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Working for the Devil

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Author: Lilith Saintcrow

Published: March 1st 2006 by Warner Books (NY)

Format: Paperback , 403 pages

Isbn: 9780446616706

Language: English


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When the devil needs a rogue demon killed, he calls Dante Valentine--a cross between Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake and Kim Harrison's Rachel Morgan--in this sassy debut novel by Saintcrow. Original.

30 review for Working for the Devil

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    Just as every cop is a criminal And all the sinners saints As heads is tails Just call me Lucifer cause I'm in need of some restraint I blame Buffy for the rash of ass-kicking, smart-talking, bitchy female vampire slayers and the legions of sidekicks who inexplicably give them unconditional love. I don't mean to imply that loving Buffy herself was inexplicable. Buffy was something special. Even when she was bitchy, she was prone to saying things like, "I'm cookie dough. I'm not done baking." Even as s Just as every cop is a criminal And all the sinners saints As heads is tails Just call me Lucifer cause I'm in need of some restraint I blame Buffy for the rash of ass-kicking, smart-talking, bitchy female vampire slayers and the legions of sidekicks who inexplicably give them unconditional love. I don't mean to imply that loving Buffy herself was inexplicable. Buffy was something special. Even when she was bitchy, she was prone to saying things like, "I'm cookie dough. I'm not done baking." Even as she was touted as "the blonde who strikes back" in gender studies courses and pop culture crit, she was busily disarming our heroic archetypes with plain, good-old goofiness. And girliness. Her imitators, as often as not, miss the point. Once, in a discussion about why there's so much bad writing in high fantasy, a friend of mine said: John Clute, the one unquestionably brilliant critic in sf/f (when you can understand what the hell he is saying) has all kinds of interesting things to say about the difference between Tolkien and his imitators—being able to distinguish between Tolkien and Brooks is the minimum standard for any critical apparatus applied to the genre, in his opinion. One of the observations he makes is about the role of time and change. Tolkien’s world is, among many other things, an attempt to come to grips with the industrial revolution, and everything in Middle Earth is constantly twisting in the corrosive stream of time. The imitators tend to fetishize the tokens of the bucolic world—sword, cloak, stew—and the actions play out in a bubble world immune to THAT kind of change—real change. In a sense, Middle Earth is saved neither for Frodo nor for us. I think there's something similar -- if not as widespread or profound -- going on with Buffy in the sort of fetishization of the female vampire slayer, the victim who strikes back, that misses the point of who Buffy was and what she represented. But for better or for worse, an army of pseudo-Buffys, from Anita Blake to Cassandra Palmer to Rachel Morgan to (the colorfully named Lilith Saintcrow's) Dante Valentine have descended upon us. They all have handsome men of the demon/vampire/werewolf persuasion pining after them, and often it's pretty difficult to pinpoint why. WORKING FOR THE DEVIL isn't really a paranormal romance (the romance part is extremely subtle and not the focus of the book), but I read it anyway because I thought it might have useful elements of the sort we're looking for. Dante Valentine is a necromantic bounty hunter, who gets hired by Lucifer himself to hunt down a rogue demon who's escaped from Hell. He assigns his eldest son, Japhrimel, to protect her. That's really all you need to know about the plot. Battles, confusion, chase scenes, and the requisite ass-kicking all ensue. Saintcrow alternately scored and lost points with me for her setting: an Earth that simultaneously pings the futuristic and alternate-history tropes. Sometimes it works quite well, and sometimes she seems to have changed details or place names simply for the sake of changing them. But her settings have distinctive feels, and I'm a sucker for a good sense of place. Hell, in Saintcrow's imagination, is probably the most distinctive and fascinating fictional land I've been to yet: alien, excruciating, and as incomprehensible as you'd expect it to be. But the author seems to understand the difference between mysterious and merely confusing, and stays safely on the right side of that line. The best part of the story, for me, was the delicately drawn relationship between Dante and her reluctant demon guardian. Dante dislikes him, but comes to rely upon and trust him gradually, and the narration manages to clue the reader in on their growing attraction before Dante realizes it herself without making her seem stupid. Dante herself is a bit hard to take at times (and gets worse in the following books). She's harsh toward friends and enemies alike, abuses her sidekicks, dishes it out but can't take it, and her witty observations usually seem forced. But the books move along at a terrific clip and the supporting characters are interesting enough to make up for the fact that the heroine's a harridan. Would I have found it as engaging if I hadn't been stuck at SeaTac waiting for a flight to Milwaukee that had been delayed for five hours? Hard to say, but it was fun in the same way your average action flick is fun, and at the time that was good enough for me.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Bradley

    Picking up this series kinda blindly, I wasn't really sure where to categorize it in the UF world. Obviously, it's a kick-ass female with magic and blade, but you know how that is. Seen it on the shelves a MILLION TIMES. Huh. Even the blurb just tugs at my old heartstrings for Anita Blake and Rachel Morgan. I thought it was a throwaway blurb. But then I learned how wrong I was. Imagine this: It's bladerunnerish, high-tech noir with hovercraft, laser pulse rifles, juicy biotech implants, gene-splic Picking up this series kinda blindly, I wasn't really sure where to categorize it in the UF world. Obviously, it's a kick-ass female with magic and blade, but you know how that is. Seen it on the shelves a MILLION TIMES. Huh. Even the blurb just tugs at my old heartstrings for Anita Blake and Rachel Morgan. I thought it was a throwaway blurb. But then I learned how wrong I was. Imagine this: It's bladerunnerish, high-tech noir with hovercraft, laser pulse rifles, juicy biotech implants, gene-splicing. It's also rune magic, Annubis-based necromancy, whole schools of magic, and even eclectic voodoo, ritual, and a lot more right out in the open. It's open trade for SF and Fantasy in this near-future overpopulated world. So delicious. And then there's Dante with her deep connection with Annubis and her dripping holy blue fire blade, her strong necromantic craft for sale for lawyers, the police, or anyone with the means to pay. And she's got a new job from a character she can't quite refuse: Lucifer. Who wants her to assassinate another demon. As a little backup, she gets a high-level demon as a backup... and as a familiar. Holy crapola. So wait a second. Not only are we getting to levels of necromancy only seen 7-8 books into Anita Blake, but we're also moving ahead to powers equivalent to books 4-5 in Rachel Morgan. In Blade Runner. OH, MY GOD, I AM SO IN LOVE. And it's true. I slammed through this book kinda dancing with glee. And yes there's a bit of UF romance but it takes a back seat to the action and intrigue... just as I prefer it. And let me be a bit clear about where I place this in my favorite UF categories. I have some series I love for being imaginative and others for being super charming and classy, but my first love is for outright powerups and bitch'n kick-ass magics. This one is pulling on those heartstrings HARD. :)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Gloria Mundi

