Welcome to my stop on The Liberator blog tour hosted by YA Bound Book Tours. Click HERE to see the full blog tour schedule!
Stick around at the end of my review for the giveaway!
The Liberator by Victoria Scott
Book Two of the Dante Walker series
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication Date: August 27, 2013
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from the publisher
Summary (from Goodreads):
Bad boy, meet bad girl.
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.
What I Liked:
WOW, what a sequel! I really, really liked The Collector, so I was a bit scared to read The Liberator. I totally have sequel terror, and I am the person that would wait until the third and/or final book of the series to come out, just to binge read Book Two and Book Three. Waiting is SO HARD, and sequels are, well, scary. Most sequels end in cliffhangers or depressing endings where the male protagonist and the female protagonist are separated, and one has to go rescue the other.
WELL. That is not the case with this book! I am so happy to say that the ending, at the very least, was probably what I liked the most, because Victoria didn't kill us all by doing something tragic and heartbreaking and depressing, like what I mentioned above. Though, we DO have to wait for Book Three. Boo.
Anyway. In this sequel, Dante is no longer collecting souls for Boss Man a.k.a. the devil a.k.a Lucille (hehehe, love that!). He is a liberator now, working for Big Guy, a.k.a. God. Instead of sending souls to Boss Man/Lucille, Dante is supposed to send souls to heaven.
Of course, it isn't easy for Dante to reform his old (bad) ways. He still likes to party, like when he did as a collector. The difference is, as a liberator, there are repercussions for not sending souls to heaven, and there are repercussions for partying/drinking/doing things that Dante always liked doing.
So when Dante is assigned to save Aspen's soul, a girl in Denver, he balks at the idea. Not only does he have leave Charlie, but he has to do something as a liberator - which makes him feel weird, as he was a collector for so long. I love seeing this struggle in Dante, because it made him seem less perfect (sorry, Dante!), yet still, well, Dante.
Aspen reminds Dante of his old life, but he has to complete his mission, or he'll be on probation. Aspen is an incredible character. I had a feeling that I would like her by he end of the book, and that she was so much more than she seemed. While she is a little wild and obnoxious when we are first introduced to her, she becomes a huge and vital part of Dante's mission - a more personal mission that he takes on while trying to save Aspen's soul.
I love how Victoria weaves one story into another. We as readers are under the impression that Dante will go to Colorado, try and save Aspen's soul, and come back. Not so simple! Dante and the gang (Max, Valery, Annabelle, Charlie, and a surprise appearance!) learn crucial facts about heaven, hell, souls, and... scrolls. Everything in this book becomes so much more than just Dante and Charlie.
That's another thing that I love about this book: everything becomes more than just the lives of the characters. It's not just about getting the girl, or being a liberator, or saving friends. To Dante, and Charlie, and Aspen, so much more is at stake. I like that Victoria turns the lives of her characters upside down - but she does it in a way that keeps them selfless, and focused on the bigger picture. If that makes sense.
The romance. We have Charlie and Dante, but there's also Max and Valery, and another couple that I can't mention because that would be spoiling something and I refuse to spoil this book for anyone! No, the appearance of Aspen does not equal love triangle of Dante, Charlie, and Aspen. You all know Dante better than that - he loves Charlie so, so much! How could he think of being with another girl when he loves Charlie like he does!
Max and Valery are hilarious and so cute. Max is a collector, and Valery is a liberator. Valery doesn't think they should rush things and get married, because of the fact that technically, they're on two different sides. So, Valery evades Max's advances. Poor Max! I hope things work out for them.
The end... isn't *really* a cliffhanger ending. I was very satisfied with it, and I did and didn't see it coming. I love how it will segue into the third book though - it's perfect! I can't wait to read what Victoria comes up with in the third book!
What I Did Not Like:
This might just be me, but I found the beginning a wee bit slow. A lot of the beginning. A lot of it was necessary... but the pacing was just not fast enough. It took about... 40% for me to be completely consumed and flipping pages like a crazy person.
But that's okay, because the rest of the book was well-paced and a lot happened, so it went by quickly. The second half and ending made up for the beginning/first half.
Would I Recommend It:
YES! Read the first book, or keeping reading the series if you have read Book One! I was majorly impressed with The Collector, and I'm equally impressed that Victoria pulled off an awesome sequel to follow up a fabulous debut.
4 stars. No sequel slump for Dante!
About the Author:
I’m a teen fiction writer with a die-hard affection for dark and humorous books. My work is represented by Sara Crowe of Harvey Klinger literary agency. I have a master’s degree in marketing, and currently live in Dallas with my husband, Ryan.
My first series started with THE COLLECTOR, and was published by Entangled Teen in April 2013. The second book in the trilogy, THE LIBERATOR, will release August 2013. My next series kicks off with FIRE & FLOOD and is being published by Scholastic, February 2014.
1 signed copy of The Liberator, and a signed copy of Twilight by Stephenie Meyer - international!
Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!