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.
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