The Sin Collector (Book 1)

The Sin Collector (Book 1) - Jessica Fortunato (Book read and reviewed for {Read It & Reap 72} in the Shut Up And Read group.)

Liliana is a Sin Collector, an immortal human-like being with the ability to divest a dying person from her sins, so that swhe can find peace in death. However, her kin cannot be in the presence of each other, for fear of suffering terrible pain due to the weight of the sins they've absorbed; and so she's been living on her own for the best of 120 years. Until another Collector tells her that all she's been believing in until now was all but a lie...

This novel is packed with interesting ideas, which is what drew me to it in first place. The concept of eating someone else's sins to bring them peace was intriguing, all the more so that it raises questions such as "what about people who'd deserve to pay for their sins?". Liliana is overall a strong character, who takes the reins of her own life, doesn't let other people act for her, is trying to do the best she can with the terrible task and power she's been given, and tries to keep a cool head when faced with hard facts. The tension between some of the characters is efficiently kept up, through events as well as through their behaviours and the palpable mystery that surrounds them. Also, the antagonists' point of view and aim is, in a way, understandable, and I felt that there was more behind this than just a matter of 'being righteous'.

Some things I unfortunately found to be a little annoying in this story. For instance, while Liliana's behaviour is usually positive, she sometimes struck me as having disproportionate reactions, that didn't fit a 120-year-old woman (sure, she looks like she's 20, but having lived so long and led such a peculiar life, shouldn't she be more level-headed, and not react like she was indeed 'only' 20?). Recurrent punctuation problems were a minor flaw, but one that tended to be jarring all the same. I didn't fully get the relationship between Liliana and her mentor—what happens isn't really in tune with what the reader's presented with at first, and so it felt quite odd in the end. Finally, the story being a short one, a lot of details were left in the dark; maybe more will be revealed in the series' next novel, but in the meantime, I'd still have liked to learn more about the process of sin-collecting, about how the Collectors got to exist in the first place—in other words: more about what seemed to me to be the main theme of the book when I got it.

All in all, I enjoyed "The Sin Collector", and am torn between giving it 3 stars or 4. In the end, I'll keep it at 3, but I'm positive the author can and will do more with the next part. The promises her world and characters hold are strong and very much present.