    Based on the author's name and the title I was fully expecting a neo-gothic monstrosity of red velvet, dripping blood and undying love. This sort of thing: Ironically, the book does feature some red velvet and lots of blood, yet it was surprisingly good nonetheless. This is the story of Dante "Danny" Valentine, a talented necromance and ass-kicking bounty hunter, who is hired (read forced) by the Prince of Hell himself, Lucifer (the Devil is dressed in black jeans and t-shirt, is barefoot, androgy Based on the author's name and the title I was fully expecting a neo-gothic monstrosity of red velvet, dripping blood and undying love. This sort of thing: Ironically, the book does feature some red velvet and lots of blood, yet it was surprisingly good nonetheless. This is the story of Dante "Danny" Valentine, a talented necromance and ass-kicking bounty hunter, who is hired (read forced) by the Prince of Hell himself, Lucifer (the Devil is dressed in black jeans and t-shirt, is barefoot, androgynously beautiful and has an "amazing corona of golden hair" but his surroundings are, at least, appropriately resplendent in red velvet, crimson, mahogany and leather bound books) to hunt down and kill a rogue demon, Vardimal know in the human world as Santino, and to retrieve a demon artefact, referred to as the Egg, stolen by him. In order to help her accomplish this task, Danny is assigned a demon familiar, Tierce Japhrimel, the Devil's Assassin and, possibly, oldest child (Lucifer refers to him as "my eldest" at one point). As it turns out, Danny has her own score to settle with Santino who has killed her best friend Doreen several years previously and is, by all accounts, a sadistic serial killer. One of the things I enjoyed most in this book was the dark and gritty atmosphere of the futuristic world where fantasy blends with sci-fi and shamans, ancient Egyptian gods, demons, golems and so on are generously interspersed with plasguns, hovercraft (even one that can become invisible), datbands, flying slick boards and the like. It is a world where Christian religion has been discredited (the demons do not form part of the Heaven-Hell dichotomy but are instead alien beings occupying a different dimension who"modified" (and possibly created?) mankind as part of their own genetic experiments) and people with various psychic abilities (psis) are recognised and trained so that their powers can be harnessed for the purposes of society. A 70-day war is mentioned, after which the Parapsychic Act (which seems to regulate and grant citizenship to psis, though its significance beyond that is not entirely clear) was introduced. This is a very fast action-driven story and the author does not pause along the way to explain the jargon and the way her world operates, leaving you to work things out for yourself from the context, which may irritate some readers but I found I quite enjoyed this sparse brushstroke approach. It was sufficiently engaging to hold my interest throughout this book and enough was left unexplained to make me look forward to reading the other books in the series to make sense of all the info we are given. The other big plus of this book is the relationship between Danny and Japh. I loved the interaction between them and there was just enough subtlety in the build up to make it believable. Not so keen on the glowing green eyes but, I guess, one can't have everything and it looks like they will be phased out anyway. I did have a few niggles (other than the glowing green eyes), by far the biggest being that Saintcrow seems to get stuck on certain expressions and repeats them ad nauseum. I was getting a bit sick of Dante's emerald winking, rings spluttering and knuckles going white from grabbing on to the hilt of her sword, her being told to "breathe, just breathe" constantly, everyone's eyes being dark and liquid and lips peeling back from teeth and so forth.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Denisa

    I can't believe that happened! For me, the whole book was a 3.5 read. I mean, I really liked it, but it didn't make me feel stuff. And for a rating of 4/5 stars, that is a must. But in the last few pages, something happened! (view spoiler)[ The main male character died!!! (hide spoiler)] Wow!!! I would never have guessed that! Overall, the plot was interesting, the story was fast-paced (despite the fact that I did skim a few paragraphs) and the writing style was engaging. I would have said that I can't believe that happened! For me, the whole book was a 3.5 read. I mean, I really liked it, but it didn't make me feel stuff. And for a rating of 4/5 stars, that is a must. But in the last few pages, something happened! (view spoiler)[ The main male character died!!! (hide spoiler)] Wow!!! I would never have guessed that! Overall, the plot was interesting, the story was fast-paced (despite the fact that I did skim a few paragraphs) and the writing style was engaging. I would have said that I didn't really feel any chemistry between the two main characters, but (view spoiler)[ seeing that he kicked the bucket in the end, yeah, I see why I wasn't suppose to fall in love with him (hide spoiler)] . Any book that can shock you (in a good way) is worth trying out. So get to the fun part and go find out what was so surprising about this one!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Pippa DaCosta

