The Liberator By Victoria Scott

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.

Bad boy Dante is now a Liberator, previously working for lord of the Underworld, burdened with the task of collecting, now girlfriend, Charlie's soul. Instead, Dante fell in love, and now he'll do anything to keep her safe. He has just been given his first assignment as a newly fledged angel, liberating Aspen's soul. Leaving Charlie is torturous, but it's her soul that the Underworld are after, and Dante has it in possession. Leaving Charlie may just keep her safe, but it seems not from brothers Salem and Easton, the brothers that have moved next door.

As Dante arrives to liberate Aspen, he's immediately on the attack when an attempt is made on his life, and Dante Walker never walks away from a fight. As his road rage attacker flees, his only clue to his identity is a strange tattoo on his assailants arm. Clearly liberating Aspen isn't as easy as he thought. Seventeen year old Aspen is a party girl with issues. Dante's mission is to help Aspen onto the path to redemption, to secure her soul. Aspen has it all, wealth, beauty and attitude, but behind her green eyes... She's empty. She binge drinks to lose herself, allowing everyone to have a piece of her, her friend Lincoln the only one that seems to care about the cold and distant girl.

But while the cat's away... It seems Charlie finds herself being influenced by the new neighbours. Charlie is distant, morphing into someone else entirely. It seems the girl that is destined to change the world through her humanity and charity, is now only interested in partying, drinking and putting herself in danger. Dante can feel that Charlie is playing with fire, but the sooner he can change Aspen's life, the sooner he leaves Detroit and home to Charlie.

All Aspen needs is someone to guide her, to show her that she truly is cared for, but how can Dante liberate a girl who lives the only lifestyle that he's ever known? It seems Aspen's life begun spiralling out of control after meeting new friends Cage and Lyra. He can see the way they study her, feeding her alcohol and aiding her lifestyle. When Aspen surprises Dante with a package on the doorstep, Charlie, he didn't expect the accessories to tag along, best friend Annabelle, her new neighbours and a surprise guest that no one could have envisioned. 

It seems that both Charlie and Aspen are a target for the Sirens, soulless beings recruited by the Underworld and identifiable by a ritual tattoo. As Dante learns that both girls lives entwine, and Aspen being paramount to Charlie's existence, he has no option than to accept the aid of his fellow Liberator's, including Kraven and train for the fight of his life. But when Aspen doesn't shrink away from fighting alongside the trained Angels, holding her own, Dante wonders who this girl really is.

Charlie and Aspen are part of a plan, far greater than any of the Liberators and Collectors realise, with two ancient scrolls, one belonging to heaven, one belonging to hell, sealing their fate. But will Dante be able to protect both his assignment, and the girl who has stolen his heart?

Dante Walker is one of the hottest male young adult characters, but in The Liberator, he finally meets his match in Aspen. Aspen isn't a love interest, there is no love triangle, which fans will be thankful for. She's a troubled soul who has allowed herself to become influenced by anyone who crosses her path, in the hopes that they'll stay with her. She's feisty with an attitude that will send most young men running, and isn't the least bit impressed by Dante's killer looks and bad boy smile. She couldn't care less. She just needs a friend, someone who won't ask for anything in return. Aspen has nothing left to give.

Charlie felt like an afterthought in The Liberator. She goes through her own journey while Dante is away, all too similar to Aspen. The distance puts a strain on Charlie and Dante's relationship, but their reunion at the hands of Aspen, is all the sweeter. I loved Annabelle and her attitude towards Kraven, who is clearly rattled by her presence. My only complaint is when Dante ventures into cool mode, which almost comes across as the opposite. He is effortlessly cool, only when he isn't trying to be. It's a bit too sleazy.

The Liberator was actually pretty good. I loved Aspen, she wasn't at all what I had expected. The final few chapters have alluded to an epic finale and I'll be either go hard, or go home... And I can't wait.

The Liberator
(Dante Walker: Book Two)
Written By Victoria Scott
Published 27 / 08 / 2013
350 Pages

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