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Dante Valentine #1

Working for the Devil

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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.

403 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published March 1, 2006

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About the author

Lilith Saintcrow

143 books4,412 followers
Lilith Saintcrow was born in New Mexico, bounced around the world as a child, and fell in love with writing stories when she was ten years old. She and her library co-habitate in Vancouver, Washington.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 716 reviews
23 reviews14 followers
July 31, 2008
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.
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 6 books3,966 followers
May 22, 2018
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.


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. :)

Profile Image for Gloria Mundi.
123 reviews81 followers
January 7, 2015
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.
Profile Image for Paul.
170 reviews53 followers
May 16, 2021
Well, it was an ok read. It's written a tad frenetically and there really should be a story before this one because there were so many references to past things and people and occurrences and blah, blah, blah that it just became silly. It's not that it wasn't hard to follow (the writing layout is pretty simple and almost adolescent).
The story itself is pretty predictable. Within this unsurprising, formulaic tale of urban Fantasy / Futurism, lies an angry female necromancer, bounty hunter for hire. She is forced to make a deal with the devil and from there her story begins.
Note: The book should come with a Table of Contents for all the Theistic Satanist parlance, terminology, dialect or slang.
2 1/2 - 3 stars
Profile Image for D.L. Howe.
Author 13 books375 followers
October 28, 2021
Re-read audio style

Tanya Eby does a great job narrating. She does all the voices and the emotions are portrayed wonderfully.

The main trope for this one is Urban fantasy, so for most people this is foremost about a necromancer bounty hunter hired by Lucifer to capture a demon/serial killer because he stole an egg.

Yes, an egg. If you know anything about demons they’re hatched not born, duh! 🤪🤣

Anyways, while this is wickedly entertaining, Danny has the foulest mouth that never quits. It’s non-stop action between several cups of coffee and pepperoni pizza. That’s not why I love this book.

I love it, the reason I’m re-reading it for the 3rd or 4th time is because of the growth of both Danny, Japhrimel and the forbidden love that grows between them.

And I know this is a surprise to everyone but no detailed sex but I’m all good with that. Why? Because the emotions are off the chart!

Profile Image for Denisa.
1,193 reviews290 followers
April 6, 2016
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! 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 .

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!
Profile Image for Pippa DaCosta.
Author 69 books1,511 followers
June 4, 2016
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.

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.
Profile Image for Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*.
2,429 reviews1,060 followers
May 18, 2017
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.
Profile Image for Morgan.
1,681 reviews74 followers
July 18, 2009
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.


"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.
52 reviews3 followers
December 27, 2011
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.

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.
Profile Image for Holly (The GrimDragon).
1,000 reviews235 followers
December 28, 2019
"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!
Profile Image for Stacey.
188 reviews
October 10, 2008
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.
Profile Image for Anne.
3,918 reviews69.3k followers
April 27, 2010
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.

Profile Image for Anzû.
548 reviews1,108 followers
November 3, 2012
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
10 reviews3 followers
April 28, 2012
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.
Profile Image for Kathryn.
793 reviews19 followers
October 30, 2010
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.
Profile Image for Amy Sumida.
Author 121 books888 followers
June 15, 2016
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.
Profile Image for Jamie Collins.
1,427 reviews265 followers
November 16, 2007
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".
Profile Image for Lauren Stoolfire.
3,565 reviews259 followers
February 1, 2017
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.
Profile Image for Linnea.
5 reviews1 follower
June 23, 2014
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.
Profile Image for Dahrose.
563 reviews12 followers
January 18, 2017
I've had this book for years and attempted to read it multiples times before and never really got very far. This time I was determined... and yeah, so that happened.
Let's start with our h, Danny, a smidge of Anita Blake, a dash of another cult h. And what do we have? An unlikeable, mouthy (they say she's sassy on the blurb but sassy is light and fun with an edge - not happening here) inconsistent heroine. She is constantly reacting and saying things that were just jarring and kind of failed to fit what was happening. Meaning nothing flowed and I kept resenting Danny for being so touchy, needlessly balls out, and insensible.
Sure, Danny is meant to have ALOT of baggage - which is alluded to constantly but never delved in to which was just frustrating, meaning I constantly failed to understand why Danny was reacting as she did, failed to have any empathy for her - and on the whole just wanted to give her a good hard smack and tell her to get over her bad self.
Which brings us to the world building - a lot of things are thrown at the reader, but glossed over and we are expected to go with the flow - it was a world that made little sense and as our illogical heroine tramped through it I grew to despise it more than come to accept it for the thin layer I was allowed to peek under.
I realise this is fantasy - but any premise/any world built from the imagination must make some sense, have depth & breadth, rules. This stuttering offering made no sense - Danny is plucked from obscurity by the Devil to do a job. Seriously, why her? We see her perform some kind of lame raising of the spirit - which almost kills her - and that is supposed to make her the right employee choice?
Her interactions with everyone annoyed me - the woman is constantly sulking or yelling. Her interactions with Jaf made the least sense - yell, sulk, yell, oh and thank you. Which happened at least four or five times - so I'm expected to see a growing connection am I? And I'm expected to think Jaf is falling for her because of her weird tangent words/behaviour?
And I think the author needs to look up the word - incurious - several times it was used when someone asked a question - so that would make them curious - or if you are trying to mean the opposite try - disinterested - just like I am in having anything more to do with this series.
Profile Image for Unapologetic_Bookaholic.
539 reviews65 followers
February 23, 2009
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.
Profile Image for Inara.
539 reviews200 followers
March 17, 2015
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/
Profile Image for Jess.
1,491 reviews102 followers
December 10, 2008
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
Profile Image for Karen Healey.
Author 20 books397 followers
July 1, 2009
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.
Profile Image for Shelley.
5,159 reviews458 followers
October 24, 2010
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!
Profile Image for Antonio Fanelli.
897 reviews125 followers
December 17, 2014
L'inizio promette bene, così come la protagonista, poi diventa la solita pappardella per adolescenti e finisce l'incanto.
Profile Image for Weronika.
45 reviews
May 7, 2022
Niestety nie udało mi się podołać temu tytułowi. Zapowiadało się naprawdę ciekawie. Nekromantka zostaje wezwana przed oblicze samego Lucyfera i ten zleca jej pewne zadanie. W jego realizacji pomagać ma jej inny demon. Wszystko fajnie, jednak czegoś tu zabrakło, a dokładnie… jakiegokolwiek przedstawienia świata.

Zostajemy wrzuceni w świat bardzo złożony, gdzie różne ludy magiczne żyją wśród ludzi. I tylko tyle jesteśmy w stanie zrozumieć. Oczywiście zostały wspomniane pobieżnie jakieś egzaminy na nekromantów, jakieś widzenia astralne, jednak jak na pierwszą część cyklu było to za mało. Czytając odniosłam wrażenie, że zabrakło jakiegoś tomu, stanowiącego wprowadzenie do samej historii.

Nie spodobała mi się również sama Dante. Zachowywała się, jakby sama wiedziała najlepiej, a swojego demonicznego partnera traktowała jak psa. Jestem w stanie zrozumieć, że nie była przychylnie nastawiona do tej współpracy, jednak powinna się, chociaż troszkę postarać. On jest uprzejmy i naprawdę bardzo spokojny. Czasami można było zauważyć, że to, w jaki sposób traktuje go Dante mu przeszkadza, jednak więcej było sytuacji, w których po prostu nic nie robił. Nie wiem, czy po prostu to olewał i starał się wykonać swoje zadanie, czy miał taki charakter i mu to pasowało.
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