Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Demon Trapper's Daughter (Demon Trappers #1) by Jana Oliver

The Demon Trapper's Daughter by Jana Oliver
Series: Demon Trappers, #1
Published: February 1, 2011
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
(340 pages, paperback)
Summary: 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: Starting The Demon Trapper's Daughter I wasn't expecting such a deep story line, but it was surprisingly packed with emotion. Riley's always wanted to follow in her father's footsteps. She looks up to him like no one else, and she's training to become a demon trapper just like him. But then Riley's world is flipped upside down and she finds herself stuck with responsibilities she never imagined having. I can't tell you how much I loved the concept; the story is set in a futuristic Georgia where demons run loose and demon trapper's, well, trap them. Riley was a realistic, strong protagonist who I loved. She was snarky, and so was the other main (sort of) character, Denver Beck. And I was really surprised by how emotional the story got. I was hooked from the beginning and I loved it all the way through.
Riley Blackthorne is one of those girls who just doesn't let anyone push her around. She was smarter (most of the time) than your average butt-kicking teen, which I appreciated. Her backtalk and sarcasm made me laugh a lot. She was boneheaded sometimes, and she got on my nerves with her snap decisions, and she was definitely headstrong to a fault, but her flaws made her seem more fleshed-out and I liked her all the more for it. Speaking of boneheaded, my favorite character in Demon Trapper's was Beck, who was most definitely sarcastic and hilarious. He was a brilliant character, because he was also majorly flawed, but in a way that makes you love him. I loved how his and Riley's relationship developed, too. They were conflicting personalities, and Oliver did a great job of showcasing their like/hate relationship.
Like I said before, the story was really original and refreshing. It's always nice to see a girl standing up for what she believes in, and she was definitely not one to back down. There were a lot of twists and turns, and while the story was a bit predictable, it made up for it in originality and well-written plot twists. The story was a light one, but somehow I was still really emotionally attached to the characters. Oliver doesn't sugarcoat anything, that's for sure. At times I rolled my eyes at the cliche fighting scenes, or the somewhat cheesy dialogue, but overall I didn't mind so much. Oliver did sound like a teenager when writing for Riley, too, which is always great in a YA novel.

The back story and set-up for the novel was great. I really loved the way the demons were written and portrayed. Their wasn't a ton of background provided, but the facts and laws of Oliver's new world were pretty easy to comprehend. And the writing wasn't bad either. There wasn't anything super special about it, but it meshed well with the tone of Demon Trapper's and it wasn't distractingly bland or boring. The pacing was really good, which adds a lot to an action story like this one.
Okay, so the story did have its problems. One was definitely Riley's snap judgments and over-dramatic descriptions.I was slightly reminded of Marked and Zoey at points (shudder) with her sudden hatred for girls who look mean. And also, I didn't totally feel Riley and Simon's relationship. Simon was nice, and sweet, and I cared about him, but he was so plain and forgettable. And with Riley's recklessness and wild spirit, it didn't seem like a match. It seemed, well, boring. I gotta admit, if it does come down to it, I'm gonna be on Team Beck. I could really see something happening there, and I'm hoping for it. Lastly, the ending was a little bizarre. Okay, the whole story was bizarre, but the ending seemed way more bizarre than everything else. But oh well.

The Demon Trapper's Daughter was a great read. It was funny, action-packed, romantic at times, and even emotional. Riley was a likable, flawed but in a real way, protagonist who I will definitely enjoy reading more of. Beck was a fantastic charcter with a unique personality and sarcasm. The story was out-there, but it worked. And the writing, while not amazing, had its really great moments, and was fitting for the light, easy reading. I'd recommend it to fans of action YA and readers looking for a book with a strong main character.
Covering the Cover: Another great Elevensie cover. I love the way Riley is shown, and the colors blend really nicely.
Characters: 4.5/5
Plot: 5/5
Writing: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4.5 stars


Kat said...

I came *this* close to buying this book today! Got the Iron Witch instead-- see you're reading that now. :)

I'm glad to hear that the story is deeper emotionally than you thought it would be-- that's kinda what put me off buying it. Sounds like a really cool concept; thanks for the review!

Natalie Mulford said...

I was surpised by how much I loved reading this book! It's my fave read of the year so far! I thought it was something a little new. It has a lot of individual ideas that I really enjoyed.

I agree with your thoughts on the character, though I don't think Rileys quite as bad as Zoey :P As for Simon, I agree. I'm totally a Beck girl!

xox Nat

Post a Comment

Thanks for taking the time to comment! I really enjoy reading y'alls' thoughts and I read all of my comments.

Happy reading and DFTBA. (:

Viewers since October 2010

Blogoversary Countdown

Get your own free Blogoversary button!