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.
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.
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.
Somewhere in this book there is a good plot and good supporting characters. It's hard to tell because it's buried under a cranky lead character and tedious narration.
Danny Valentine, the main character, was just... angry. She yells at snaps at people for seemingly no reason, or if she has a reason her reactions seem like overreactions. There's more to her than this, but it's masked under all her anger and snappy comebacks. She's trying so hard to be tough, and it's just screamingly obvious. We know that it's part of her insecurities (if I remember correctly, she even mentions that she acts needlessly cruel at some point). If she actually learns and grows and changes it would be great, but she doesn't. (I've read the whole series, believe me, she doesn't).
The book is, of course, narrated by Danny. We are given tons and tons of new phrases and concepts which is cool, but some of them are never explained, although they are repeated. A lot. She talks about how much she loves slicboarding, but we never learn what a slicboard is. You can guess from context clues, but you know, one sentence explaining it would be great. She does this, a lot.
On top of that, the stuff that is explained she drones on and on and on about. Some of it gets repeated over and over again (sometimes using the exact same wording). By the end of the book (and sereis) you will know the religious history of that world inside and out, but you wont know a lick about the technology, why her rings spit energy when she's mad (believe me, you'll hear about it a lot) or why she does the things she does.
And speaking of the religion in the book. It's all over the place. This is obviously the author's dream world, which is fine, if Saintcrow wants to completely dismantle Christianity in her imagination (or Christers as they're named in the book) that's fine. It's her world. But then she does things that don't make sense. She makes a constant and repetitive point that Christianity was proven absolutely 100% wrong because of some scandal that happened, and everyone who believes in it is narrow minded and dumb. Then she bases the premise of her book on hell. Ok, the underworld is a concept that most religions have, but she uses Christian specific ideas. Satan is referred to as Lucifer and the king of lies. I know that's nit picky but was just irritating.
The plot, I really liked the plot. I liked her supporting cast. I just wish there was more of it. It would be a pretty awesome book if there was, and if the leading lady was more dynamic.
And one more note, I've read the subsequent five books, hoping they'd improve (series like this often improve in time) and they don't. All this gets worse, as do the plots. All in all it's just not worth the read.
When I picked up this book I thought it would be paranormal but was pleasantly surprised with the sci/fi - paranormal blend. Dante Valentine is a necromancer who is given a no win job by the devil. He gives her his right hand demon, Japhrimel, to help increase her chances. With friends and Jap's help she begins an almost impossible job. Fast paced, action filled read.
i applaud the effort but i did not enjoy this book. I guess im just hard to please but Dante i felt was trying to be too bad %$ and that made her a fool in my eyes, i dunno i love female heroins but, she was a little over the top for me. . .
This book kept me up all night. I couldn't wait to see what happens to Dante Valentine and her demon. It was worth the read and was worth the second read through. I'm not really into Dante but I'm fascinated with her relationship with the demon, Jap. I don't want to give to much away but this book will have you craving to read the rest of the series. The author's little fantasy world is also very interesting. She throws in Lucifer and Egyptian gods together. Love it. I found this book in the fantasy section, but it's not about mages and warriors. Lilith creates this rich world of demons, magi and other paranormal stuff that is great.
OK I have to say, NICE SURPRISE! Did not except for this book to move so quickly. I had to pick it up every chance I got just to see what was going to happen. So did not expect the end! Once you read it you will understand, you end up really getting to like the demon. I am going to have to get the rest of this series just to continue to see what happens in her life. I would like say that I like her more then the Anita Blake books, and I am a fan of those books but this charicter is better.
I have read a wide variety of paranormal books as well as general fiction and I found this one to be a cut above.
For once there is a tough, capable heroine that isn't a commitment-phobe and who hasn't completely shunned her femininity.
This is a great start for a series and I have already ordered the sequels.
The only thing for me that was hard to digest was the futuristic language that was wrapped around every material, object and person's job title.
Dante Valentine is a Necromance(able to raise spirits of the dead and relate their final wishes) and a bounty hunter. She is contracted by The Prince of Hell (Lucifer) and given a demon familiar (who needs blood, sex or fire to live). She is ordered to retrieve an artifact called the Egg from Santino, a serial killer she has crossed paths with before.
