10.7.12

Indie Review: The Sin Collector by Jessica Fortunato

I’m trying something a little new with my reviewing. I always complain that I hate number ratings because they can be very skewed and unhelpful. So, I’m going to try to break it down. Inspired by S.M. Boyce.



TITLE: The Sin Collector
AUTHOR: Jessica Fortunato
PAGES: 127
FORMAT: Kindle
ISBN: B0076D11WK
BUY IT: Amazon
RATING: 4.5/5 [in the genre] or 7/10 [all books I’ve ever read].
FOR: Anyone who likes vampires (though this is not about vampires) or Anne Rice (again, not about vampires but similar aesthetic). Anyone who’s interested in the occult. Anyone looking for a fast-paced read with light romance.


"The Sin Collector" follows the life of Liliana, a born Sin Collector. She has spent over 100 years absorbing people's sins so they may rest in peace come death. However when she meets another Collector, one who insists everything she has been taught is a lie, Liliana must make her way from sunny L.A. all the way to the streets of Madrid. Searching for answers to a question we all share. Why are we here? The friends and enemies she makes along the way only seem to blur the line between right and wrong. Can Liliana fight the Castus, an organization whose sole mission is to kill every Collector? Should she trust her head or her heart when the two most important men in her life are fighting alongside her? Then there is the worst question of all, who will be left when the dust settles?

The Basics: The Sin Collector is a rare beauty in a paranormal market overwrought with vampires and the occasional witch. Exploring the old obscure sin-eaters myths of England and Scotland, it creates a hidden world of Collectors that feels both ancient and breathtakingly new. Liliana is a childlike character with the wisdom of a century under her belt and a sarcastic tongue that keeps the tone light and makes for laugh-out-loud pages. While the other characters aren’t as strong, they’re sufficient to prop up a fast-paced plot. Once I started reading, it was a trick to put it down. 



Plot (5/5): On the whole, the plot shows very tight design. Details are planted in the beginning and woven carefully to an exciting end. Since Lily doesn’t know quite whom to trust, you as reader are also left guessing—and the final traitor, while not a complete surprise, is still a satisfying discovery. Some parts feel thin, mostly surrounding the two romances in the book (which I’ll omit to avoid spoilers). The first, I felt was strangely intense for its underpinnings. The second, I thought a little eerie, considering the previous relationship of the two characters. However, in general, the book moves at a quick and exciting pace that keeps you reading. The ending promises a thrilling sequel. 

Concept (5/5): I have little to say about the concept except “Wow!” Fortunato has a talent for breathing life into old myths and making them modern and fresh. The aesthetic reminds me of Anne Rice and her Egyptian demon vampires. On two points, however, I wished for more detail. The first is the Castus, the evil group tracking the Collectors. There were hints of their motivations, but I felt I didn’t understand them deeply enough. The second and most important is the collecting. Sin-eating is the most exciting part of this concept, but for a long time, we only hear about it. When we finally witness the ritual ourselves, the moment passes quickly and with only routine description. For such a cool idea, I would have loved to see a much more in depth exploration of the process and how it really feels

Characters (5/5): Lily was a little childish for 100, but it didn’t bother me. She never really went through the adult rites of passage. It made sense for her to be a little broken. Julia was the next best character, in that I got a good sense of her immediately. Both Olexander and Billy fell a little flat. Also, this might just be me, but I was imagining Olexander as a sort of Donald Sutherland type from the beginning and didn’t realize that he, like Lily, does not age. I just couldn’t feel as comfortable with the others as with Lily, who was very deeply portrayed. 

Style (4/5): The style was generally good and simple, a backdrop for a fast-paced plot. Lily’s voice felt consistent throughout. The only hitch was dialogue. The characters rarely used contractions and in some places, their speech sounded forced. This would pull me out of the story when it happened. However, in general, the style didn’t overpower the plot. 

Mechanics (3/5): Commas were a persistent problem, in that they were either missing or misplaced. There were a few odd grammar points. In general, the spelling was typo-free and the formatting was good. 

Take Home Message: If you’re looking for a quick read that packs a punch, pick up Jessica Fortunato’s debut—and look out for her second offering, coming this month!


2 comments:

  1. Great in-depth look at a great book. I loved it just as much as you seem to have.

    I felt the same about that second romance you mentioned...but it didn't take away from the book, just made me feel all weird. Haha

    I can't wait until The Sin Collector: Thomas (short story) comes out. I'd love to hear what you think. I loved it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks!

      Ha, I had the same reaction. It kinda made sense in context and I could see how it would have developed without being obvious at first, but I also was like eeeeeeeeeeeeeeh. I know. I'm really eloquent right now.

      STOP TORTURING ME. I can't wait!

      Delete

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