Isn’t Dante Valentine a bad-ass name for a chick? I think so.
My friend has been urging me to try the Dante Valentine books for YEARS. But seeing as how this friend is the same one that recommended The Hallows series (by Kim Harrison) to me and I ended up HATING the main character so much I could barely finish the first book, I didn’t completely trust her judgment. But have no fear! Dante is a WAY better heroine that Rachel Morgan.
Dante is a Necromance, and a bounty hunter. She’s actually one of the best around, which is why Lucifer wants to hire her to track down and kill his demon Vardimal Santino, who escaped from Hell a while ago. And you don’t turn down a deal with the Devil with your life in tact, so Dante’s got no choice but to take the job. She’s got the assistance of a demon familiar and a ragtag bunch of magic users but she’s going to need a lot of luck, because she almost died the last time she met Santino.
I liked this book a lot. Whenever you try a new paranormal or fantasy book (I would call this one urban fantasy), you have to be prepared to learn how this new world is set up and how the magic works and all that, which can sometimes make that first book in the series a drag to read. But as you read Working For the Devil, terms come up (vidshell, psions, Necromance, Skinlin, Magi) and Dante might only give the briefest explanation of it, but you get the general idea through the context. I kind of loved that – I was able to immerse myself more in the story instead of reading long drawn out explanations of the different types of magic users and how this works and what this technology is, etc.
And Dante herself – yeah, she’s my kind of character. She was a tiny bit whiny at first, but that didn’t last long. She’s a tough, caring, bad-ass chick who is awesome at her craft AND lethal with a sword. You learn a bit about her back story, but not so much that it overshadows the main story. And there’s a pretty great cast of secondary characters – Japhrimel, her demon familiar (who I totally adored, of course), Gabe, Abra, and Eddie (all other magic users of various kinds), and even the bad guy. Santino is a CRAZY bad guy, but there was something about him that the nerd in me totally got a kick out of.
The only character I didn’t really like was Jace, her ex-boyfriend, for pretty obvious reasons. He might end up growing on me in the later books, but for now I don’t really like him and I’m hoping that Dante gives him a good beat down. And one of the more confusing things about the book is the religion set-up… Lucifer obviously exists, but Anubis is Dante’s patron god for Necromancy, and there are others. I don’t really get the mash-up of religion and mythology there, but whatever. I rolled with it. I’m kind of hoping a little more detail goes into exactly how that works in the next book, but it’s not something that’s bugging me really hard.
Anyhoo, the story was fun, Dante is awesome, the ending was a little sad, and I already have books 2-5 waiting on my shelf for me. Is it brain candy? Yes. But it’s brain candy featuring a fantastic heroine who could cut your head off, and that is just TOO FUN to pass up.
Sarah Says: 3.75 stars