    Dante Valentine is a cross between Jessica Jones and Kate Daniels. Bad-ass is her middle name. She's got a closet full of secrets, a broken past, and a big-ass enchanted sword, and she ain't afraid to use it. When the Devil asks her to track down an 'egg', she literally can't refuse. For added kicks, Lucifer has bound Jaf-the-demon to Dante, to 'keep her safe' until the job is done. I loved this, even if I did find myself scratching my head at a few things. It's fast, dark, edgy, and not your usua Dante Valentine is a cross between Jessica Jones and Kate Daniels. Bad-ass is her middle name. She's got a closet full of secrets, a broken past, and a big-ass enchanted sword, and she ain't afraid to use it. When the Devil asks her to track down an 'egg', she literally can't refuse. For added kicks, Lucifer has bound Jaf-the-demon to Dante, to 'keep her safe' until the job is done. I loved this, even if I did find myself scratching my head at a few things. It's fast, dark, edgy, and not your usual urban fantasy (Which means it's right up my alley). Dante is a snarky necromance with a fabulously dry, dark sense of humor. She's something of a powerful mess, but she has a strong moral compass that mostly keeps her straight. Jaf-the-demon reminded me a lot of Supernatural's Castiel. Plus, I'm just a sucker for guys with wings. (view spoiler)[OMG, that ending?! Really?! Nooooooo! (hide spoiler)] Saintcrow's writing here is on point. Punchy, pacey, with some breathtaking sentences and delicious visuals. I'm looking forward to seeing where the author takes this series.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*

    There’s something about demon themed Urban Fantasy I just dig up. There’s always such creatively developed worlds, for one thing. This one having Lucifer was a turn off from the blurb as it sounded far-fetched and cheesy, but the way it was done made sense and worked well. The main focus is on Dante as she tries to uncover, working with the at first unwilling Japhrimel, where the hiding demon is who has killed her former friend and lover and a slew of others. Japh has a vendetta of his own, which There’s something about demon themed Urban Fantasy I just dig up. There’s always such creatively developed worlds, for one thing. This one having Lucifer was a turn off from the blurb as it sounded far-fetched and cheesy, but the way it was done made sense and worked well. The main focus is on Dante as she tries to uncover, working with the at first unwilling Japhrimel, where the hiding demon is who has killed her former friend and lover and a slew of others. Japh has a vendetta of his own, which is slowly revealed as the story progresses. Lucifer isn’t in the story much in person, thankfully, and it’s mainly with Dante and her former love, two friends, and Japh. Dante is another typical uptight, chip on the shoulder a-mile-wide heroine. She nears the suicidal edge often and could care less whether she survives. She lives on anger, revenge, and vengeance alone. Her sense of humor is barely there with jokes herself but she can crack a smile if it’s warranted. She is without hope and lives with horrible memories of her past and all the bad stuff she’s endured (quite a bit). Japh is fascinating and inhuman as he shows emotions and stays silent most of the time. I loved their interactions. Her friends would have irritated me sooooo badly with a stunt they pulled in keeping something from her. I would have hit the roof! She’s a necromance, which is a cool ability I love reading about. It’s different from the Anita Blake of necromancy completely and isn’t concentrated on too much. It’s a quickly paced book, hard to put down, and not that long in length, so with personal issues and the action it’s a breeze to fly through. The fighting scenes are intense and, even if Dante isn’t the best in the world, the characters overall are winners and the story was a good one. The ending was a shocking, depressing slap in the face, however, and if I hadn’t cheated and snuck a piece at spoilers for the second, well…probably wouldn’t have kept reading. Doesn’t leave the reader with a good feeling. In so many ways, definitely a dark series, through and through.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Morgan

    If it stood alone I would have given it 3 stars. I had managed to get my hands on book 1 & 4 of this series. Skipping to book four made me so aggravated that I know I will not be picking up 2 or 3. I will also not be finishing book 4. The inconsistencies in the behavior of the main character, and the lack of all the characters I enjoyed by book 4 just totally turned me off. My problem with the first book just by itself was the fact that the author tried to create her own mythology. It is all fine If it stood alone I would have given it 3 stars. I had managed to get my hands on book 1 & 4 of this series. Skipping to book four made me so aggravated that I know I will not be picking up 2 or 3. I will also not be finishing book 4. The inconsistencies in the behavior of the main character, and the lack of all the characters I enjoyed by book 4 just totally turned me off. My problem with the first book just by itself was the fact that the author tried to create her own mythology. It is all fine and dandy, but if you don't explain a little about what all your new words mean you lose people. Half of the types of 'psionics'/paranormals that she spoke of weren't explained. What would they relate to in common mythology? Kine, swanhilds, Nichtvren, Skinlin, etc. By the end of the first book, all I had figured out was that Skinlin were not shifters as I had first thought, but a type of 'kitchen witch' and that Nichtvren were apparently like vampires. *sigh* The new nomenclature also included inanimate objects. Sometimes I had no idea what was going on, or only a vague one at best. Example: "Gabriele fumbled in her pocket, dug out a crumpled pack of Gitanes, and fished one out with trembling fingers. She produced a silver Zijaan and clicked the flame into life. The smell of burning synth hash mixed with the pungent spice of kyphii." All that to say she was smoking their version of a cigarette. The annoying part, to me, is that these words she's added to be a part of the ambiance of the book...don't add anything. Sure they look exotic/futuristic/whatever, but they don't describe for me. The kyphii doesn't evoke any sort of sensory details. I enjoyed a couple characters, but like I said above, the author screws that up too. Not recommended.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Felicia

    Loved this book! I cried at the end, really well written and engrossing. NEXT!!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Holly (The Grimdragon)

    "Carrying a sword on the subway does tend to give you a certain amount of space, even on crowded hovertrains." Oh, how I adore an ass-kicking female protagonist! Working for the Devil is the first book of five in the Dante Valentine series by Lilith Saintcrow. This urban fantasy takes place in the near future on Earth. Magic has replaced all religion and people with psi abilities are the new normal. These magic users are licensed by the government and in high demand. Especially Danny Valentine, a "Carrying a sword on the subway does tend to give you a certain amount of space, even on crowded hovertrains." Oh, how I adore an ass-kicking female protagonist! Working for the Devil is the first book of five in the Dante Valentine series by Lilith Saintcrow. This urban fantasy takes place in the near future on Earth. Magic has replaced all religion and people with psi abilities are the new normal. These magic users are licensed by the government and in high demand. Especially Danny Valentine, a sword-carrying freelance necromance who works as a bounty hunter and sometimes assassin. Danny is called upon by Lucifer to track down Vardimal, a rogue demon who has escaped Hell and now goes by the name Santino. He has stolen a precious artifact, The Egg. If broken, the world could end. He also killed Danny's best friend a few years ago, so there's that. To assist Danny on her revenge mission is the Devil's Assassin, Japhrimel-the-demon, who appears at her door brandishing a gun and smelling like burning cinnamon and heavy amber musk. Jaf has a vendetta of his own that becomes clear as the story goes on. Needless to say, things are a bit complicated between the two of them! “It truly sucks to doubt your friends when you only have one or two of them, I realized.” Revenge, redemption, wicked action sequences and biting humor - Working for the Devil is a fast-paced paranormal adventure that blends fantasy with science fiction. On one hand, there are demons, witches and magi; on the other, it's a story that takes place in a futuristic setting that includes hoverboards, plasguns and neopunks. FUTAR MAGICK, if you will. There's even a touch of romance, which I didn't hate, surprisingly. I've been craving FUN during this chaotic month and Working for the Devil was exactly what I was looking for!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Anzu The Great Destroyer

