Author: Victoria Scott
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Released: 2nd April 2013
Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
The Collector could very easily have been a miss for me. Dante was, by all accounts, rude, unfair and arrogant. I was prepared for this to go into the cluttered vault at the back of my mind labelled 'Meh'. What I was not prepared for was for it to creep past my walls and insist upon my liking it.
Dante is a collector. Not like stamp collector, but soul collector. His new assignment is Charlie Cooper. He's not sure exactly why his boss wants her, but whatever. This assignment is his chance to escape hell and he has ten days to complete it. He probably won't even need ten days, since no-one can do the job like him. But when he meets Charlie and unwillingly gets to know her, he finds himself putting off his task. It's problematic to say the least, but her can't stop emotions he hasn't felt in ages from rising to the surface. Looks like this won't be such a simple assignment, after all.
First of all, Dante is rude, unfair and arrogant. I spent a good deal of time marvelling at his attitude, especially when it came to Charlie. I have never come across another protagonist so sure of themselves and if the poor girl knew what was running through his head when he met her I'm not sure she'd have been so happy to have him around. But she didn't and things progressed and Dante actually turned out to be a redeemable character. His growth was very gradual yet pleasant to see, and I think I preferred the second half because of the added depth that came with connecting with him more. With his emotions came an entirely different side to him, one not so cocky, and that was nice. What might have been even better would be to see more of his work and get a greater feel for that.
Charlie was the complete opposite of Dante. Bubbly, friendly, always seeing the good in other people, she made for a genuinely nice character. Admittedly I found her a little too gullible - surely her past experiences would teach her to be more wary? - but perhaps that's just the cynic in me. Either way she was a fresh character, and I have to commend Scott for bringing to life two characters different from the norm. Actually, 'different' and 'unpredictable' appear to be themes that run through this book, as I was not entirely expecting the level of humour that there was, and there were a couple of twists that had me blink in surprise. As soon as there was one revelation I made the mistake of getting comfortable with it, only to find myself having to readjust to what was actually the truth. This one certainly keeps you on your toes. The mythology isn't just recycled material, either. A fresh spin was put on it to renew my interest, and the ending in particular had me sitting up straight.
There were areas of doubt with this one, but if I overlooked the problems - which wasn't too hard to do - I did find myself enjoying it. If nothing else there was the humour, but there were some genuinely good attributes, all of which makes me sure I'll be coming back to this author.