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To Hell and Back (Dante Valentine #5)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  4,078 Ratings  ·  190 Reviews
The pulse-pounding finale to Lilith Saintcrow's urban fantasy series featuring Dante Valentine.

Dante Valentine has been through Hell. Literally. Her body shattered and her mind not far behind, she's dumped back into her own world to survive--or not--as a pawn in one of Lucifer's endless games.

Unfortunately, he's just messed with the wrong Necromance. And this time she's m
ebook, 0 pages
Published January 1st 2008 by Orbit
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Aug 16, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This book was not that great, and honestly, was more frustrating than anything else. The main character spent the majority of the time just jumping to the wrong conclusions and misunderstanding things. Normally that wouldn't bother me, except the book was written in 1st person view, and from the information the main character had, I would tell what was going on and what she should have done--but I couldn't understand why she jumped to the conclusions she did. I'm sure the author would claim it's ...more
Aug 07, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed the first book in the series, the second was all right, but everything went downhill from there. What started out as a smart and tough protagonist ended up a traumatized, battered, weak moron, for all that she had the means to be smart right at her fingertips. The courses of action she should have taken were obvious to apparently everyone BUT Dante Valentine, and after three books' worth of this waffling crap, I was just ready for it to be over. It was tiring more than it was en ...more
Anzu The Great Destroyer
Please tell me this is the last book in the series. Please!!


Yes! Yes it is!!

It’s over! IT’S FINALLY OVER!! All the pain, the suffering. THE ANGST. THE FUCKING ANGST!! Just thinking about it makes me want to smash my laptop to bits!!

Breathe in. Breathe out. In. Out. Calm. I’m calm. Ok.

To Hell and Back, the, I quote, pulse-pounding finale to Lilith Saintcrow's urban fantasy series featuring Dante Valentine. My pain and suffering. My pissed on expectations. My waste of time. Hours upon hours of
Sep 03, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who just have to know how it all ends
Book 5, the last blessed book, in the Dante Valentine series. I found myself skimming A LOT in the this book. I just wanted to see what happened. The writing is frustrating, the characters are frustrating, the action scenes are too detailed. It was an ok-ish resolution for the main story line, but so many side stories were just left hanging. Eh. Kind of frustrated with myself for wasting so much time on it. And annoyed that I just couldn't put these books down and walk away - I just had to know ...more
Feb 11, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I admit, I read through the Dante Valentine series because I was interested enough in Dante and her world, but as the books progressed, I grew more and more annoyed with Dante's character. Dante is so self-involved, and whole chapters are dedicated to the dragging step-by-step detailing of her emotions that everything else gets lost, including an interesting plot, and the same details about world-building get repeated over and over again. By the end, I wasn't satisfied with the conclusion at all ...more
Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder*
After how much I hated Dante in the last book, I was pleased to see she’s mainly – and I mean, mainly – decent in this one. She does come across at the end as the very unlikeable protagonist again. Seriously, I dislike her so much. With her IQ and personality, don’t see how she can keep anyone in her life. The ending really irritated me until the epilogue. Dante is a rage filled, moronic, selfish person who does so much without thinking about it first and the blindly accepts kindness from people ...more
More dead than alive Dante escapes Hell and cant remember anything what had happened to her. Japhrimel is furious and declares war to Lucifer and Eve and promises to help Dante to kill the Devil...
This last book in this series is full of action and fights, plots and counterplots and Dantes getting more and more violent. She also questions Japhs loyality (honestly when did she not?) but at least they find to a sort of truce and Dante tries to hold back her rage not to loose all her humanity. What
Gloria Mundi
This series had such promise. It started off well with a fast paced tale of a necromance on a quest against all odds to complete an assignment for the Devil and avenge her dead friend and, as it turns out in later books, lover. Dante was the kind of no nonsense, tough and practical heroine that, if not necessarily easy to like, at least does not get on your nerves immediately. Japhrimel was the enigmatic and surprisingly likeable (despite his radioactive eyes) demon assigned as Dante's familiar ...more
Apr 19, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
You know it’s not a good sign when you’re super glad a series ends. This series had such potential. The world Saintcrow built is great and the secondary characters are interesting. Good pacing. Honestly, after book five, those are about the nicest thing I can say about it.