    Working For The Devil was the perfect book when I needed to read something fast-paced. I’ve been looking for a good Urban Fantasy book for weeks. I tried Touched By An Alien, which was crap. I tried Spider’s Bite, which was crap as well. I didn’t want to try Working for The Devil because of the cover. I think it’s pretty bad. But don’t be fooled, this book is really good. I’m extremely grateful for my book buddies insisting on me reading it. Oh those characters. Japhrimel. Dante. Those action sc Working For The Devil was the perfect book when I needed to read something fast-paced. I’ve been looking for a good Urban Fantasy book for weeks. I tried Touched By An Alien, which was crap. I tried Spider’s Bite, which was crap as well. I didn’t want to try Working for The Devil because of the cover. I think it’s pretty bad. But don’t be fooled, this book is really good. I’m extremely grateful for my book buddies insisting on me reading it. Oh those characters. Japhrimel. Dante. Those action scenes. That ending! More please! Review also posted on

  11. 4 out of 5

    Stacey

    Tried to expand my horizons in the Urban Fantasy category. This looked really promising, but has turned out to be hard to get into. Written in a future that is not fully explained, with name dropping of made up people, places, and things that don't have any description. Unfortunately, it might never get finished... Update 10 Oct 08 - I have come to the conclusion that this is one of those that will sit on the shelf until I feel guilty enough to finish it, or maybe the rest of my collection burns Tried to expand my horizons in the Urban Fantasy category. This looked really promising, but has turned out to be hard to get into. Written in a future that is not fully explained, with name dropping of made up people, places, and things that don't have any description. Unfortunately, it might never get finished... Update 10 Oct 08 - I have come to the conclusion that this is one of those that will sit on the shelf until I feel guilty enough to finish it, or maybe the rest of my collection burns up and the public library closes and Powell's goes out of business. I have this strange connection / sick obsession with books so I don't know if I'll ever get rid of it. But I'm not finding myself jumping right back into it either.

  12. 5 out of 5

    W.

    I'm a sucker for demons. That said, it took me two attempts to read this book. The first attempt ended after about twenty pages; I set it aside for about a year, and picked it back up again after a long run of reading nothing but YA. I needed some good adult demon action. The plot is very interesting--but that's really the only thing that compelled me to finish the novel. Danny Valentine herself came across as an enormous, one-dimensional jerk (to put it lightly). When she's met with anything les I'm a sucker for demons. That said, it took me two attempts to read this book. The first attempt ended after about twenty pages; I set it aside for about a year, and picked it back up again after a long run of reading nothing but YA. I needed some good adult demon action. The plot is very interesting--but that's really the only thing that compelled me to finish the novel. Danny Valentine herself came across as an enormous, one-dimensional jerk (to put it lightly). When she's met with anything less than reverence and respect, her instinctive reaction is to physically hurt (or straight-up kill) the other person--even if the other person is her closest friend, who's just teasing her a little. A traumatic childhood is hinted at, but never really elaborated on. If that's supposed to be the reason why she has such a problem with rage that she actually has to fight her desire to maim and destroy everyone who so much as laughs in her presence, it's not very well presented. Even when she isn't holding back from disemboweling someone here or beheading someone there, she doesn't treat other people with respect, including her few friends. She gives orders, and has to pry her white-knuckled hand off her sword hilt when they don't immediately snap to attention and do her bidding. Heaven forbid they want to discuss her plan, or suggest something different. She throws tantrums when somebody kills the bad guy she wanted to kill (even though she never told him she wanted to kill that particular bad guy), when anyone tells her that she's in danger, when it sounds like she might not be 100% in control of everyone's thoughts and actions. (Yet, toward the end of the novel, when the group turns to her for What To Do Next, she moans to herself, wishing they could think for themselves and not always make her the one to come up with the plan. Because she had been so insistent on being in control throughout the novel, this struck me as a strange inconsistency.) As a result, she reads like a self-absorbed preteen bully who doesn't know how to share her toys and is really very good at killing things. Her lack of respect for other people is very noticeable in her interaction with Japhrimel. He's given orders, and yelled at if he doesn't instantly obey them. When he tells her he wants to talk to her about something important, she dismisses him and his concerns without waiting to hear what they are. (view spoiler)[And yet he decides to forsake Hell and become Fallen because she treats him like an equal, and no one's ever treated him that way? Uh. She treats him like dirt in so many different ways. Their romantic relationship felt completely forced and unrealistic. Also, the sex sounded horrible and rape-like. (hide spoiler)] However. Despite all that, I finished the book because I was interested in its plot, and I wanted to know how it ended. And I'm glad I kept reading; its ending was surprisingly good.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Amy Sumida

