Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Demon Trappers Daughter by Jana Oliver

Published: February 2011
Publisher: St Martin's Griffin
Pages: 355
Copy:  From Library
Summary: Goodreads

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?

This book was serious fun.  I loved it!  So much more than I expected and well worth reading.  Riley was a marvellously strong protagonist.  She wasn't afraid to admit that she didn't know everything, but at the same time wasn't going to let that stop her from kicking demon butt.  She was so cool.  She is a somewhat unique character in the story in that pretty much all other demon trappers are male, so she has everything stacked against her from the start.  But of course, it also means that there are some seriously hot guys running around.

Simon is the guy Riley is crushing on and he is a 'nice' guy.  He seems to have a heart of gold, and is training to kill demons for all the right reason -  but I have to tell you I'm not so sure about him.  There's just something about him that doesn't ring true for me - is it possible to be too nice?  The jury is still out on him as far as I'm concerned.  Beck is the one I fell for - ok, he's the good-looking 'bad' boy, who was trained by Riley's father and has known her for years, and of course broke her heart when she was too young to know better.   What can I say, I've always been a sucker for the bad boys!

"Riley fliped down the visor and stared into the cracked mirror.
"Omigod," she said.  He watched out of the corner of his eye as she ginergerly touched the green areas where the demon pee had dyed her skin.
"It'll be gone in a couple days," Beck said, trying to sound helpful.
"It has to be gone by tomorrow nigh.  I've got school."
"Just tell 'em yer a trapper.  That should impress 'em."
"Wrong!  The trick is to blend in, Beck, not glow like a radioactive frog."  (page 18)

There are some wonderful comedic interludes with the smaller grade 1 demons that had me laughing, but there is also some serious nasty stuff going on with the bigger demons.  Some of the other older demon trappers are also majorly creepy - take Harper for one -  along with the necromancers and the rather strange  'deaders' - these are re-animated corpses used as slaves, but they are not zombies.  I also enjoyed the rivalry between the trappers and the hunters - both after demons, but definitely not the same class of people. Lots of twists and turns throughout the story, and an intriguing mystery made for a compelling read that kept me going at a furious rate. 'Demon Trapper's Daughter' was clever and exciting and didn't let go of me until the very end. 

The follow-up, 'Soul Thief' is due out in the Fall this year and I absolutely cannot wait to read it. Jana Oliver has a wonderful site for demon trappers, you can find it HERE and there are lots of fun things to see and do on the site.

PS  I have to add here, that if you are fans of the tv show 'Supernatural', you are absolutely going to love this book. It has the same blend of humour/seriousness as the show and the characters are just as lovable.

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