120-year-old Liliana is a sin collector - a supernatural being who gathers the sins of mortals upon their deaths. Over the years, Liliana has been asked to gather some of the most brutal sins humankind has committed, and now, she's had enough. Unsure of who she really is or why she was created to do her job, she embarks on a quest to learn the truth.
Three things drew me to read this book: the gorgeous cover, the intriguing concept, and the well-written blurb. Unfortunately, the story fell flat.
This seems to be a novel by a young, first-time, author, and she definitely has promise. Her prose is fairly solid, and her character, Liliana, makes a few quips that are very good. As I said, the concept was terrific. Unfortunately, there were three things that really turned me off .
The first thing was that, although the main character was supposed to be over a hundred years old, she behaved and thought like a teenager. If the author would have chosen to make Liliana twenty or even twenty-five, I might have bought it, but to have a character older than my grandmother storm off in a childish rage or simply behave as a giddy teen whenever she's around a cute boy brought me out of the story every time. Overall, the book was simply too naive.
The second thing I didn't care for was the fact that the story wasn't about the concept of collecting sins as much as it was about girl-meets-boy-then-meets-danger. Yes, the main character had questions about her past, but very little of the story involved Liliana actually doing her job. Instead, the plot revolved around group politics and infighting among the sin collectors. I was disappointed to see that the premise of the book was never fully explored. Sin collecting should have been the focus of the story, not a side note.
***Warning: Spoiler Alert***
These two things, however, wouldn't have bothered me quite as much if not for the final one, and that happened at the end when Liliana not only fell in love with, but apparently had a physical relationship with, the man who had been her father figure for the first twenty years of her life. Although these two characters were not related by blood, the mentor who raised her was clearly in a father/uncle/other brother role, and so when Liliana fell in love with him, I was horrified.
I had high hopes for this book, but unfortunately, it fell short of my expectations. I suspect that the author will continue to write, and as she does, her work will continue to mature, but for right now, the book simply didn't do it for me.