Author: Jana Oliver
Series: The Demon Trappers #1
Published: February 7th 2011 by MacMillan Children's Books
Length: 448 pages
Warnings: demons, witches, magic, a bit of romance
Other info: The website is http://www.demontrappers.co.uk , and you can find Jana Oliver here. Book 2, Soul Thief/Forbidden, should be out in August.
Summary: Riley has always wanted to be a Demon Trapper like her father, and she's already following in his footsteps as one of the best. But it's tough being the only girl in an all-guy world, especially when three of those guys start making her life more complicated: Simon, the angelic apprentice who has heaven on his side; Beck, the tough trapper who thinks he's God's gift, and Ori, the strikingly sexy stranger who keeps turning up to save her ass. One thing's for sure - if she doesn't keep her wits about her there'll be hell to pay...
Review: Post apocalyptic Atlanta (or at least close to an apocalypse) we start with Riley Blackthorne, in a library, who has been sent to eradicate the demon in said library who just happens to want to destroy all the books. Obviously, in a library, with precious books, you need to get rid of the demon. Riley attempts to do so by reading a classic book to it. This starts off ok, but all goes wrong when the demon goes berserk. Riley then captures it, whilst Beck turns up to bring her back to Trapper HQ. Various things happen...then Riley’s dad gets killed by a powerful demon (not going under a spoiler block because most of the book revolves around this), and Riley opts to do graveside vigil each night to stop any necromancers making the body into what is basically a zombie. Around this, Riley is slightly falling in love with Simon, and attempting to get good enough at demon trapping to go after the powerful demon that killed her dad.
I know you shouldn’t get hyped up about a book from its summary, but honestly, I did. However this is slightly misleading as Ori doesn’t have much of a big part and (I think) Simon is just human, while the blurb implies he’s an angel. Blurb aside, on with the actual book....
Everything was explained well. The description and detail made me feel a part of their world, and the narrative, while being slightly odd at first (I’m used to books like these being in first person, this is in third) worked well for this book.
Riley was a very believable character. Not too perfect, but good enough at what she does to be interesting. You could get quite close to her, and understand her emotions at all points in the book.
Simon was pretty boring, he didn’t seem to do much until near the end, and although I got a clear image of what he’s like, I didn’t feel that close to him and considering he’s supposed to be a major character, that not very good.
Ori, I did not see the point of at all. He came into the book far too late to get interested in, and didn’t seem to do much either except compliment Riley. I’d like to see more of him in book 2, or otherwise I will feel that his existence is pointless.
The supporting characters were good. Paul (Riley’s dad) was easy to imagine and connect with (at least while he was alive), as was Ayden, the witch who acts as mentor to Riley from two thirds in.
It was well written. It was mainly fast paced, especially the fight scenes. Some parts dragged on slightly too long though, which is a bit of a letdown, and while the descriptions add to the imagery and the atmosphere, there were some details that I don’t think we NEEDED to know, and slowed the book down a bit. And some bits, I’m not sure if we were meant to take in all of the details (thinks about learning what each sphere is for). But I tried and forgot.
I particularly enjoyed the dialogue. You got a clear sense of the relationships between all the characters and could easily understand what each thought of each other, as well as learning a bit more about the characters individually.
There was a little bit of romance in it. The Riley loves Ori bit was obvious, but wasn’t there enough to really enjoy it, and the Riley loves Simon bit sort of distracted from the story but was good because it gives a motivation for the ending.
Overall: I give this strength 3 tea and recommend it to fans of urban fantasy, and those who like the books with “heroine fights paranormal, paranormal fights back” idea.