Monday, 6 February 2017

The Demon Trapper's Daughter by Jana Oliver

The Demon Trapper's Daughter (The Demon Trappers, #1)

Series: The Demon Trappers
Author: Jana Oliver
Page Count: 355
Published: February 1st, 2011
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
  4 Stars ★★★★ 

Riley Blackthorne is training to become a professional demon trapper, just like her father. The job can be dangerous, and it soon becomes even more dangerous when the demons start to take an interest in her over the other demon trappers. She doesn't know why, and neither does anyone else, but she knows that she has her father to count on. That is, until tragedy strikes. 

Now Riley has to make ends meet her own way, taking dangerous risks, both possibly costing her her life or her heart. As discoveries come to light, she doesn't know who she can trust. 

First, I have to mention that I love the demons that the author included in this world. I was expecting sexy monsters and a paranormal love triangle, but that wasn't what I got at all. Instead, I got scary demons with seriously evil plans, along with a few smaller, harmless ones. I could only imagine the fear that Riley felt living in this world, where demons could wreak havoc in libraries, malls, schools, and in addition, having to be the one to trap them. 

Aside from the great take on the demonic side, the romantic aspects were also well done. There were hints of a love triangle, but nothing concrete, although I do suspect that this will change in the next book. Simon, Riley's eventual boyfriend, was extremely sweet and I could understand why she would want to be with him. Besides the romantic aspects, her relationship with her friends, Beck and Peter got complicated at times, which was also interesting. She seems to have a love-hate relationship with Beck, one moment they were arguing, the next she was thankful to have him in her life. As for Peter, he was a loyal friend who cared a lot about her, and worried about her too. I thought that they were great characters to have within the book, and although they weren't main characters in the sense that Riley was, I think they were definitely fleshed out enough to seem as real as she did.

I've read many books where those in paranormal situations are rich or at least well off. When things get tough for Riley, she has to support herself in a horrible economy and a world plagued by demons, which is completely opposite what I'm used to. I liked this because it merges real life issues, like young people dealing with stress and low income, with fictional ones, such as demon trapping. I love when books do this because it gives me more to focus on, more problems that the characters have to face, and it makes the whole situation all the more believable. Jana Oliver succeeded in this book!

My only issue with this was the explanation, or lack thereof, of the world that Riley lived in. It seems like some kind of alternative world where people are just used to having demons around....there wasn't much explanation as to how the demon issue became so bad, or even came to be in the first place. If this world had been dealing with demons forever, the author still could have added a mention of some sort to convey this to the reader, but I feel like this wasn't effectively explained and I still find myself unsure as to whether there was some kind of event concerning the demons or if it is just a natural part of this world. 

Overall this was a very enjoyable novel with an interesting take on demons and great characters. While the world-building had something missing, mixing up real life problems with paranormal problems made Riley's situation seem all the more believable. 

I recommend this book to YA readers interesting in books about trapping or hunting paranormal creatures. If you want a book with great writing, interesting characters, and demons, this book is for you.

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