By the end, I just wanted all the main characters dead and the book over. Dead. Dead. DEAD. I even know how it should have ended. Dante kills the Devil. Japh kills Eve. Dante gets mad and kills Japh. Then she kills herself ove
Less than satisfying last 5 pages, thus the lack of 5 stars. Otherwise, really good book. I enjoyed this series immensely despite the main character sometimes (frequently actually) being hyper neurotic and annoying as crap. Still LOVED them, how weird is that?
Mar 30, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I ended up skimming much of this book. The character, who I liked so much in the first book, was just so INCREDIBLY stupid. So stupid.
May 27, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the first few books from this series, but the last two have just died the enthusiasm for me. The characters tend to cycle in their thoughts over and over and over where you're like "GET OVER IT ALREADY!!!". I found myself skipping whole paragraphs in a hurry to find something interesting or just to end the book. That's a big "YIKES" for me. You just keep hoping something good will happen to the main character, Dante, and it just hasn't made that turn around yet. We'll see if I get the ...more
5 books and the last 4 were..


I like to read books to relax and sometimes escape the everyday, but these books made me vibrate with annoyance and frustration. I really wanted to love them. I purchased the entire series based on how much I loved the first book, now I wish I had just checked them out from the library.

The writing isn't bad, just repetitious. Dante relives and repeats moments over and over and over again. The beginning of every chapte
Oct 18, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, e-books
I really liked Dante's strong and honorable personality in the first two books and how she resolved the issues placed before her. However, Dante became more unlikeable as each book progressed, until I couldn't stand her in To Hell and Back. Dante is a rage filled, idiotic, untrusting, immature, hypocritical b*****. Dante seems to have no qualms about killing anyone and constantly has the desire to stab or kill people if they so much as talked when she was in a 'mood', her lover and team mates in ...more
David Teachout
urban fantasy without the gloss

Urban fantasy follows a known trajectory most times, particularly the romance variation. There's a connection between a human female and some version of an alien male, sometimes an actual alien and other times simply alien as in other. The male is insufferable, manipulative and abusive. The woman is strong but succumbs because deep down she wants to be held by the strength of a strong man. The abuse and manipulation is ignored for safety. There's variations on this
A satisfying conclusion to this futuristic urban fantasy series. As I've said before, this is a dense, challenging read; it is not for everyone. It's set 600 years in the future. American English has evolved and the terms used in the book will give you pause now and then as you figure out what the author meant. It's a dark and violent urban fantasy, and the perspective is from the inside of Dante' head - you read her internal monologue alongside dialogue and narrative; it can be a bit confusing ...more
Well...that did not end at all like I thought it would. Talk about anti-climactic. Seriously, what changes in Dante's universe?? WHAT??

And I still have the same complaints as I did during the last book. I do not understand how Danny can treat Japh like such shit and BLINDLY follow Eve as if she is some kind of savior. I just don't get it. Some people call her on her shit, which she needed, but it wasn't enough. She is completely dense, always trusts the wrong people, always makes the wrong deci
Annie Poe
Mar 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love this series of books. Love the Demon, but I'd like to slap some sense into the Necromance. What a self-indulgent child she is. Here she's got this guy (albeit a Demon) who gives up everything - and I mean everything for the love of her, and all she does is whine and bitch about how he doesn't tell her everything. Time and Place girl!! You're in deep doo doo with Lucifer on your tail and unfriendly Demons stacking up behind him trying to do you in - maybe you could just take your Fallen on f ...more
Jan 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Urban fantasy fans
Recommended to Lynn by: Urban Fantasy Land blog
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Last in the series, Dante is still conflicted by her feelings for Japh and after spending time in hell with Lucifer she's pretty worn down. The beauty of this character is that she has so much trouble trusting others and letting go of being in control which leads to her mistrust of Japh. Her dedication to Eve is easier because it's based on her love of her lover Doreen and the small chance that Eve may be her biological daughter. While Dante can give unconditional love and trust, she has a much ...more
Kathy Davie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
All in all, this was a satisfying conclusion to the series. The romantic turmoil was kept to an acceptable level, and there were times when I wasn't entirely certain what the outcome of the battle for Hell would be.

