Wednesday, October 26, 2011

soul thief by Jana Oliver

I’m really impressed with the direction this series is going. It took me a while to read this one because it kept getting interrupted by trump books (books that take all my attention as soon as I get my hands on them). Some trump books = anything by Melissa De La Cruz, Tamora Pierce, James Dashner, etc.
Any way, as soon as I got back to this one, I could not put it down. I just absolutely love the main character, Riley. I kind of automatically love girl main characters who are the first to do something in a world of guys doing everything first. And then I even more love girl characters who do this in a world saving/people rescuing element (like most of Tamora Pierce’s characters). But, to top it all off, Riley has a fantastic attitude. She refuses to listen to anyone holding her back. She trusts her opinion above her best friend’s, her remaining caregiver/crush, her boyfriend, or any other guy. She sticks up for herself and what she wants never giving in or giving up, even if it means life would be so much easier.
Any way, the book begins after the last one left off, after the deadly Tabernacle battle that ended the lives of many trappers. At the end of that book, Riley made a deal with an angel that if her boyfriend’s life was saved, she do something for heaven when they needed her. Little did she know that her boyfriend would turn into a first class jerk, blaming her for the whole Tabernacle fiasco. He even throws holy water on her at one point to make sure she’s not a demon…Needless to say, they don’t stay together and he becomes a paranoid, religious fanatic.
Beck, the guy who worked with her dad, who I keep wanting to hook up with Riley, only impresses me more in this book. I still want them to be together! Even though, he’s demanding, condescending, way too into country music, and rather piggish at times. He really cares for Riley, he cared for her dad, he does his best to protect Riley, and in his own egotistical way supports her decision to be a trapper. I just kind of wish he didn’t have so many double standards. Like why is it okay for him to hook up with so many girls, yet it’s awful for Riley to show any interest in a guy? And add another boy to the romance (a freelance trapper who is not who he says he is), and the love triangle romance aspect of this book gets rather intense at times, just how I like it!
Riley spends this book getting over Simon (her crazy ex-boyfriend), helping her best friend Peter deal with his own family dramas, trying to figure out the bad holy water situation, befriending necromancers, doing spells with witches, trying to find her dead father who has been reanimated by a bad necromancer, learning about fallen angels, and trying to figure out why exactly she is so important to demons, angels, and fallen angels in the war to come.
Between the romance, the mystery, the battle scenes, and the attitude, I just loved this book. What happens between Ori (the free lancer who is not who he says he is) and Riley is bad, but I get that it needed to happen. And I love that the whole angel story line was not what I was expecting. I was expecting some more Lauren Kate type fallen angel romance, and what I got was a disturbing wake up call.
I know that in my past review for the first book, I made some Golden Compass comparisons. And while Oliver’s writing style is nowhere near the level of Philip Pullman’s, she is continuing to do something with her story that keeps reminding of Pullman’s trilogy. She is writing about a war to come, and she’s mixing together humans with whatever is happening between heaven and the fallen. There are all sorts of religious politics and allegory. And while Lyra (probably one of my all time favorite heroines) is very different from Riley, I can’t help but make connections between them with all of their unaware importance.
I cannot wait to see how everything plays out. And generally when a book has the first chapters of the next book in the back, I make it a rule not to read it because that just makes waiting that much harder, but I couldn’t help myself this time. I’m just so excited for more of this story. I give it a 10/10. And I highly recommend this book to fans of Buffy, The Vampire Academy, and City of Bones.

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