Synopsis: 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?
My Review: There has been an increase of hype on this book lately and from all the reviews I read it seemed like a pretty good read. They all promised tons of action packed fight scenes and a twisted plot. I'm happy to say that The Demon Trapper's Daughter was one of those rare reads that lived up to the hype.
While this book contains a possible love quadrangle (is that a word?) I'm going to try not to dwell on all the guys in this book, because for me there is only one choice for Riley. Ninety percent of the time I really liked Riley. She was tough, witty, and had a "don't mess with me" attitude that I loved from the start. Having lost her mother to cancer at 14, her dad is the only family she has left. The two of them are incredibly close and Riley wishes to follow in her father's footsteps. She's the only girl in an all male occupation and she has to prove herself to the Guild. The other 10% of the time I just really kind of wanted to slap her. The phrase "whiny little brat" comes to mind. When I was 13 I don't think I ever conducted myself in that childlike of a manner. Riley was the most prejudiced MC I've read about in a long time. When she was fifteen she had a huge crush on Den (or Beck as she calls him). Den is five years older than her, newly returned from the war in Afghanistan, and is her father's new apprentice. Den rejects her on grounds of propriety and she forever holds a grudge? What?! Just what?! Huh?! I mean she totally hates his guts because of it. No matter what he does, it's wrong because he rejected her all those years ago. Childish much? Definitely. I half expected her to stomp her foot. I'm not saying that Riley had to be perfect, humans are flawed, characters should be too, but man was it annoying.
Okay I am devoting one paragraph to the guys in this book. Only one! Let's see there is Beck, Simon, and Ori. There's also Peter but he fits the role as designated best friend who has a secret crush and he just doesn't count. Nor do we actually get to meet him in the book other than phone conversations... Ori, the demon hunter, similarly doesn't count because he is just hunky eye candy who randomly helps out Riley a few times and saves her life on another. There's definitely a reason why Simon's nickname is "Saint". He is freakishly religious. I'll admit I am hugely biased right now. Hard core religious types freak me out so my judgment of him is probably not going to be fair. He is an incredibly nice guy, I'll give him that. Always courteous (even to the demons) and he's a perfect gentleman. Don't find that quality in many twenty year old apprentice demon hunters. Although he is the love interest, I just couldn't see why. Where was the spark between him and Riley? There wasn't one, that was the problem. He's sweet, cute, and treats Riley right, but do I see the relationship going anywhere? Absolutely not.
Okay I'm breaking my one paragraph rule. Denver Beck has to be one of my all time favorite male characters in a very long time. Den was Riley's father's apprentice, and was there the night Paul died. Den's banter and taunting while he was hunting demons was plain hysterical. He's sharp witted and is incredibly brave and fills the role of big brother for Riley. However, Den is a lot more than he seems. I'm very, very glad that we got his occasional POV throughout the story. If his POV wasn't included I probably wouldn't have liked him nearly as much. He was in the army when he was just a teenager and returned forever changed by the horrors of war. He care's deeply about Riley and will do whatever it takes to keep her safe, even if that means making her hate him. I could probably go on and on about Den because he was just that awesome, but I'll let you read to find out for yourself.
What really won me over on this book was it's originality. I loved how Jana explored the other side of the spectrum for the Heaven VS Hell battle. All the YA genre is lately is angels, angels, fallen angels, and more angels. Demons! Finally! Thank you! Hurrah! The whole concept of humans trapping demons was truly imaginative. The whole system of Holy Water manufacturing, trapping contracts, the rival hunters, and the Vatican's system for purging demons from the earth was truly fascinating. Major props for creativity. It was well thought out and truly enjoyable to read about. I even enjoyed all the demons. The litttle Biblios (every book bloggers worst nightmare!) were horrendous, but funny. I thought the Magpies were just plain adorable, partially because they go around stealing shiny things dressed as a ninja. The little ones were funny and would flip Riley off about every chance they got. The bigger ones on the other hand were a lot more terrifying. Though I have to say every time a Level 3 said "Crush your booones!" and waved it's claws about I burst out into hysterical laughter. But hey, that's just me and my weird sense of humor.
Overall, an incredibly original read that will keep you entertained from start to finish. It was full of fights (of the demon and fellow trapper type) and will keep you at the edge of your seat. The few minor character flaws in Riley are easily overlooked for the amazing overall story. If you're tired of the same old same old, then you definitely need to read this.