I continue to enjoy the glimpses of Earth's future, specifically Paris in this book. An afterword finally settled the "how long?" question I've had since the very beginning--that this is 600 years in the future. I like that even after that much time, under the technological, physical
Pippa DaCosta

“I will lie to keep you safe. I will lie to save you pain. I will lie to ease your mind, and I will lie so you may be certain of me."

No. No. NO!

Does he even hear himself? I will lie so you may be certain of me? What the f—? It doesn't even make sense.

Japh, you're not an idiot. After four books, you can see the whole lying thing isn't working. So hey, yah know what, how about we try something new? Something wacky, waaaay out there, like TELLING THE TRUTH! Or, hell, I don't know,
This is the 5th (and last) book in the Dante Valentine series by Lilith Saintcrow. It was okay; not as good as some of the previous ones, but okay.

The book starts with Dante (Danny) being expelled from Hell in an alley; she has taken quite a beating from Lucifer and can't remember much of it. Lucas comes to her rescue and Danny is soon reunited with Japh. Danny finds that in her absence Japh has been tearing apart the world looking for her, and he has declared rebellion against Lucifer. In order
It took me about a week to read all five books. Less if you count the two days I was celebrating my birthday.

These books are a good summer read if you're looking for a quick, action packed read. However if Saintcrow decides to write a book six I hope to God that it is about Dante and Japhrimel's amazing trip to a relationship counselor, and features Dante being interrogated by a therapist.

The books are full of amazing characters who aren't just superhuman in their nature and ability, but in thei
Sep 27, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Diana Thayer
I found the last two or three books of this series somewhat frustrating. Making allowances for psychological trauma and the deleterious effects that can have on self-control and deliberation, I still found Valentine's character to head off half-cocked too many times. With all the lies and information to the contrary of what she might have wanted to believe, and her (repeatedly reinforced) awareness that demons all manipulate, lie, and scheme, I found it difficult to believe that she would remain ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lori Whitwam
Feb 11, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy, bailed
Sadly, this is one of the few books that I simply could not finish. This series started out awesomely, but each successive book has gotten worse. By this one (thankfully the LAST in the series), there were too many characters, most of which I didn't care about and couldn't keep straight, the surreal experiences that Dante endures are impossible to follow (and take up WAY too many pages), I no longer cared who was dead or alive... so back in the "return to the library" bag it goes.
Sep 21, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Last book in the series (possibly). Wrapped up all of Valentine's loose ends, mostly satisfactorily and ended with a nice little Friday-esque epilogue. The writing is overall ok, though the third and fourth books had plot elements that almost made me want to pull my hair out.
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what?!?!?! 6 33 Nov 17, 2011 04:08PM  
  • The Devil You Know (Morgan Kingsley, #2)
  • City of Souls (Signs of the Zodiac, #4)
  • Demon Bound (Black London, #2)
  • Ghosts & Echoes (Shadows Inquiries #2)
  • The Watcher  (Anna Strong Chronicles, #3)
  • Demon Possessed (Megan Chase, #3)
  • One More Bite (Jaz Parks, #5)
  • Doppelgangster (Esther Diamond, #2)
  • Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (Niki Slobodian, #3)
  • Darkness Calls (Hunter Kiss, #2)
  • Hands of Flame (Negotiator Trilogy/Old Races Universe #3)
Lilith Saintcrow was born in New Mexico, bounced around the world as an Air Force brat, and fell in love with writing when she was ten years old. She lives in Vancouver, Washington, in a house full of stray cats and children.
More about Lilith Saintcrow...

Other Books in the Series

Dante Valentine (5 books)
  • Working for the Devil (Dante Valentine, #1)
  • Dead Man Rising (Dante Valentine, #2)
  • The Devil's Right Hand (Dante Valentine, #3)
  • Saint City Sinners (Dante Valentine, #4)