Review: The Warrior by Victoria Scott

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Genres: Young Adult, Action, Paranormal
Release Date: May 6, 2014
Publishing House: Entangled Teen
Number of pages: 352
Source: ARC from Netgalley
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War between heaven and hell is coming, but Dante Walker makes it look damn good.

Dante’s girlfriend, Charlie, is fated to save the world. And Aspen, the girl who feels like a sister, is an ordained soldier. In order to help both fulfill their destiny and win the war, Dante must complete liberator training at the Hive, rescue Aspen from hell, and uncover a message hidden on an ancient scroll.

Dante is built for battle, but even he can’t handle the nightmares where spiders crawl from Aspen’s eyes, or the look on Charlie’s face that foretells of devastation. To make matters worse, the enemy seizes every opportunity to break inside the Hive and cripple the liberators. But the day of reckoning is fast approaching, and to stand victorious, Dante will have to embrace something inside himself he never has before—faith.

No doubt the very reason I looked forward to this series so much was because of Dante Walker. He’s a very interesting person, someone I’d love to read in a book, but would love to hate in real life because he reeks of swag (oh, how I hate the word), tactlessness, and arrogance. I say that, but I truly love him, especially since he’s written convincingly well. There are heroes who are written to be like this, but they don’t really show it. And there are heroes written like Dante who talks the talk, and walks the walk effortlessly. It’s amazing, Victoria Scott’s talent, of making a character super into his character, that everything he does and everything he says, akes perfect sense because that’s what someone his character would do and say. His internal narration here is definitely the “life of the party” if that makes sense. He’s brimming and overflowing with personality, spunk, and swag, that you’ll definitely miss it when this tale comes to an inevitable end.

But after turning the last page, I was surprised to actually feel a lot of disappointment.

No, Dante is not the reason (although there are times I wanna whack him on the head). The twists and turns, I felt, were pretty good, too. There’s this epic battle between heaven and hell that spans chapters, and you just want to read more of it because they feel so raw and exciting. When the traitor was revealed, I couldn’t believe my eyes at first, and was kind of in denial for a while.

But there were a lot of flaws, flaws that made this the weakest book in the trilogy for me (the first one being the best). I’ll list them here:

  • What happened to Charlie? I loved her in Book 1 but in the last two books she suddenly felt like a secondary character. Her bubbly personality pretty much vanished in thin air and she became this hollow, boring shell of what she used to be. All she did: comfort Dante every few pages, be oggled by Dante, be touched by Dante, make out with Dante, say hollow words over and over and over again, simply smile, etc…. it’s come to the point that I didn’t look forward to her scenes anymore.
  • When it came to Charlie, Dante transforms into this love sick puppy. It was so exhausting especially in the first part of the book where he kept fantasizing about Charlie – her boobs (specifically, her “rack”), her legs, her perfect body, and how he kept getting wood because of them. It was fun at first, but it got old quickly. And his bacon monologues got boring after a while, too.
  • The plot sometimes felt too suffocating. Dante was doing so many things at once that it didn’t feel focused – like it was all over the place. Sure, it was multi-tasking, but man, it sure was busier than me on my busiest day. There’s protecting Charlie, saving Aspen, finding out the traitor, translating the frigging scroll, having to decipher whether he can be a good guy or not, having to be the peacemaker in the love affairs of his buddies, etc. etc. It was like even I couldn’t catch a breath.
  • Annabelle was a kick-ass character, but her role here felt forced. She has really no other role than be Dante’s Charlie to Kraven. Does everybody really need a love interest? Dante has Charlie, Blue has Aspen, Max has Valery, so we have to have someone for Kraven, too? Come on, now…
  • There were times the romance aspect was overpowering. This is romance-heavy, just a bit of warning out there.

Overall, though, I’d recommend this book if you love strong-willed characters who have a lot of personality like Dante. It ended in a strong note, with a bit of a cheesy ending, but awesome all the same. There were just a bit of details here and there I could’ve lived without, so take heed of them if you have little patience.

Rating Report
Plot
Characters
Writing
Pacing
World-building
Romance
Impact
Opening
Climax
Ending
Overall: 3.3
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Faye

Faye

A 21 years old Filipina who loves books, games, languages, and most especially, food. Secretly wishes to be an astronaut so she can explore the stars. Has a love-hate relationship with Philippine politics. To get in her good graces, offer her Foie Gras, Or shrimp. Or a JRPG. A YA sci-fi book works, too. You can follow her on twitter here: @kawaiileena

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    • FayeFaye says

      Me, too! In that case you will definitely love Dante Walker. He’s probably the character that I’ve read that had the most personality that’s written convincingly well, EVER, in YA literature.

