ARC Review: The Liberator by Victoria Scott (Blog Tour & Giveaway)

Posted August 6th, 2013 in Blog Tour, book review, Giveaway / 10 comments

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Dante Walker Series #2

by Victoria Scott

Publisher: Entangled Teen (Aug. 27, 2013)
Genre: Paranormal, Young Adult
Format: eARC (350 pages)
Source: Free book from blog tour host for honest review
Purchase: Amazon Print | Amazon Kindle | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Rating: ★★★½☆ (3.5 stars)

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.

At A Glance
Loved almost every part of this book until the ending. That ending made The Liberator pointless.

The Good
This was a 4.5 star book…until the end came and ruined it, so the good section will reflect those 4.5 stars this book could have gotten.

The Liberator was so much better than The Collector. It’s rare for me to love a sequel more than the original but Scott did it somehow. There was more of a plot and structure (though that still wasn’t perfect but I didn’t mind), there was more drama and action, and there was more kickass characters.

Dante is learning to be the good guy. Yeah, it’s not going so well. Dante will always be a bad boy at heart so this Liberator gig is not meshing well with his personality. Especially after he meets bad girl Aspen, his assignment. He should be liberating her soul for the team up in the sky, but her reckless ways pull him back into the life he once loved. Until Charlie starts acting weird and begins to pull away. And through Charlie’s new behavior, he begins to see a pattern, a deadly pattern that he plans to stop no matter the cost.

I totally understood Dante’s problem with his new job. He has never seen himself as a good person, and saving souls instead of damning them feels weird to him. But his love for Charlie trumps his fears and doubts. He really would do anything for Charlie, no matter what. It was heartwarming to see such a softer side (and crazy jealous side) of Dante. I loved how Dante acted like an obsessed boyfriend but played it cool. You can tell he’s not use to having someone have the upper hand, though he gladly concedes it to Charlie eventually.

Aspen was badass. At first she seems like a Goth chick with daddy issues who likes to party. And she is, but she has her reasons. But she grows into this amazing warrior as the story went on. Her and Dante end up having this brother/sister relationship that I just adored. She is a fighter through and through, and I can’t wait for more of her story.

Charlie should not be underestimated. She is growing into this confident girl who will do anything to save her friends. Sure, she still eats Skittles out of her jean pockets, but she isn’t the shy, meek girl we once knew. She is a kickass woman.

I loved the last one-fourth of this book the most. So much happens, so much action. And that journey to Hell? AMAZING. It was creepy, frightening, and so effing creative. How Scott came up with those bizarre scenes is beyond me, but I loved every minute of it. The writing was good, as was the dialogue. The characterization was right on point. I CANNOT wait for the next book.

The Bad
This was going to be a 4.5 starer, but the ending brought it down to 3.5 stars. The ending made this whole book useless. Everything the characters went through was for nothing because of that ending. I literally turned the last page and thought, what was the point of the story then? Sure, it has set up book 3 nicely, but I’m more worried about how it lessens the amazingness of this book itself. I can’t stand bad/sad endings, so they are severely reflected in my ratings.

I will admit, Charlie’s behavior in the beginning of the book annoyed the crap out of me. I thought she was better than that, smarter than that.

The Snuggly
Spoiler: SEX! Yup, we get some sex, but YAish sex, so don’t get too excited. I loved how Dante and Charlie grew throughout the book. Dante never pushed her, but he made it obvious what was on his mind. SEX! Okay, he’s not a sex crazed fiend or anything, he is just a young man who has a girlfriend, and he loves everything about her. Why wouldn’t he want to worship her body? So expect some YA type sexual happenings.

Final Thoughts
You cannot understand how sad I am that this had such a crappy ending. I felt so dejected after the last page, but I have hope the third book can make things better. Because before the ending, The Liberator was awesomesauce all the way. Highly recommended but be cautious of the ending.

“Things only get darker from here, doll. Might want to hold my hand for this.”

 “I want to protect this girl from all the terrible things in the world, but at the same time, I want to do all kinds of terrible things to her.”

“All my life, all I’ve ever wanted was to take. But with you, all I want is to give you everything–every creature in the sea, every star in the sky…my own beating heart. I love you, Charlie. Just the way you are, I love you.”

“If I had a soul,” I say. “I’d give it to you.”

“You are breathtaking, Charlie. You are stunning now, you know that. But you were stunning before, too. Not everybody could see it, but sometimes that can make a girl so much more appealing. The beauty who doesn’t know she’s beautiful. The girl everyone seems to ignore, but to the right person she’s like this…like this beam of light. You were a beam of light, Charlie,” I say. “I’m just sorry it took me so long to see it.”

Dante Walker Series (My Reviews):
Book #1: The Collector
Book #2: The Liberator

Author Bio
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.

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10 Responses to “ARC Review: The Liberator by Victoria Scott (Blog Tour & Giveaway)”

  1. Ashley

    Awesome review Jennifer!! I literally agree with EVERYTHING you said. Like, to the point where it’s almost spooky.

    Charlie annoyed the crap out of me at the beginning too. Seriously, what the hell was that? I thought her behaviour there was kind of pointless. It just pissed me off.

    And Aspen? OMG! Best character ever! She was so kick ass. I totally love her.. even more than Charlie I think!

    I agree with you about the ending too. That was totally a let down >_<

    You seriously nailed this review. *high five*

    • Jennifer Bielman

      LOL, I just read your review on goodreads. We might as well have written this review together. We literally felt the same way about everything. It’s almost scary. 🙂

      Yeah, I have to admit, Aspen is my knew fav character of this series right now.

  2. Teresa Bergan

    After reading this book review, even with the so/so ending, I want to get the series, if only to ready the descriptions to hell…
    Teresa Bergan

  3. elisa

    Alright, this sounds like I need to check out this series, awesome review! And now I really want some skittles.

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