    I honestly don't understand the poor reviews of this book. Unless you're not into strong female characters... in which case, maybe don't read a book with a woman wearing a sword on the cover. I love the gritty world of Dante, her traumatic history, and the way she overcomes it all. This isn't just a story about some smart-mouthed, kick-ass heroine (though I love the kick-ass women) this is about a woman who is empowered by being broken, just as her sword is strengthened through the folding of it I honestly don't understand the poor reviews of this book. Unless you're not into strong female characters... in which case, maybe don't read a book with a woman wearing a sword on the cover. I love the gritty world of Dante, her traumatic history, and the way she overcomes it all. This isn't just a story about some smart-mouthed, kick-ass heroine (though I love the kick-ass women) this is about a woman who is empowered by being broken, just as her sword is strengthened through the folding of its steel. And when she does love, it's not a simpering, hand-fanning sort of love but a consuming, ferocious force that could either destroy everything or save it. This story is epic, the love in it is epic, and Dante is epic. Absolutely one of my favorite series of all time. Dante found a place inside my heart and strengthened me as well. I wish Ms. Saintcrow had continued the books.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    Hmmm. Kinda disappointed with this one. When I first started reading it I thought it had some serious potential, but by the end I was not really impressed. The story is (I believe) set in the future, or at the very least in a world very similar to our world. The jury is still out for me on whether or not the fact that they had hovercrafts and such was cool, or just an unnecessary distraction. Dante (or Danny) is a necromance who moonlights as a bounty hunter to help pay the bills. Cool. She's a p Hmmm. Kinda disappointed with this one. When I first started reading it I thought it had some serious potential, but by the end I was not really impressed. The story is (I believe) set in the future, or at the very least in a world very similar to our world. The jury is still out for me on whether or not the fact that they had hovercrafts and such was cool, or just an unnecessary distraction. Dante (or Danny) is a necromance who moonlights as a bounty hunter to help pay the bills. Cool. She's a pretty tough chicka who has obviously been through a pretty terrible childhood (that is as of yet unexplained) due to the fact that people with powers like her's are frequently bought and sold at birth (even though it's illegal) to be used for nefarious reasons. Ahem. I have to mention this next thing, even though it really doesn't have a lot to do with the actual plot. Go with me for a second. There is some drug floating around (akin to crack?) called Chill in her world. Now I'm sorry, but 'Chill' has got to be the dorkiest name ever for an imaginary drug. Really? Chill?! *snort* Riiiight. Ok, I'm back. What was I saying? Oh yeah. Dante was a tough chicka. At first I thought she was awesome, but somewhere toward the middle of the book she started to grate on my nerves. She morphed from tough bad-ass bitch into...well, just a bitch. But I wanted to like this book, so I decided that the author knew what she was doing, and at any moment I would start to find Dante's slightly evil attitude endearing. However, by the end of the book she was starting to border on cruel, and I was really having a hard time relating to her. Actually, I was having a hard time relating to any of the characters. Her friends...meh. Her acquaintances...meh. Even the Devil himself was sort of ...meh. I originally thought the creepy kid might have some potential, but she was gone before anything really came of it. I didn't find the love triangle very interesting either, because I couldn't really work up much feeling for either of the guys in her life. They were each sort of 'blah' in their own special way. Although, both seemed happy to trail along behind her while she flung out death threats and occasionally smacked them around. Sorry, but I like my guys with a little hint of spine. The fact that I didn't care for them was sort of ok in the beginning, but by the end of the book I had actually begun to feel sorry for them. Why, you ask, is it such a big deal that I started to sympathize with the men? Let me tell you. Like most married women (or women with long-term boyfriends), my husband has dipped into my pot of goodwill one too many times. Yes, Sweetheart, I'm talking about you. And if you throw your dirty socks BESIDE the hamper instead of IN the hamper one one more @%$ing time...Anyway. My point is, usually I'm cheering for the guy to get cracked over the head a few times. You've got to be pretty awful for me to switch teams, and by the end of the book, I was wearing a 'Team Testosterone' t-shirt. Ick. However, in the end, I couldn't give it less than 3 stars, because the world the characters lived in was interesting, even if the characters themselves were not. Maybe the next book is better, but I doubt I'll bother to find out.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn

    I finished this days ago and have been meaning to write something about it, more along the lines of my impressions since it seems I am incapable of writing true reviews. That is another tangent...I dislike reading reviews that outline a plot or rephrase the book synopsis. I look at reviews of books because I already know what the book is about and I want to hear about reactions and emotions, so I guess traditional reviews tend to bore me. Anyways...this book reminded me of the first book in Rach I finished this days ago and have been meaning to write something about it, more along the lines of my impressions since it seems I am incapable of writing true reviews. That is another tangent...I dislike reading reviews that outline a plot or rephrase the book synopsis. I look at reviews of books because I already know what the book is about and I want to hear about reactions and emotions, so I guess traditional reviews tend to bore me. Anyways...this book reminded me of the first book in Rachel Caine's Weather Warden series. I remember feeling supremely annoyed that the author dumped me in a strange world with no explanation and an assumption that I knew what was going on. But now I find I like that assumption. It raises my curiosity, makes me want to continue reading to find out what everything means. The main reason why I loved this book is the strange blend of futuristic society melded with magic and creatures and myths and gods. This book is all about the action and the world and I loved it. Urban fantasy and related type books are best when the characters are flawed and the world is revealed as the story progresses, both of which describe this book. I am so happy to finally have read this and I am super excited to read the next. I have been hoping to find another long urban fantasy series to get lost in and I hope this first book reflects the rest of the series.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jamie Collins

    This one fell flat for me. There was too much magic, for one thing. Sorting through the jargon reminded me of trying to read cyberpunk. I prefer a subtle touch - urban fantasy that's a little more grounded in reality. The writing was also a little repetitive; for example, I found myself counting how many times Japhrimel told Dante to "Breathe. Just Breathe." I did like the author's voice, and there was potential in the Dante/Japhrimel relationship, but it didn't go anywhere beyond: "I have every r This one fell flat for me. There was too much magic, for one thing. Sorting through the jargon reminded me of trying to read cyberpunk. I prefer a subtle touch - urban fantasy that's a little more grounded in reality. The writing was also a little repetitive; for example, I found myself counting how many times Japhrimel told Dante to "Breathe. Just Breathe." I did like the author's voice, and there was potential in the Dante/Japhrimel relationship, but it didn't go anywhere beyond: "I have every reason to dislike you, yet I find you strangely attractive".