  1. says

    I’ve loved this series, but haven’t read the final installment yet. Totally agree though, Dante is one of those characters that is achingly suave, arrogant and swagtastic, and unlike most, he pulls it off brilliantly. I felt the same about Charlie, she started so strongly, but her personality faded off, overshadowed by how strong Dante is as a character, but in the last book towards the end she seemed to redeem herself. Really looking forward to reading this one.

    Fabulous review as always Faye.
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    • FayeFaye says

      He really does pull it off brilliantly. I love him as a character, and he never loses his charm (well, except when Charlie’s around…) RIGHT?! I loved her in the first book! Now she’s really just a part of the background and that saddens me SO MUCH. oh well :(

    • FayeFaye says

      If you DNFed the second one, I don’t think you’ll like the third one either. But I agree that the first book was the strongest in the trilogy.

      • FayeFaye says

        I’m glad you ended up enjoying the story, Janina! It was fine in my dictionary, too, just a little unfocused in the middle. And I’m so happy to know I’m not alone in my sentiments regarding Charlie. I wish she shone here more. Now she’s nothing but a part of the background when she’s supposedly more than that. She became such a boring character here!

    • FayeFaye says

      Hah, there are times Dante’s so sweet to Charlie, and there are times he fantasizes about her body too much that it becomes a wee bit uncomfortable…

  2. says

    I absolutely loved Victoria’s Fire & Flood, so I’m a bit sad to know this was a bit “meh” for you Faye. :( I can definitely see where you’re coming from though…when the plot is overpowered by underdeveloped and seemingly forced romance, it’s a bit hard to enjoy the story at hand.

    Nonetheless, thanks for sharing your thoughts, and, as always, BRILLIANT review! Glad you enjoyed this despite its flaws.
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    • FayeFaye says

      Thank you, Zoe! The trilogy in general is well-done, and it touches upon several aspects of spiritual faith that few books have. But there are just certain nuances that may work for certain people that unfortunately did not work for me. Oh, well!

  3. Aimee says

    I’m still pretty curious about this trilogy despite not really enjoying book 1. Charlie was a huge letdown for me then, so I’m probably going to want to throw her out the window by this book. I don’t like books where everyone seems to have a love interest. I’ll have to check out book 2 first. If I like that, then I’ll probably read this. :)
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    • FayeFaye says

      I know! It feels so contrived when everyone has to have a love interest. I mean it would be a nice bonus, but please don’t be so obvious about it >.<

  4. says

    I agree this one lacked a little and I don’t even know quite why. Dante was still fab but his inner monologue lacked the kick buttness of before for some reason, maybe it was the love sick puppy thing. I don’t know but I too, was expecting more from this last installment.
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    • FayeFaye says

      I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one who felt a bit underwhelmed with this one. I also was expecting more, especially from Charlie, the supposed savior, but I guess we can’t have it all.

    • FayeFaye says

      Yes, if you’re the kind who’s already wary of the first book, then for sure you’ll find the last book of the trilogy quite disappointing (especially if the flaws I listed are not your cuppa either).

    • FayeFaye says

      Haha, understandable, Jessica. If you plan to read this series, then it was a wise move indeed not to have proceeded with this review (at least, not in its entirety). I hope you love Dante as much as I did!

  5. says

    I’m glad you enjoyed this one, Faye, despite some of the issues. I’ve only read that first two books and I’m looking forward to reading it. I agree with you on Dante. He’s very funny and entertaining, but he’s not someone I would want to be around in real life. Also, yes, Charlie was sort of put into the backseat with all the characters that were introduced. I really like the sound of the battle though. I think I would really like it.
    Great review, Faye!
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    • FayeFaye says

      Yay, a Dante lover! He cracks me up a LOT. I just wish he tones down on his oggling of Charlie’s “rack” though… speaking of, I agree – she was put into the backseat and then would only come to the front a couple of times, sometimes just to make out with Dante. Ugh. Ok.

  6. says

    SWAG SWAG SWAG SWAG!!

    HA!

    So wow is this already book 3? I’m falling behind! Thogh I didn’t love book 1 as much as many others, Dante really grated on my nerves lol! I usually love characters like him in books – mostly love to hate them a bit haha – but dunno he annoyed me for the longest time. I still want to read the series though I liked where the plot was going. Sounds like this one may not be the best in the series though. I wonder why Charlie’s character took such a back seat O_o and romance heavy I expected I guess, but it can be a bit much regardless. Great review, hun!
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    • FayeFaye says

      Seriously?! I didn’t know he drove you up the wall! That’s understandable, though… he’s the kind of person I wouldn’t want to be around me as well so I can see where you are coming from :P His narration may have been exaggerated quite a bit (which may or may not be an understatement). I wonder, too… she’s supposedly this important character but then she just became nothing .-.

