Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Forgiven by Jana Oliver

I got to meet Jana Oliver recently, and she was so cool! She chatted with me a bit, and even gave me some extra swag! She was so cool, but I acted like an idiot and referred to Beck as Riley while talking about her books! She laughed along with me though at my blunder. I know I must have asked her if there would be more books in this series, but I couldn’t remember what she said, so I looked it up on her blog just now, and I am so happy to know that book 4 is in the works! Because I need a few more things settled! You know, Riley saving the world from an apocalypse just wasn’t enough for me! I need all the loose ends tied up.
So, this book was just so awesome! I love this series! I love Riley! What can be bad about a girl who kicks serious demon butt, puts her family above all else, wants to succeed in a job dominated only be men, and is marked to both help heaven and hell?
Partly due to her ex-boyfriend, Simon, and partly due to her “involvement” with the fallen angel, Ori, Riley gets taken in for questioning by the Vatican’s demon hunters, who are way more religious than the Atlanta demon trappers. The questions stop and Riley is let go when they do a test on her that reveals the sign of hell on one hand and the sign of heaven on the other. Someone with the sign of heaven is apparently someone who can be released, as long as she’s watched and doesn’t wander over to Lucifer’s side any time soon.
And while Riley might have given her virginity to a fallen angel (who she didn’t know was a fallen angel), and she might owe Lucifer a favor, she certainly has not promised anyone her soul, or at least not yet. So, she has that going for her, I guess. Though, apparently, her father did make a deal with his soul. Lucifer reanimated her father who had made a deal with him, all in effort to protect Riley. And while the demon hunters and demon trappers alike are working together with the giant onslaught of demons in Atlanta, Riley is building up her relationship with her dead/reanimated father. She’s also learning a little about magic from the witches and necromancy from the necromancers. Riley and Beck get a lot closer in this one too, despite the fact that Beck is so mad at her for sleeping with Ori.
Oh, and Riley learns early on in this book that the little favor that heaven wants from her is to prevent an apocalypse. There’s a lot of fighting, questioning, kissing, surviving, mystery solving, and world saving in this one! Not only are there more demons, but now there are demons that bullets can’t affect. And demons who can now walk on holy ground. There are zombie demons. There are people, Riley discovers, who are worse than Lucifer. A lot happens in this book. A lot gets answered. And Riley has to ask herself a lot of tough questions. The top one being, how much is her soul really worth? Is it worth giving up to save her father, to save Beck, or even to save the world?
There are angry good angels, fallen angels turned into statues, Lucifer appearances, and then all the fun, normal stuff like class time in Starbucks and investigating phony holy water. There’s an epic battle at the end that reminded me a lot of the battle at the end of The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman and also of a certain season finale of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. All the magic, angel/demon mythology, and end-of-the-world type action has made this book my favorite one in the series so far.
It ended with a little bit of a cliffhanger/mystery. And I know a lot will continue to go down in the next volume, and I am so excited and ready for it. I recommend this series highly to fans of Buffy. And I give it a 10/10.

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