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Stoolfire

    If you're a fan of urban fantasy, you will absolutely need to try Working for the Devil, the first of the Dante Valentine series by Lilith Saintcrow. This particular series features necromancy and demons which I haven't read much of in fantasy, but I really enjoyed how the author handled the cast of characters. I also liked that there's a bit of a futuristic element as well. I believe I'll eventually be continuing this series with Dead Man Rising.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca McNutt

    Spooky, thrilling and twistedly imaginative, Working for the Devil is a compelling and powerful beginning to a creative and dark story.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Unapologetic_Bookaholic

    The only thing for me that was hard to digest was the futuristic language that was wrapped around every material, object and person's job title. Dante Valentine is a Necromance(able to raise spirits of the dead and relate their final wishes) and a bounty hunter. She is contracted by The Prince of Hell (Lucifer) and given a demon familiar (who needs blood, sex or fire to live). She is ordered to retrieve an artifact called the Egg from Santino, a serial killer she has crossed paths with before. T The only thing for me that was hard to digest was the futuristic language that was wrapped around every material, object and person's job title. Dante Valentine is a Necromance(able to raise spirits of the dead and relate their final wishes) and a bounty hunter. She is contracted by The Prince of Hell (Lucifer) and given a demon familiar (who needs blood, sex or fire to live). She is ordered to retrieve an artifact called the Egg from Santino, a serial killer she has crossed paths with before. This was a book that was hard to put down. I did not pick up a lot of the descriptive but that did not stop me from totally rooting for Dante whenever someone "thought" she needed their help. She has been toughened from childhood and has psychic abilities that give her an edge on a hunt. This story focuses on hunting down Santino, her meeting up with Jace after 3 years and a rather revealing secret about him, her conflicting feelings about her pet demon, some changes she goes through.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Shelley

    This is possibly the worse book I've had the misfortune to read. I wrote a (very) long review for Amazon about how terrible this book was, but that review has disappeared into the ether after I submitted it and it went for 'review'. I think it was longer than some essays I've written. Suffice to say I don't have the energy to do that again. But the key points: * Poor, poor writing style including basic grammatical mistakes * Vastly unlikeable or sympathetic 'heroine' * Plot holes you could drive a This is possibly the worse book I've had the misfortune to read. I wrote a (very) long review for Amazon about how terrible this book was, but that review has disappeared into the ether after I submitted it and it went for 'review'. I think it was longer than some essays I've written. Suffice to say I don't have the energy to do that again. But the key points: * Poor, poor writing style including basic grammatical mistakes * Vastly unlikeable or sympathetic 'heroine' * Plot holes you could drive a double-decker bus through. If you like your brain, do not read this book.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Inara

    What would be your answer when Lucifer, Prince of Hell would offer you a job and you get two options: if you don´t take it you would be killed or if you take it you could be killed? Right! Dante Valentine a necromance and bounty hunter chooses the second possiblity at least she´d have a chance to survive. An important artifact the "Egg" has been stolen by the demon Vardimal Santino from Hell and Dante´s task is to hunt Santino down, kill him, grab the Egg and bring it back to Lucifer. Seems easy What would be your answer when Lucifer, Prince of Hell would offer you a job and you get two options: if you don´t take it you would be killed or if you take it you could be killed? Right! Dante Valentine a necromance and bounty hunter chooses the second possiblity at least she´d have a chance to survive. An important artifact the "Egg" has been stolen by the demon Vardimal Santino from Hell and Dante´s task is to hunt Santino down, kill him, grab the Egg and bring it back to Lucifer. Seems easy enough but of course there´s a catch – two in fact – Santino can´t be killed neither by a human nor by a demon and Lucifer forces her to accept the help of his assassin demon Japhrimel to increase her chances of success. And that Santino killed Dante´s best friend Doreen five years ago makes this job even a personal vendetta.. First I wasn´t impressed with Dante´s characterization. Usually I´m not really fond of snappish and headstrong women who don´t listen to other opinions and are determined not to accept help just to prove a point. But Danny has friends who are also as determined to accompany her and finally she has reluctantly and with much bickering to accept that a demon is following her every step. When Jace Monroe Dante´s ex-lover appears on the scene things are starting to heat up in the romance department because Japhrimel isn´t so immune to Dante´s charms as a demon is supposed to be. The story takes place in a futuristic world – glimpes of what happened in the past are mentioned throughout the book, ancient Gods seem to have returned and have their worshippers again and the devil is playing around with science and genetic engineering..Alltogether it was a good mixture of action, suspense and romance and I have to read the second volume soonest to find out what will happen next... (because the end wasn´t really satisfying for me)! Website of the author: http://www.lilithsaintcrow.com/journal/

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jess

    Fantastic!! Went out and bought this the other day after seeing some of my friends had it on the their to read list. Bought it, and read it within a day. Then before I even finished this one, I already bought the second book. This story is about a necromance called Dante Valentine. She is considered one of the best necromance's in the world. So good in fact, that the devil himself has asked her to do him a favor. He wants her to kill a demon who has escaped from hell, and has stolen what he calls Fantastic!! Went out and bought this the other day after seeing some of my friends had it on the their to read list. Bought it, and read it within a day. Then before I even finished this one, I already bought the second book. This story is about a necromance called Dante Valentine. She is considered one of the best necromance's in the world. So good in fact, that the devil himself has asked her to do him a favor. He wants her to kill a demon who has escaped from hell, and has stolen what he calls "the egg". She is to retrieve the egg and return it back to him and also kill the demon. The only problem, is that this same demon, called Santino, is one that almost killed her and killed her friend. He had been granted immunity by Lucifer and therefore he cannot be killed by demon or man. Dante is an awesome heroine. She is not one of those who are too stupid to live, nor is she annoying about trying to help people. She knows her limits and accepts help when she can. In this book we meet her cast of friends, and the unlikely connection she finds with a demon that Lucifer has given her to help her kill Santino. I can't wait to read the next book and see what happens

