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Working for the Devil (Dante Valentine, Bk 1)
Working for the Devil - Dante Valentine, Bk 1 Author:Lilith Saintcrow When the Devil needs a rogue demon killed, who does he call? — The Player: Necromance-for-hire Dante Valentine is choosy about her jobs. Hot tempered and with nerves of steel, she can raise the dead like nobody's business. But one rainy Monday morning, everything goes straight to hell. — The Score: The Devil hires Dante to eliminate a rogue demon:... more » Vardimal Santino. In return, he will let her live. It's an offer she can't refuse.
The Catch: How do you kill something that can't die?« less
Leah (VeganFreak) reviewed Working for the Devil (Dante Valentine, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 4
I was very disappointed with this book during the first hundred pages or so. Saintcrow created a very different world as the setting for this story and I think that she could have explained some things a little more in depth. Another thing that really bothered me was that some names for things were a thinly disguised name for things in our world, like Rebotnik sneakers, which is too much like Reebok, and pulled me out of the fictional world that she created. This happened four times that I can remember right in the beginning.
If her world and it's non-human inhabitants had not been so original and interesting I would have put the book down and sent it on to someone else. I am glad that I kept reading. The story picked up and the things that I found to be clumsy went away or at least faded into the background of how much fun the story was.
If some of the weak points in this book are ameliorated in the second, this series could turn into a new favorite for me.
In a futuristic society where paranormals and psionics have been revealed to the general population but still feared and outnumbered, Dante Valentine is a necromancer with a complicated past and a lot of issues. The story starts out with a knock on Dante's door - a summons by the Prince of Hell himself to track down Santino - a demon who has stolen something from him. It gets more complicated because Dante has tangled with Santino before and lost (her friend was viciously murdered). On top of that Lucifer has given Dante a demon assassin as a familiar (Japhramel), and Dante isn't sure about how much she can trust anything a demon would tell her. I enjoyed the world building and the slow-growing relationship between Dante and Japhramel, but there were many scenes where I was left confused by how extremely Dante seemed to react to other characters. I felt like she was being a drama queen who didn't know how to see the world in a mature, logical way - it all came from a self-centered, childish perspective (you hurt me, now I'm going to hurt you and everyone else, and my huge reactions to everything won't make sense). This felt very strange in the context of the storyline. I have read the second book though and I would say certain things about her personality make more sense to me now, but I'm still not sure I like her. I will continue reading and give her a chance, because I do like the world and I do like the plots in these books.
I am a sucker for paranormal romance, and while I knew from reviews that it was quite light on the romance, I was still very interested. Luckily, I was not disappointed at all.
Dante is a very strong female character, but she feels more real than other similar characters I've read (Anita Blake, Mercy Thompson). She's tough, but it's not unbelievable. She gets tired, pissy, and has moments where she needs to cry. I like that mix.
I also like that the book was obviously set in the future but it didn't feel like "oooh, look, I'm talking about fancy things I know nothing about cuz it's the FUTURE". The talk about slicboards and hovers and tattoos on the cheeks to identify psychically gifted folk were placed where it needed to be and not trying to take center stage.
The relationship aspect of the book was a bit weak, but I felt like it took the space it needed in the book. I do wish that it was developed better somehow. It seemed slightly forced at times that they would be together. You could see slight hints of Jaf becoming connected to Dante, and those felt realistic. But from Dante's side, it just seemed somewhat unnatural.
I also really liked the dialogue. When you're in the middle of a fight for your life with demons, I would imagine there would be cussing and frustration. Maybe it's just because I swear like a sailor myself, but I liked that her language seemed to match her "profession". Other books in similar genres that I've read seem to go into Ye Olde English land, or Hip-Hop street slang. This was definitely more ME, and it helped me get into the story more.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. The world that was created was very well thought out, the characters were interesting, and there was definitely no Happily Ever After. I dug it. Looking forward to reading the rest of the series.
This one took me a little while to get into. I'm not sure if it's because this is the first of Saintcrow's books I've read, or if she just skipped all of the introductions and just dove headfirst into a world she expected me to know about...but there was a good 100 pages of just trying to figure out who and what was what.
Once I was able to understand the lingo and the world a bit, the book was really good. I'll end up getting the next in the series...and hoping that some of the backstory will be filled in.