Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Book Review: The Demon Trapper's Daughter by Jana Oliver

Pages: 340
Genre: YA Fantasy
Pub. Date: February 1, 2011
ARC received through LibraryThing's Early Reviewer Program
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "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?"

Riley Blackthrone is the daughter of a famous Demon Trapper.  It's 2018 -  demons roam the earth and the United States isn't in a very good position. There are many, many people out of work, school is now held in old buildings and classes don't meet daily, the cost of gas is astronomical, people steal things for money, etc.  Riley and her dad can barely get by, which is why Riley is training to follow in her dad's footsteps. She wants to become a demon trapper as well.  She is an average seventeen year old girl otherwise.  She has a crush on her fellow apprentice Simon, she has to deal with mean girls, school work, and her best friend, Peter.  Her life seems somewhat ok until tragedy strikes Riley's world and things will never be the same again.  The Demon Trapper's Daughter by Jana Oliver is a fun debut that fans of urban fantasy will love to be caught up in.

The world that Oliver creates, I must admit, is extremely unique.  The various demons and the background regarding their temperaments, how to kill them, etc,  is something I've never encountered. Also, if you enjoy a lot of action, Oliver really jam packed her debut with a lot of it.  Riley is always getting herself into dangerous situations and isn't one to back down.  There was a lot of serious action, which I enjoyed and it had me at the edge of my seat.  

The character of Riley is simply a good time. She has a never-back-down attitude, a mean stubborn streak and she's very feisty, which makes for an interesting read.  Her love interest, Simon, is a seriously good guy and I enjoyed their blossoming relationship.  Beck, on the other hand, is her dad's old partner and he drove me nuts.  Perhaps it was his overdone southern accent and his deep love for alcohol?

I had many questions while reading this book and I wish that Oliver had given her readers more of a back story.  For example, the year is 2018, which is not far off, yet there are demons (scary ones at that) roaming the earth.  I wanted to know more about how that came to be; plus, how did the United States became such a mess in such a few short years? Maybe I would have believed it more had the setting been farther in the future?  Because of my state of disbelief regarding the setting and the lack of background, I feel that is why I couldn't fully enjoy the novel as much as I was hoping.  However, this book is part of series, so maybe I will give it a try again in the future.

*Check out the website


  1. Sounds pretty good. While, I'm must admit I'm fascinated by the demonology, I tend to be a chicken and steer clear of them. GREAT review :)

  2. Awesome review! I will ahve to check it out! :D


  3. Thanks, JuJu!

    Zakiya- Thank you I will have to check it out!

  4. Great review. I'll have to put this on my to-read list.

  5. I think I'll keep this on my wishlist for awhile. I'm a bit tired of okish reads at the moment. Great and honest review, Christina :)

  6. I really want to read this now. Loved your review. It was very honest and intriguing. XD

  7. I had some trouble with this one as well, but it's funny to see how the things that bothered you (mainly Beck) were the things I liked most! Simon was a little too perfect for me, I'm just a sucker for the damaged boys like Beck:) Nice review Christina!

  8. This one sounds pretty good, but for this kind of book I require world building, so would probably like a major back story with everything explained for me! Great review. :)


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