Saturday, September 17, 2011

the demon trapper's daughter by Jana Oliver

The back of this book makes it sound kind of like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and frankly, any story where a girl can kick some major butt, fighting evil, will attract my attention. This is my first normal (non ARC book) in a while; don’t get used to it –I still got plenty left. But, sometimes I had to remind myself that it really wasn’t an ARC because it was chock-full of editing mistakes. There were some mistakes that kept me from moving forward with the awesome story, and normally books have some mistakes because no one is perfect and I understand that. I notice them because I was an English major, but I really should not be noticing this many…
Any way, I still loved it. The main character was just as strong, determined, and girl power-y as Buffy, if not more so. Riley is the daughter of a famous demon trapper. She lives in Atlanta (whole different kind of urban fantasy), in a future where various kinds of demons inhabit the world. Demon trappers catch the demons and sell them to the Vatican. And she’s pretty much the only girl in her area to train as one. There’s a lot of training, which in her case includes cleaning demon excrement with her bare hands, and a lot of hard work with lover grade demons. And not all demon trappers support Riley’s decision to train as a trapper, despite how amazing her father is.
Unfortunately for Riley, her father dies early on in this book, leaving her orphaned and in debt from all the medical bills required from her recently lost mother. She has a very egotistical, yet attractive friend in her father’s apprentice, Beck, who feels the need to protect her because he couldn’t protect her dad. She has a normal best friend at a normal school she attends (bringing in all the typical teen stress), though school for her takes place in locations like abandoned Starbuck’s. And she pretty much has to fight for everything she has in regards to her status as an apprentice because no one really likes that a girl is accomplishing all that she is. She has already caught some high level demons, and seems to be really good at it.
Also, all the demons seem to know her by name. And there’s all sorts of hidden political agendas between the tainted Holy Water, the demon killers of the church, the necromancers that steal dead bodies to make a living, the demons being sold illegally, and the final double crossing moments in an all-out war type fight scene at the end. There’s romance with fellow demon trapper Simon, though, it seems as though Riley has an array of attractive young men to choose from, and I have a feeling some romance between her and Beck will have to eventually happen. And, there is so much action here. Demon fights, cemetery overnights, trials, demon selling, and fights among the trappers, never really leaves for a dull moment.
The book ends with a bit of a cliffhanger that ties in to angels, but not in the typical YA fallen angel love triangle kind of way, but more in like a Philip Pullman Golden Compass angel importance kind of way. I loved Riley. I loved the boys, particularly Beck, who is anything but simple. I love Simon, and all his religious energy, which is so different from almost all YA love interests. I loved this Atlanta. I loved all the fuzzy moments between what was good and what was bad. Riley even sort of befriends a little, level one demon who lives in her apartment and collects shiny objects. I loved all the fighting scenes and all the action. And I really loved the small tidbits of magic.
The only thing that really bothered me, besides the poorly done editing, was the lack of knowledge I had of the world Riley lives in. I get that demons are everywhere and that demon trappers are all over the world. But, she talks about the world once being better with both her parents and with things like Starbucks…What happened? Were demons always a part of it? I feel like I needed more background.
I know there is a book 2 already, and I plan on getting it soon. And I know a lot more will be answered in regards to why Riley is so important and why all the demons know her, and why all the necromancers were after her dad. Hopefully, I’ll get more info about her world, or her Atlanta. And of course, some angel moments need to happen. And more romance, please. All in all, I really enjoyed this one. I give it an 8/10, and I am so ready for the second one.

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