This was a book that was hard to put down. I did not pick up a lot of the descriptive but that did not stop me from totally rooting for Dante whenever someone "thought" she needed their help. She has been toughened from childhood and has psychic abilities that give her an edge on a hunt. This story focuses on hunting down Santino, her meeting up with Jace after 3 years and a rather revealing secret about him, her conflicting feelings about her pet demon, some changes she goes through.
loved all the dante valentine books i have them all i think i posted 2 the first day i joined and to my suprize they have both gone i have the rest i just need to get organized and get all my books posted, i am very excited about this service, i am quite new to this genre paranormal romance urban whatever and am not quite sure what to look for help or suggestions would be nice
Review: Set an an unspecified point in the future, humans have found magic is real. Shamen, Necromances and other magic users all practice openly. They are feared and regulated, marked by tatooes and gems on their cheeks. At the same time they can make a very good living by hiring out their powers.
This book follows Dante Valentine, a powerful Necromance with a big reputation. Big enough that Lucifer has heard of her and "hires" her to help him track down a rogue demon who stole something important. The hunt for the missing demon brings Danny a chance to finally catch the guy who killed a friend/lover a long time ago.
I found the magic system very interesting. I liked the different types of magic users and their ranking system. I was very interested in a secondary character who comes into the book partway through - an ex-boyfriend of Danny's. He was probably the most interesting character for me. I very much enjoyed the authors writing style, especially during action scenes.
However, the story didn't hold my attention. I almost couldn't put the book down during the first quarter of it, but then it's ability to hold my attention weakened, and I almost stopped reading it halfway through. Then the ex-boyfriend showed up and things got interesting again. However, I'd been having problems with the fact that Danny is a very unlikeable person. She doesn't seem to be able to get along with anyone. She even fights with those that she calls "friends" constantly and can't seem to let go of her hang-ups long enough to have a civil conversation with anyone. A more minor concern, but one that was annoying, just because I was always being reminded of the inconstancy - Christianity has apparently been disproved, but everything Danny thinks or says while dealing with Lucifer and other demons comes straight out of Christian mythology. And if that's the case, how in the world has Christianity been "disproved"? Finally we hit the final straw for me.
Danny has been captured by the bad guy and he's explaining to her why he's done everything that he has. And during this it comes out that Demons apparently genetically engineered humans.
End Spoiler Alert:
Now, I have no problem with technologically advanced races interfering with humanity. And I have no problem with magically powerful races (which Demons also are) interfering with humanity. What I have a problem with is a race that is both extremely technologically advanced and magically powerful. I just dislike the idea immensely - basically I think you should get one or the other. I will admit that this is entirely a personal preference, and people who don't have a problem with this will probably like the book. But I was already on the boarder between liking and disliking the book and this pushed me over the edge.
The first Dante Valentine book introduces us to the character & her world. Set in an exotic, futuristic version of Earth,
where all strains of the major religions have died out & supernatural creatures roam the earth such as demons, werecreatures &
vampires (called Nichtrevin). Dante Valentine is a necromancer-for-hire, a person who can bring a dead person's soul back
for a chat.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. There were a few points in the book where it lagged a little, but I liked how imaginative
the world was. This is urban fantasy that makes you think. The world is rich, the writing tight, the plot interesting
and intriguing. The charcters are complex and fascinating. I have to hand it to Ms. Saintcrow in that she definitely has
written a worthwhile series.
This is one of Saintcrow's earlier books, which sort of shows at times when the writing gets a little less polished than some
of her later works. (Devil's Librarian was released rather recently.)
This is the female bad ass James Bond, only her name is Dante Valentine. Girl works out and has super poweres, a tatoo on her face, sparking gems, boyfriends, communing with the dead. Kinda like Anita Blake... Action packed, and a fav to re-read. I was sorry that later in the series the charm of this book was lost.
Tough-as-nails necromancer Dante Valentine has a problem: the devil wants her to catch a rogue demon and, for the duration of the task, she must be accompanied by a demon assassin named Japhrimel. If she refuses, she dies; if she accepts, she'll likely die in the process. Dante decides to take her chances with the latter, but her hunt doesn't get into full swing until the book's final third. Instead, she pauses to take a ride on a "slicboard" (a skateboard that glides on air), to wrestle cryptic information from an assortment of nonhuman and magical people and to argue with everyone from Japhrimel to her fellow necromancer friend, Gabe. Though Dante is as prickly as a wet cat and frustratingly adamant about maintaining her loner status, she's a brave, charismatic protagonist with a smart mouth and a suicidal streak. What's not to love? Fans of Laurel K. Hamilton should warm to Saintcrow's dark, evocative debut, though the story's weak relationship thread may disappoint aficionados of the paranormal romance veterans Christine Feehan and Sherrilyn Kenyon.
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 renegade demon: 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?