“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 bent on killing off every Sin-Eater? 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
I don’t normally mention this in a review, but I can’t help stating this fact: I really love this cover. As you can see it’s fairly simple in the sense that it’s only various shades of grey and black. I think this is what draws me to the image every time I see it. The way the black corners fade from the grey is beautiful. When I stare long enough at it, the cover looks to be in motion. But I’m not one to judge a book by its cover. I gave it the rating I did for a reason. The reason was what is held between the covers.
What I really enjoyed from this book was the mythology behind the sin collectors, or Sin-eaters as they are also known. The concept that there are immortals roaming earth whose purpose is to remove the sins from a soul before it leaves a dying body was interesting. I was torn between finding this to be a good thing and that this could be too easy of a way out for heavy sinners. Lily mentions that she has performed the ritual on some utterly vile human beings.
What left me a bit disappointed was that there wasn’t much of a history established for the sin collectors. It’s true that even these beings have their own speculations about where they came from and why they were made. This doesn’t take away from the book in the least. I think my yearning to know more about the collectors made me enjoy the story more. It also may have helped me sympathize with the collectors’ own questions about their origins.
Enough about that though. You want to hear about the story itself, I’m sure. I was hooked early on and fell in love with some of the characters right away. One of them was George. He’s an 87 year old widower who visits Lily at the library daily. He added some light to her long life and I enjoyed reading their conversations. I almost wish there were more of them.
Another character I enjoyed was one we meet later on, Rebecca. All I can say about her is that she’s an ancient collector and very mysterious. I wish it could tell you more about her, but without spoiling anything and the addition of her reclusive nature I can’t say much. With the little hints into her character that we got, I wanted to see more.
There were many themes touched on throughout the book. What should be focused on is one’s part in the world, be it in a family, a place, or a “profession.” The collectors tend to question their purpose in life. Why do they collect; what will become of them if they do get killed; etc. Most all collectors lead a solitary life because they physically can’t survive being very close to the sins held within other collectors. When a way around is found, these questions start to get asked more and more often. I liked that the book focused on themes such as these but didn’t make the reader stumble when they showed themselves in the reading. There was a smooth mix of story and “philosophical thought” that blended perfectly.
A final little bit I’ll discuss is the ending. This won’t be a spoiler so don’t worry. It ended, and leads to the next in the trilogy. That’s great. The way it ended was a big surprise to me. The reader and Lily were lead to doubt some of the characters until the very end. I couldn’t figure out who I trusted more, and that’s a hard thing to accomplish. I’ve been discovering a good amount of novels recently that have great unpredictable twists to them and The Sin Collector has joined those ranks.
Overall this story was a fast-paced read with a number of great characters, unpredictable plot turns, and a great mythology. I now want to go read some of the real world myths about sin-eaters to maybe satisfy my craving for the next installment of The Sin Collector Trilogy.
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