By Jana Oliver
Series: The Demon Trappers #2
Published on: August 5th 2011
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
But as Atlanta’s demon count increases, the Vatican finally sends its own Demon Hunters to take care of the city’s “little” problem, and pandemonium breaks loose. Only Riley knows that she might be the centre of Hell’s attention: an extremely powerful Grade 5 demon is stalking her, and her luck can't last forever...
We’ve already reviewed the first book in the series: Forsaken. And here we come with the review of the second book today which is no less than its prequel.
When I read Jana Oliver’s Forsaken, I was sure that I would read the second book of the series as well as it was really gripping. Yet I was apprehensive if Oliver would be able to create the same magic in Forbidden as she had done with Forsaken. And after I have leafed through the book, I say Ms. Oliver has done it again.
Like the previous book, this one too has been released with two different names and covers in the USA and UK as Soul Thief and Forbidden, respectively. Again, the former wins the race of having the prettier package.
Forbidden continues the journey of Riley Blackthorne after Forsaken. After the disaster in the tabernacle, demon hunters are brought in to get the demon population under control. Riley is in the quest of her father and her relationship with Simon is deteriorating. To add to her never ending list of things to do, she is also probing the problems with the Holy water. Just like Forsaken, Forbidden does not go light and fluffy. It is gritty, harsh, and mesmerizing to the very end.
This book sees Riley as a much more mature protagonist who is able to stand on her own feet. The beautiful thing about it is that we got to know a lot more about Riley in this one. She struggles, rises and falls and struggles again. Hardly does Riley get a break in the book. The author makes you sympathise with Riley at every weak moment of hers.
The one I loved the most, Ori, was a character exquisitely made. Ori is this dark gorgeous demon hunter, who would always be by Riley’s side. But he is not black and white and cleanly cut, and his shades of gray add more to Riley’s troubles.
My favourite parts of the story were learning more about the mysterious Ori and the tension-filled scenes between Riley and Beck.
I love Oliver's writing style. It is engaging, flows beautifully, and is so easy to read. What I really appreciated about this novel were the twists. Jana Oliver again demonstrates her ability to write a page-turning read that also touches the emotions. Part of her talent is for engaging the feelings we all encounter: loss, betrayal, doubt, confusion, friendship, lust, the need to be loved. She makes us live through them as if for the first time. The bow on the package is how she wraps all of this in a supernatural context that is becoming gratifyingly complex.
The ending is a complete shocker. Also, there are many loose threads in the book, probably left intentionally, to be tied up in the next book of the series- Forgiven.
I recommend, if you have read Forsaken, do buy Forbidden as soon as possible. You won't regret it.