Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Forsaken: The Demon Trappers by Jana Oliver

Published Date: February 7th, 2011
Pages: UK Edition, 448 pages
Age Group: Young Adult
Publisher: MacMillan Children's Books
My rating: 4.7/5

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'm basically just going to ramble about just how AMAZING this book is, so bear with me! :P I finished this book in just one day. I totally love the world Jana Oliver has created, and I never regretted picking this book up. It is told in dual narratives between Riley and Beck, her smart-talking and yet damaged friend who is a twenty-year-old trapper apprentice of her father's. And once again I am very impressed with the narration and the characterization of the characters. 

The demon trapping business, is a man's business in this book. And with Riley's father being the top dog in the business, she definitely wants to make a name for herself, while still respecting him. But if you think that was easy for her, it sure wasn't. There is a certain grittiness to this book, especially with all the supernatural and paranormal elements going around. Forsaken has got everything from demons (of course), vampires, ghosts, angels, necromancers and even zombies. But Jana had a way of introducing that world to us with a kick-ass subtlety. 

Riley is a strong character, it was very enjoyable to watch her develop throughout the  book, taking care of herself to make her way through the demons. She stands her ground, even against the seemingly dominant male power in the demon trapping business. And yet, Jana Oliver maintains her character because Riley is vulnerable at the same time, she isn't perfect. She is constantly tested and she makes mistakes. But I love what it took for her to fight back through her imperfections, that made her believable to me. And Beck is a truly fun and fascinating character to get to know. Through his sharp words, I could still see that he's a very loyal, funny and protective character....and, also an eventual guardian for Riley, even though she thinks he's a jerk sometimes. But THAT's what made him believable to me too. He's been through a whole lot more struggles with his time as a demon trapper, and that's what makes him who he is. Another beautifully damaged character once again. 

The relationships in this book, the dedication of introducing the paranormal elements, brought this story alive in my head. This imaginative and creative story is leaving me itching to get the next book! I can't wait to see what Jana Oliver has in store for all of us. 

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