  23. 5 out of 5

    Karen Healey

    I love me some urban fantasy where the worldbuilding has been carefully considered and there's years of history that support the difference between those worlds and ours. If you have vampires and paranormals and demons wandering around, it pays to have thought about how that has greatly affected the economy, social services, government and law enforcement. Lilith Saintcrow produces probably the best worldbuilding I've ever seen in adult urban fantasy. So much so that I could forgive her (awesome I love me some urban fantasy where the worldbuilding has been carefully considered and there's years of history that support the difference between those worlds and ours. If you have vampires and paranormals and demons wandering around, it pays to have thought about how that has greatly affected the economy, social services, government and law enforcement. Lilith Saintcrow produces probably the best worldbuilding I've ever seen in adult urban fantasy. So much so that I could forgive her (awesome and feisty) protagonist Dante Valentine occasionally not thinking about things that she really ought to be, as a generally smart and with-it gal, thinking about. There were a couple of places where I inferred conclusions from premises, and assumed Dante had inferred them too, but then it turned out she hadn't and was shocked shocked SHOCKED when all was reveal'd. (I can also, I think, see places where maybe an editor or prereader has said "But what does Dante FEEEEEEEL about this? Tell us how she feels!" But I'm a little allergic to emotional exposition.) But basically, it's awesome. Violent women with swords and magic in futuristic cities blowing shit up YES PLEASE.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Linnea

    I can't. I just can't. This book is so infuriatingly awful. The world has potential, as does the plot but the main character is so BAD. She gets angry at the most inappropriate times. It is so unbelievable it knocks me out of the story. She makes no sense. I have never wished to return a kindle book so bad.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Μαρία Γεωργοπούλου

    A very good start in an uf series!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kat Hooper

    Originally posted at FanLit: http://www.fantasyliterature.com/revi... Dante Valentine is a freelance Necromance — clients hire her to communicate with dead people so they can solve murders, settle estate disputes, etc. When the Devil wants to hire Dante to find a rogue demon named Vardimal Santino, and to recover the important object he’s stolen from Hell, he gives her no choice but to obey. Dante doesn’t want to work for the devil, but she does want to keep living. To help with that, the Devil as Originally posted at FanLit: http://www.fantasyliterature.com/revi... Dante Valentine is a freelance Necromance — clients hire her to communicate with dead people so they can solve murders, settle estate disputes, etc. When the Devil wants to hire Dante to find a rogue demon named Vardimal Santino, and to recover the important object he’s stolen from Hell, he gives her no choice but to obey. Dante doesn’t want to work for the devil, but she does want to keep living. To help with that, the Devil assigns her a bodyguard — the demon Japhrimel. While Dante and Japhrimel are trying to track down Santino, they run into Dante’s ex-boyfriend, Jace, who seems all too willing to help. Eventually they discover that the demons have been doing some genetic experiments with humans and that not only is the future of humanity at stake, but so is the guardianship of Hell. If Vardimal isn’t stopped… um… all Hell will break loose. I don’t typically read these urban fantasy series featuring smart-mouthed tattooed leather-clad women bravely slaying scary paranormal creatures while grumbling about their jobs and parentage and juggling at least two hot possessive guys on the side. All these stories are pretty much the same to me. I only picked up Working for the Devil out of a sense of obligation since Brilliance Audio sent me a review copy. Fortunately, the audio production is excellent with Tanya Eby doing a first-rate job with all of the parts. She’s a great reader and I enjoyed listening to her. It’s too bad I didn’t like the story more. It wasn’t bad, but it just didn’t manage to rise above mediocre. The most interesting feature is Saintcrow’s futuristic world, including races developed by genetic experimentation, which she gives us only hints about. Some readers will be frustrated by this, but I liked the mystery of it and the promise that future installments would fill in the details. I also appreciated the focus on action rather than the romance because one of the main problems I have with these types of books is that I never believe in the romance. Frankly, Dante’s a bossy hostile foul-mouthed bitch, and I have no idea why two hot guys are so in love with her. Are they so shallow that all they can see is how great she looks in her demon-fighting gear? I’ve complained many times about the vapid female characters I find in older SFF written by men, so I’m going to start complaining about some of the equally ridiculous male protagonists being written by modern female writers. I can’t admire characters whose primary criterion for a great relationship is that they both look great in their blood-soaked leathers. For readers who like sassy kickass heroines, Working for the Devil is likely to go over pretty well, and I’d recommend the audio version. I’m going to give the second book, Dead Man Rising, a try, but I’m doubtful that I’ll like it any more than I liked this one — Dante Valentine just isn’t someone I want to spend my precious free time with.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Tara

