Thursday, February 10, 2011

Review: The Demon Trapper's Daughter by Jana Oliver

Title: The Demon Trapper's Daughter
Author: Jana Oliver
Pages: 340 (ARC copy)
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: February 1, 2011
Riley Blackthorne just needs a chance to prove herself – and that’s exactly what the demons are counting on…

Seventeen-year-old Riley, the only daughter of legendary Demon Trapper, Paul Blackthorne, has always dreamed of following in her father's footsteps. The good news is, with human society seriously disrupted by economic upheaval and Lucifer increasing the number of demons in all major cities, Atlanta’s local Trappers’ Guild needs all the help they can get – even from a girl. When she’s not keeping up with her homework or trying to manage her growing crush on fellow apprentice, Simon, Riley’s out saving distressed citizens from foul-mouthed little devils – Grade One Hellspawn only, of course, per the strict rules of the Guild. Life’s about as normal as can be for the average demon-trapping teen.

But then a Grade Five Geo-Fiend crashes Riley’s routine assignment at a library, jeopardizing her life and her chosen livelihood. And, as if that wasn’t bad enough, sudden tragedy strikes the Trappers’ Guild, spinning Riley down a more dangerous path than she ever could have imagined. As her whole world crashes down around her, who can Riley trust with her heart – and her life?

My Thoughts: After reading some reviews, I wasn’t sure whether or not I would like this book. I heard some unappealing things about the characters, especially Riley. I also heard that the romance included a love-triangle. (Actually, it was scarier than that because the reviews made it sound like a love-square.) I don’t enjoy reading a book where I dislike the main character all the way through, and it’s rare that I like a love-triangle or anything more than that. So it just seemed the book wasn't going to work out for me. But I'm so glad I gave this book a chance because this was a case where my experience with the book ended up being completely different from those reviews I read.

UK edition
The Demon Trapper's Daughter is about seventeen-year-old Riley Blackthorne, who wants to be a Demon Trapper like her father. Riley does as much as she can to prove that she's capable of taking care of herself by holding her own against the demons and the males that dominate the Trapper world she chooses to live in. She isn't perfect though. She makes mistakes and some poor decisions, but she's strong and smart enough to make up for it when it really counts. Some may not like Riley's attitude towards Denver Beck, her father's twenty-two-year-old apprentice, but I think her feelings are pretty justified. She had a huge crush on Beck a few years back, and it seems he went about rejecting her by being a complete ass jerk. I also believe Riley's envious of all the time Beck gets to be around her father, who has been too busy with demon trapping lately to spend quality time with his daughter. The good thing is Riley and Beck's relationship improves little by little through the book. Another thing I liked was that the book also included chapters from Beck's perspective. I really enjoyed his character. He's funny, loyal, and protective. He's been through a whole lot more than most people his age. It was refreshing seeing the world viewed by an adult in a YA book, even though this book didn't exactly feel like a YA.

The book was definitely more focused on aspects other than romance, which I'm glad for. It's true, though, that it sounds like there's going to be love-triangle or potentially even a love-square. At this point, I'm all for Riley and Beck! I'm really liking their development together. However, right now, there's a romance between Riley and Simon. Simon’s another fellow Demon Trapper. He's 20 years old and a really nice, good-looking guy. I can understand the appeal, but I admit I wasn't quite feeling their relationship. It moved a bit too fast, and I felt Simon was lacking that extra special something that would have made him stand out. It didn’t help that there were other, more interesting guys like Beck and the mysterious Ori, who I think could be possible love-interests for Riley. I think Riley and Simon would be better off as friends, but I'm sure there will be (and I’m hoping for) more development in the next book between Riley and all the guys, so we'll see. ;)

I decided to only mention the characters and the relationships in this review, since those two things are the most important to me when it comes to determining if I like a book. (And if I kept going, this review would never end.) I will say though that the ending wasn't what I expected, and I wish it went just a tiny bit slower because there was a lot to take in with all the scene changes. Other than that I thought The Demon Trapper's Daughter was a great start to the series, and I cannot wait to read the next book Soul Thief!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Note: This book is titled Forsaken in the UK.
Thanks to St. Martin's Press for the ARC.


  1. I'm very glad you gave this series a chance. I fell in love with this story so it's really good to see someone else fall too. Like you mentioned, while Riley is young and makes a few mistakes, she owns them and fixes them when the time comes. Thanks for the review!

  2. Thanks, ajmitchell! Agreed and enjoyed your review for the book, btw. :)

  3. I'm glad you enjoyed it! I guess it's one of these books that you either love or hate.

  4. @Dazzling Mage: Yeah, that seems to be the case. ^^

  5. Can't wait to read this and it's love square. Great review Alexa :)