Riley's beginning to think being a demon trapper isn't all it's cracked up to be. Her dad's been stolen by a necromancer, her boyfriend's gone all weird and she's getting warm and fuzzy feelings for someone who's seriously bad news. It's tempting to give it all up and try to be normal, but that's not an option. Because the demons have plans for Riley. And they're not the only ones.
WARNING: Review contains SPOILERS for The Demon Trapper’s Daughter (also published as “Forsaken”).
Another great book and a great sequel, I couldn’t wait to devour Soul Thief after I finished The Demon Trapper’s Daughter. Riley is a remarkably likeable character. Even though she has demons after her and some kind of huge destiny looming she still deals with things like bills, boy troubles, and the misogyny in the demon trapper guilds, and it makes her very relatable. And although bills and misogyny are problems for Riley this book slows down in order to really be all about the boy troubles. Don’t get me wrong, there is still plenty of demon hunting, killing, and side issues for Riley to deal with. But I also like how the romantic plots developed along reasonable, realistic lines. I really liked how the realism wasn’t only a realistic relationship, but also realistic for a girl of Riley’s age. It seems that sometimes adult authors put too much of their current relationships into books and forget that when you’re a teenager romance is different and permanence seems like such a tenuous thing.
I liked the relationship with Simon. He seemed like a nice, normal boy that was safe and relatable for Riley. A relationship like that is something that every teen girl needs, and it’s nice to see her get in a few relationships before she finds that head-over-heels forever kinda love. I can really understand how Riley could see the forever kinda love staring her in the face and run away to a safe, boring relationship because she’s just not ready for commitment and scared of forever at that point in her life. I’ve been there, and even if Oliver has not she’s got the feelings and actions down well enough to make Riley very convincing at it. The ending to their relationship is also logical, and I like how Riley still has feelings for Simon while she’s also developing feelings for Beck and while Simon is having serious doubts about her (and trying his hardest to hurt her in the process in order to push her away). Beck is also great, you can see his conflict between his developing feelings for Riley and his desire to honor and avenge the memory of her father. Ory, though, I just don’t know about. Although he puts himself out as Riley’s protector there is something suspicious about him that makes me not trust him as a romantic interest. Perhaps it is because I suspect he is more supernatural than he lets on, and I just don’t want the series to turn into a demon/human or angel/human romance thing. I really like how romance isn’t a priority with Riley, and I hope the series continues to be about her problems with demon-hunting and her relationships only form a side-plot.
The only real problem I had with this book is the twist ending. It was brilliant move, totally in keeping with everything before it and yet entirely unexpected, but it makes me way too anxious for the next book! I’m also a little upset that the series is being republished under different names and covers, but that’s just because I like my book series to be the same and I’d rather not repurchase books just to get covers in the same theme. I may, though, if I ever get to see Jana Oliver again. I’m very glad she attended Dragon*Con last year because it made me pick up her books, and I only regret that I had to lecture myself during her signing in the dealer’s room and wasn’t able to get her to autograph the books. I’m rather sad that I can’t go back to Dragon*Con next year, because I seem to find the best books and authors by just walking through the dealer’s room or sitting in the Young Adult Literature track and hearing them speak about what’s good. I can’t thank them enough for Diana Peterfreund and Beth Revis, and now I also owe then for Jana Oliver. Hopefully soon WorldCon and Dragon*Con will diverge again and I will be able to come back.