    I'm very impressed. Usually the first book in a UF series leaves me unimpressed and reluctantly reaching for the next one in hopes of improvement. Not so with this book. Working for the Devil is the first book in Lilith Saintcrow's Dante Valentine Series. Dante Valentine (a female, as is her friend Gabe, by the way) is a necromance-for-hire. This book is set in a what seems like a distant future, but seems very much like the basic future a lot people use (ie. plasma rifles and hover crafts, and I'm very impressed. Usually the first book in a UF series leaves me unimpressed and reluctantly reaching for the next one in hopes of improvement. Not so with this book. Working for the Devil is the first book in Lilith Saintcrow's Dante Valentine Series. Dante Valentine (a female, as is her friend Gabe, by the way) is a necromance-for-hire. This book is set in a what seems like a distant future, but seems very much like the basic future a lot people use (ie. plasma rifles and hover crafts, and something that reminds me of Back To The Future 2, a hover board). In any case, it's also a future after what they call "the Awakening", which is when people accepted people with psychic abilities and began educating them in special school and registering them. There seems to be a lot more going on in this universe, but I didn't get all of it, but I was ok with that. Saintcrow skipped the part where she painstakingly spells things out and pretty much just left me to accept it. Which I did. Sorry, I got side-tracked, Dante Valentine, necromance-for-hire, gets hired by the devil, just like the title implies. She forced to deal with her own prejudices when assigned a demon to assist her, she has to face an ex-lover whom has left her, and allow her best friend to help her, all to complete her assignment. Needless to say things don't go as planned. There are fights, arguments, spoken and unspoken emotions, a shifting of ideals, twists, turns and in the end I wanted to immediately start reading the next book, mostly because I did not want to accept the ending and was hoping for more. You know when you finish a book and kind of flip it over a few times just to be sure there aren't anymore pages secretly hidden somewhere, because you just want there to be. That was feeling. I also like that this seems to be a series with an end. 5 books and that's it. I think that's good. Too many series go on for so long that even though I want to read about the characters forever, they seem to lose direction because the author is trying to stretch out and make another book. I think maybe knowing there will be an end possibly helped with the focus of the books! Of course that remains to be seen. There are 4 more and they may just go down hill from here, but I hope not. Needless to say, I'm in, I'm hooked, I already made my list and set my alarm so I can stop at the bookstore on my way to work in the morning. I was thinking I would read just the first book and eventually come back to the series, but it looks like I'm going to be side-tracked. There are worse things.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I picked this book up because I finished Living With The Dead while visiting my in-laws and wanted something new to read for the trip back. It was one of those books I always picked up, thought looked interesting, but never quite got around to reading- probably because it seemed like more of the same old, same old I get from so many other urban fantasy authors. It was not. Saintcrow blends sci-fi and fantasy pretty seamlessly, creating a world where hover crafts and cyber-age drugs blend with de I picked this book up because I finished Living With The Dead while visiting my in-laws and wanted something new to read for the trip back. It was one of those books I always picked up, thought looked interesting, but never quite got around to reading- probably because it seemed like more of the same old, same old I get from so many other urban fantasy authors. It was not. Saintcrow blends sci-fi and fantasy pretty seamlessly, creating a world where hover crafts and cyber-age drugs blend with demons, necromancers, and practitioners of magic. The focus is almost always on the action, and while there is romantic interest, Saintcrow, and her main character, Necromance Dante Valentine, are never sentimental or driven by their libidos. It is a particular feat, I think, that the reader is simply thrust into this new world, with back-story trickling in through the plot, but I never felt like I was struggling to keep up or understand terminology and technology. Working For The Devil's plot introduces POV character Dante Valentine, a bounty hunter gifted with the ability to speak to the dead. Her day job is settling probate questions; her side job, however, is bit more action-packed. The novel opens with Dante receiving a summons from the Prince of Hell, Lucifer himself, who wants her to track down a demon who has escaped Hell with a dangerous artifact. He assigns his Right Hand, Japhrimel, to assist Dante with the task. Both Dante and Japhrimel have personal reasons for wanting to track down Santino, the escapee, and they grudgingly agree to work together. Dante assembles a crack team, including her best friend and fellow Necromance, a male witch, and a shaman. Once the hunt is on, they use all the magic, technology, and physical skill at their disposal- and still discover they might have gotten into a bit more than they bargained for. I will definitely be reading on into this series. It's rare to find an author with an original idea, a truly kick-ass heroine, and the ability to rough up her characters and her readers to turn out a truly thrilling plot. This book was an excellent blend of action, fantasy, and science fiction that hit all of my buttons.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Soo

    Mini-Review: 2nd Read via Graphic Audio Production I actually didn't remember a whole lot about this story other than the fact that I gave it four stars. I'm glad I opted to try out GA's audio production. It was a nice test run of what it would be like to listen to one of their stories and get back in touch with a series I started but haven't finished. Great UF story set in the future. I was caught off guard by the tech talk about the settings. I loved the case that Dante was thrown into by the De Mini-Review: 2nd Read via Graphic Audio Production I actually didn't remember a whole lot about this story other than the fact that I gave it four stars. I'm glad I opted to try out GA's audio production. It was a nice test run of what it would be like to listen to one of their stories and get back in touch with a series I started but haven't finished. Great UF story set in the future. I was caught off guard by the tech talk about the settings. I loved the case that Dante was thrown into by the Devil and enjoyed getting to know the characters. I liked how most of the story is easy to take in and fairly predictable until it's not. That's when I get a wicked grin on my face. I love that. Graphic Audio: - Great voice actors! I adore the fact that there are dedicated & uniquely characterized voices for all the cast in the story. Characters do not necessarily sound how I imagined them to be but that's not a deal breaker for me. - 50/50 on Background Music & Ambiance Sounds. I do like the added touch. It does feel more like I'm listening to a live drama vs a storyteller but the levels are not well balanced and it's hard to hear the story narrative or dialogue. - Due to the format, I doubt there will ever be an "unabridged" version with Graphic Audio. So each book will be adapted to a certain point. - Cost: Very High for the overall length & quality of the audio production. I'm not likely to buy too many of these because it's much more expensive than other audiobooks. I am not a fan of a book being broken into a bunch of parts.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Shelley

    I've read this authors Jill Kismet series, and decided to try to read this series. I've read other peoples reviews, and found this book to be pretty good, although, not excellent. I do apppreciate the world building that Ms Saintcrow characters find themselves in. Dante's character is a hard-as-nails necromance. I, did, however, find her incesant whining grating. My other problem with this character? Why is it that writers have to "change" the main character from human to something else? I mean, I've read this authors Jill Kismet series, and decided to try to read this series. I've read other peoples reviews, and found this book to be pretty good, although, not excellent. I do apppreciate the world building that Ms Saintcrow characters find themselves in. Dante's character is a hard-as-nails necromance. I, did, however, find her incesant whining grating. My other problem with this character? Why is it that writers have to "change" the main character from human to something else? I mean, look, Dante was already a world renowed necromance as a human, so, why turn her into a 1/2 demon? I know, I know, dummy it's fiction! Besides accomplishing her mission to kill her best friends killer in the end, and falling in love with a High Level demon who could or could not be dead; does any of this get her out from the Devils' scrutiny? Uhm, no. Similiarly in her Kismet series, her mentor forces Jill into a deal with the devil to make her a better hunter. Here's hoping book #2 is better!

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