't anything exceptional about him and there weren't any proper swoon moments for me. He was great, but I didn't love him.

As far as the story line goes, the actual idea of the seals and collectors is really good. I've never come across anything like it before and I'm always impressed when I find a truly unique concept. I also love a good Heaven vs Hell narrative, so The Collector ticked that box for me, too. As I've said, the story line wasn't what I was expecting and while it was good, it wasn't anywhere near the best Heaven/Hell/romance narrative I've ever seen.

All in all, it was a good book, but I was spoilt by the fantastic marketing. I think Scott could have done much more with Dante's character and Charlie could have been much more likable. I'm going to give it a 3.5/5 (4/5 on GoodReads) because although it was very well written, it still lacked quite a lot for me. I will be reading the rest of the series but I don't think it's the kind of series I'll be fervently waiting for.

1 comment:

  1. Nice review! I just finished this as well and will have my review up this evening. I feel the same way in some sense, the hype surrounding this book had me thinking I would love it. I liked it a lot, but I didn't love it.

    I did like the characters though. Charlie, while different from my usual favorite heroine was still kind of enjoyable to read about.

    Once again, nice review!