Monday, May 16, 2011

Review: Working For The Devil by Lilith Saintcrow

Book: Working For The Devil - Lilith Saintcrow 
Series: Dante Valentine #1
Pages: 382 

Genre: Urban Fantasy 
Buy A Copy: Amazon | Book Depository 
Available Formats: Ebook & Paperback  
Publication Date: March 1st, 2006 
How Did I Get This Book: Purchased 
Preview Book: Preview on Google Books
Description: 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 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.
There’s just one catch. How do you kill something that can’t die?

Working For The Devil by Lilith Saintcrow began with a bang, but ended with a pop. The first half of the book was intriguing and exciting, but by the time I got to the end of the book, I was getting a bit bored with it. 

There are elements of the story that Saintcrow executes wonderfully – like the transition between chapters. Forgive me, I don’t know the technical term for the last sentence of a chapter, but I do know this – every single last sentence in this book is phenomenal. They are witty, sarcastic, intriguing and mysterious. In a nutshell, they really make you want to keep reading. 

Now my favorite element of the storyline was the relationship between Dante (Danny) and the demon, Japhrimel. When the book begins they are weary of each other and Danny tries to keep him at an arms length. Inevitably, as the book progresses, their barriers begin to come down and they begin to care about and rely on each other. 

Even though I enjoyed the unfolding of the Danny/Jaf relationship, I have to be honest in saying that I really wasn’t that big a fan of our leading lady. She is quick to anger, judgmental, unforgiving and in some cases just downright mean – even to those she supposedly cares about. I am not saying that I don’t like tough heroines, because I do. Danny just needs to have a better balance, you can’t be all sour, you need to mix a little sweet in sometimes too.

Now as I said before, about half way through I began to get bored with the book. There is a lot of world building in this series opener and unfortunately it bogs down the story.  Saintcrow’s subtle writing style also contributed to this; when there is a great deal of information being thrown at the reader, you need to pick it up with plotline and vibrant descriptions and wording. But with Saintcrow, at least in this particular book, she opts for subtlety instead. And that works when the pacing is spot on, but when it drags, the writing style just contributes to the downfall.

Working For the Devil had a very interesting and well-developed storyline. There were parts of it that I loved, but there were also parts of it that I wasn’t so crazy about. I guess you could say that it is a book I half-loved. I loved the beginning, but not the end. I loved the tone, but not the pacing. I loved the main relationship, but not the heroine. I am honestly not sure if I am going to continue this series, or just pester someone who has already read it for the overall outcome of the storyline. 

Favorite Quotes

"Great. A demon on my doorstep, I thought and didn't move. I barely even breathed."
"He set off down my street. I glanced around. No visible car. Was I expected to walk to hell?"
"It was damnably hot - what else, in Hell? You were expecting a mint julep and a cool breeze?"
"The demon actually stroked my hair. If I tried to forget that he had just held a gun to my head, it was actually kind of comforting."
"What you cannot escape, you must fight; what you cannot fight, you must endure."
"Was he scowling? I had never seen a demon scowl, and I stared, fascinated."
"He fell into step behind me, silent as death himself."

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