Series: Dante Walker #2
Published by Entangled Teen on August 27, 2013
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Dante has a shiny new cuff wrapped around his ankle, and he doesn't like that mess one bit. His new accessory comes straight from Big Guy himself and marks the former demon as a liberator. Despite his gritty past and bad boy ways, Dante Walker has been granted a second chance. When Dante is given his first mission as a liberator to save the soul of seventeen-year-old Aspen, he knows he’s got this. But Aspen reminds him of the rebellious life he used to live and is making it difficult to resist sinful temptations. Though Dante is committed to living clean for his girlfriend Charlie, this dude’s been a playboy for far too long…and old demons die hard. With Charlie becoming the girl she was never able to be pre-makeover and Aspen showing him how delicious it feels to embrace his inner beast, Dante will have to go somewhere he never thought he’d return to in order to accomplish the impossible: save the girl he’s been assigned to, and keep the girl he loves.
Dante Walker. Soul Collector turned Soul Protector. When does the video game come out!?
I’ve always been a sucker for the bad boys. When Dante Walker abdicated his Collector Cuff to save Charlie Cooper’s life at the end of The Collector, a little part of my demon-loving heart died. In The Liberator, Dante’s swingin’ for the other team. Big Guy’s team (a.k.a. Lord of the Heavens), and he’s officially turned his back on Lucille (a.k.a Lucifer). I had mixed emotions about this. I was skeptical about The Liberator, and didn’t know if Victoria could live up to her former glory from The Collector. I mean, Dante as a good guy? Really???
“Is this just a Young Adult novel?!” I thought to myself. Victoria Scott’s The Liberator is genius and even BETTER than The Collector. Dante Walker raises some holy hell in The Liberator, and he’s hotter than ever. Who knew being good could be so bad-ass?
[sc_embed_player fileurl=”http://mereadalot.com/muzak/SAL.mp3″] <- Click the play button for this review’s 1st theme song.
(Turning Page by Sleeping At Last)
The first half of The Liberator reads like the calm before the storm. Dante is no longer Satan’s right-hand man, and all he can do is bid his time until more Collectors are sent to finish what he started with Charlie. Charlie’s love has turned a page in Dante’s life. He surrendered who he was for Charlie. Charlie sees what’s good in Dante, and for the first time he’s ready to leave behind his demon-chic life. But now Dante’s having a post-demon life crisis. He’s consuming alcohol and cigarettes like his warring emotions are consuming him. He doesn’t know how to be anything other than what he’s been; living for himself and doing bitch-work for Lucille. Dante’s love for Charlie is the only clear and constant thing in his life and he wants to be better for her, but he feels trapped by what he can’t define; himself. Dante is riding a downward spiral. This lost sense of self and identity might ruin Dante’s chances to stay a Liberator, so Big Guy sends Dante on a mission. Colorado is about to get a lot hotter. Dante Walker is coming to town.
Dante has to leave Charlie back at home for this assignment in Colorado. There’s this chick named Aspen sporting a black soul that needs some saving, and Dante is having a hell of a time resisting his bad boy ways and gaining Aspen’s trust. Despite everything inside of him screaming to party hard and join Aspen in her sinful ways, there’s something about her that won’t let him give up. If he doesn’t liberate Aspen’s soul, he won’t just fail Big Guy, he’ll fail Charlie as well. Aspen has her suspicions about Dante, but she’s lived a hard knock life and she can handle trouble like Bruce Lee handles nunchucks.
[sc_embed_player fileurl=”http://mereadalot.com/muzak/devil.mp3″] <-Click the play button for this review’s 2nd theme song.
(The Devil Takes Care of His Own by Band of Skulls)
The tide turns for Lucille and the gang, and a new breed of soulless wash up on shore. Victoria introduces The Sirens in this second book, and they are more diabolical than The Collectors. They’ve snuck their way into Charlie’s life while Dante’s been gone, and they’ve been playing her. A secret is revealed, and Dante realizes he and the gang no longer have the upper hand with Charlie’s soul. Vallery (a.ka. Red) and Max (a.k.a. Dante’s best friend and a Collector) have been holding out on him. There’s an important piece of information that everyone knew except D-Dub, and when he finds out; Hell freezes over. Dante, Charlie and the gang find themselves in a nest of trouble and a certain legendary Liberator named Kraven might be the only one that can help them. The Devil takes care of his own and Dante’s Black Amex has been revoked. The Collectors and The Sirens are after Charlie with a vengeance and they will stop at nothing to drag her to hell.
Dante and Aspen take a pilgrimage in The Liberator, but only one of them returns. We learn something at the end of this book that completely changes the game. It’s genius, and monumental, and ohhhh such a good plot twist. Victoria gave me more than I could have ever hoped for in a sequel to The Collector. The love that builds and burns between Charlie and Dante in The Liberator is the stuff dreams are made of, and no panties are safe from (#pantyinferno). I don’t think I’ve ever read love being experienced so perfectly before. Charlie and Dante’s love is as shiny and pure as the gold-edged pages of a bible.
The Liberator was powerful. Like Moses parting the Red Sea powerful. Victoria has taken this rogue character of Dante, and shined a light through his imperfections. Dante has been transformed by the power of love, and love covers a multitude of sins. One of my favorite scenes in this book is between Dante and Charlie’s grandma. It charged me with such overwhelming feels. That scene could have blown up a city block with it’s emotional impact. It was easy for me to imagine how it felt when a sin seal left Dante’s chest in the The Collector to mark someone’s soul, but you will KNOW what it feels like to have a seal leave your chest to save someone’s soul in this book. Victoria might have mastered the alchemy of story telling.
The Liberator was more than a pulse-pounding, action packed, epic love story; it ministered to me in a way that even Jesus would be jealous of. It reminded me that under the baggage of years of hurt, guilt, anger, and misdeeds some of us carry; there’s still good in all of us, and no one is past the point of redemption. Dante let his demons go in The Liberator, and I think I set a few of mine free as well.
Victoria has a gift for charging the energy of words to their fullest meaning, and crafting a story that is significant beyond just what’s written on the page. This is a Young Adult novel. This is a book worth remembering. This is The Liberator, and it just might change your life.
I’m still looking for the perfect Dante, Charlie, Blue, Annabelle, and Aspen to cast. If I’m lucky, maybe I will have them in time to include with my review of The Warrior, the third and final book in the Dante Walker trilogy due out this May. Don’t forget to add Victoria’s soon to be released novel, Fire & Flood to your reading list!
If you want to start the New Year off with a POW!, read Dante Walker #1 & #2 by Victoria Scott. Enter below to win a signed copy of The Collector and The Liberator.
“Looking mighty fine, if I do say so myself: red v-neck, dark denim, designer combat boots, and enough testosterone rolling off me to satisfy Nicki Minaj. Pow!” – Dante Walker, The Liberator
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