22 January 2012

The Demon Trapper’s Daughter / Forsaken by Jana Oliver


Demon Trapper Riley Blackthorne just needs a chance to prove herself—and that’s exactly what Lucifer is counting on… It’s the year 2018, and with human society seriously disrupted by the economic upheavals of the previous decade, Lucifer has increased the number of demons in all major cities. Atlanta is no exception. Fortunately, humans are protected by Demon Trappers, who work to keep homes and streets safe from the things that go bump in the night. Seventeen-year-old Riley, only daughter of legendary Demon Trapper Paul Blackthorne, has always dreamed of following in her father’s footsteps. When she’s not keeping up with her homework or trying to manage her growing attraction to fellow Trapper apprentice, Simon, Riley’s out saving citizens from Grade One Hellspawn. Business as usual, really, for a demon-trapping teen. When a Grade Five Geo-Fiend crashes Riley’s routine assignment at a library, jeopardizing her life and her chosen livelihood, she realizes that she’s caught in the middle of a battle between Heaven and Hell.
I think I’m going to surprise a lot of people when I say that what I found in The Demon Trapper’s Daughter was a great love story. It’s not apparent on the surface. The story is about Riley Blackthorne and her adventures (and problems) fighting demons and trying to become the first female demon trapper. Riley is a typical sarcastic teenager, but Oliver writes the sarcasm and teen angst very well and it seems to be natural in both the dialogue and in the narration. Riley’s romantic interest in the book is Beck, her father’s apprentice demon hunter, but there is little room for romance because they are busy fighting demons and Beck is twice as sarcastic and guarded as Riley is. No, this is not the great love story I found. The love story is between Riley and her father, Paul. The touching relationship between the two is a well developed pairing of the parental relationship of independent older teenagers and their authority figures, and you can really tell that loyalty and love are the foundation of Riley and Paul’s lives. Riley’s drive to be a demon trapper like her father is a result of this “daddy’s girl” relationship is the impetus behind the entire plot, but it never seems stilted or flimsy because Oliver set up the parental relationship so well. Riley herself is a great character and it is through her eyes that we see the future of Atlanta. I really liked how the plot was very specific about the places Riley lived, worked, and existed in. I could pinpoint on a map where the battle with the level-five or the old hotel sat in the city. Of course you can skip over these fun details and still find an action-packed read full of demon fights and strife, so there really is a little bit of something for everyone in this book.


  1. Thank you so much for highlighting Riley and her dad's solid relationship. So many YA novels have dysfunctional parents and I wanted Paul not to be one of those missing parents. Which means his departure is even more of a body blow to Riley because they are so close.

    1. I only write what I saw when I read it :D I agree about dysfunctional parents, some books confuse me with some of the stuff the lead characters get away with.

  2. So true! YA stories have either 1)an orphan 2) clueless parents or 3) clueless relatives.