  7. says

    I’m rocking yo!!! I’m just here to boast that I didn’t like the first book! I’m also thinking about all the flaws you mentioned. Especially everyone needing/having a two-by-two. I don’t have a two-by-two. *cracks knuckles* BUT NEVER MIND THAT!!! The cover has upgraded. IT is actually cool, not like the first two. Is it because he’s bare-backed? or because of the tattoo? I dont care because I cannot believe my eyes!!!!!
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  8. says

    I don’t always like my romances to be too heavy, but it does depend on the characters involved. I loved Charlie in the first book too, though I can’t say I like the sound of this transformation! I’m not too sure if I’ll continue with this series (I’ve only read The Collector) – at least, not immediately, but I might consider it when I’m bored and have nothing better to read. I am getting so impatient these days. I just want everything to blow me away. :D

    Great review though, Faye! I’m glad you enjoyed this series overall, despite the flaws.
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    • FayeFaye says

      I know what you mean, Sam! When I pick up a book and it doesn’t impress me in the first 10 percent, I become very, very discouraged and will oftentimes put it down (especially if it’s not an ARC… no obligation to continue haha).

    • FayeFaye says

      Yes, the actions and twists in the book surely made up for it. I totally didn’t see the traitor thingy coming. Thank you, Pili!

  9. says

    I’ve been meaning to start this series Faye, as everyone I know seems to be going on about Dante’s character, even though I know that he would irritate me at times, I really would like to see that other non-cocky side of him. And even though I am a huge romance junkie, I can totally understand why the romance could feel overwhelming at times. I’m glad that you were still able to enjoy this book overall Faye!
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    • FayeFaye says

      Non-cocky side of him… that would only be when Charlie’s around… he transforms into this dependent puppy who’d follow her around haha.

    • FayeFaye says

      Thanks for visiting, Mands! If it wasn’t your cuppa from the get-go, perhaps that’s the right decision. I still hope you’ll give it a chance someday!

    • FayeFaye says

      Yes :( I’m so saddened that it started with a strong note… book 1 was so good (I gave it 4 stars) but this one really was the weakest of the three for me. Oh, well.

    • FayeFaye says

      Eek *cringe* this is why I never buy stuff on release day :P Unless it’s from an author and series I love! I hope you still find something to love here.

    • FayeFaye says

      I’m glad to know that I’m not alone! Charlie truly did a huge 180 degree turn this time. I already spotted the chance in The Liberator but thought it surely was an isolated event, but ugh, this time around she took a huge backseat. /smh

  10. says

    I just checked your rating for this one because I’m planning to read this series soon but your final thoughts still make me very curious about Dante, even if you only gave this book 3 stars overall. I would definitely still check this series out but I will keep in mind that Book 3 may have certain flaws and that I might need a bit of patience in regards to them :)
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    • FayeFaye says

      I’m glad it still does! Dante’s an amazing character, and I wouldn’t mind him having a series that’s exclusive to him (at least with that we can justify the lack of Charlie-ness hahahaha).

  11. says

    I haven’t read the series, still read the review lol. Glad I don’t see any spoiler. I’ve heard a lot comments about how hot Dante around blogging community, but I still haven’t pick up this series. It’s sad that the main heroine only becomes a lover in the last book. I have a mixed feeling to buy it or not since many people love the 1st book while the last book is dissapointing.
    Thanks for your review, at least I’ll be prepare for the last one if I start this series! :D

    • FayeFaye says

      Haha, don’t worry, I try to make my reviews as spoiler-free as possible, although I admit I sometimes stray from that… but that’s a story for another day. I hope you like it way more than I did!

    • FayeFaye says

      And thank you so much for stopping by! I’m glad to not be the only one who thought Anabelle’s character was kinda unnecessary.

  12. says

    I have a theory that you’re either a Brigid Kemmerer fan or a Victoria Scott fan, in that people usually seem to favor one more than the other if they’ve read them both! In my case, I fell in love with Brigid’s Elemental series first, so when Dante came along, I was like–okay, I can see where what was supposed to happen with this character, but I never quite got there because I kept wanting Merrick brothers, hah.

    I’m glad you enjoyed it overall, though, even though you had a few issues. I think those issues would probably have gotten to me more than they did you, so I’m probably safe in giving this one a pass.
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