The Liberator by Victoria Scott: Review+Giveaway!!!

The Liberator by Victoria Scott: Review+Giveaway!!!The Liberator by Victoria Scott
Series: Dante Walker #2
Published by Entangled Teen on August 27, 2013
Pages: 331
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Add to your Goodreads TBR shelf.
Purchase Links: Amazon
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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???

Yes.
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.

Bruce Lee's spirit lives on in Aspen.
Bruce Lee’s spirit lives on in Aspen.

 [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)

This is who I imagine  Red to look like.
This is who I imagine Red to look like.

 

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.

 

This is kinda how I imagine Kraven to look like. #BenditlikeBeckham
This is kinda how I imagine Kraven to look like. #BenditlikeBeckham

 

#DavidBeckham #SexyKraven
#DavidBeckham #SexyKraven

 

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.
POW!

POW!

“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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About Victoria Scott

Victoria Scott is a teen fiction writer represented by Sara Crowe of the Harvey-Klinger Literary Agency. She’s the author of the FIRE & FLOOD series published by Scholastic, and the DANTE WALKER trilogy published by Entangled Teen. Her first stand-alone young adult title, TITANS, will be published by Scholastic in spring 2016.

Victoria’s books have been bought and translated in eleven foreign markets including the UK, Turkey, China, Poland, Israel, Germany, Australia, Brazil, Taiwan, New Zealand, and the Netherlands. She currently lives in Dallas, and hearts cotton candy something fierce.

The Collector (Dante Walker #1) by @VictoriaScottYA Review and GiveawayThe Collector (Dante Walker #1) by Victoria Scott
Series: Dante Walker #1
Published by Entangled on April 2,2013
Pages: 352
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
Add to your Goodreads TBR shelf.
Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N
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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.

 The Antidote by St. Vincent

Dante gets ready to this song. 🙂

Contrary to popular belief, Dante Walker is a little piece of Heaven on Earth.
 
 Hey, guys. My name’s Regina. A while back I read this book called The Collector. One of my homegirls said I would like it, so I gave it a shot. 
Dante flippin’ Walker. I really didn’t want to like this guy. I heard he gave Daemon Black from the Lux series a run for his money, and I wasn’t about to give this book the time of day. I’m protective over my closet boyfriends (YA crushes), so I took a peek at The Collector synopsis to see if this Dante character was a threat. I was ready to put to bed the buzz I had been hearing about this guy, and I went into this story ready to defend Daemon as reigning king of YA heart-throbs.
[*Crickets*]
Love (ahem) is a very fickle thing.
The name Dante used to materialize images in my mind of marble Italian sculptures, classical literature, and pointy green trees. The lyrical and poetic prose of Dante Alighieri’s famously grotesque Inferno would burn brightly through my thoughts with unpleasant after effects. Things are different now. Since I submitted myself to The Collector, fitted black t-shirts and red Chuck Taylor’s dance through my head like sugar skulls at the name Dante, and I’m ready to wax poetic about this diabolical hunk. The name Dante never sounded so good.
When I think about Victoria Scott’s The Collector, the song from Breaking Dawn part 2 where Bella is arm wrestling Emmett and breaks the boulder plays through my head as I picture Dante’s studly figure standing in front of a hotel room sink, running a comb through his ink black hair as he prepares to go out and turn females into sweating hormones and seal some souls. Dante is an otherworldly hunk that roams around Earth collecting souls for the boss man himself (aka Satan). Dante’s arrogant attitude fits him like a pair of freshly dried dark jeans, and he knows his good looks didn’t die when he did. With only a handful of Collectors at Satan’s disposal, Dante is the head honcho. The best of his kind and the boss man has given him a special assignment: COLLECT CHARLIE COOPER’S SOUL.
In The Collector our bad boy Dante’s skills are seriously put to the test with this Charlie chic. She’s the antithesis of Dante and looks like the cover model to Home School Weekly. She’s the Violet to our Screech. How is Dante going to work his wily ways on a girl that’s more interested in feeding stray raccoons and organizing community service events than partying? Charlie’s soul is bright white and proves to be a challenge to corrupt.
Did I LOVE this book? HELL YES. I love the way Victoria makes everyone so familiar. Charlie and her friends are people I could have eaten lunch with in high school, and Dante’s that stud who passed out flyers in between classes to come see his band play at the local venue. The pacing of the story is swift and stylishly written. The chemistry Victoria creates between Charlie and Dante is sweet and forbidden. Every stepping stone of their relationship is played out in the most satisfying way. There’s nothing I love more in a book than when love and attraction sneak up on someone. Mr. Popularity falls for the dork. The jock falls for the choir chic. Charlie’s character is the best kind of dorky/endearing, and Dante’s bravado and swagger make him more hot than not. The other character’s that play an integral role in this novel were memorable and creative. Oh, and the plot is pretty cool, too. This book was so much fun to read and left me in withdrawal mode when it ended. Dare I say this novel is generation defining? I do. It’s the Never Been Kissed and She’s All That to this decade, but waaaay cooler. (If you’re too young to remember those movies, I highly recommend them.) This book is definitely reread material, and if you haven’t read The Collector yet, here’s your chance. The Liberator (Dante Walker #2) is coming out in August, and to celebrate we are giving away 2 e-book copies of Dante Walker #1.

Enter below to win a 1 of 2 copies of Victoria Scott’s THE COLLECTOR in ebook format (Kindle or Nook)between 6/19/13 – 6/26/13 (up until 11:59pm est)

 

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About Victoria Scott

Victoria Scott is a teen fiction writer represented by Sara Crowe of the Harvey-Klinger Literary Agency. She’s the author of the FIRE & FLOOD series published by Scholastic, and the DANTE WALKER trilogy published by Entangled Teen. Her first stand-alone young adult title, TITANS, will be published by Scholastic in spring 2016.

Victoria’s books have been bought and translated in eleven foreign markets including the UK, Turkey, China, Poland, Israel, Germany, Australia, Brazil, Taiwan, New Zealand, and the Netherlands. She currently lives in Dallas, and hearts cotton candy something fierce.