by Jana Oliver
Paperback, UK Edition, 422 pages
Series: The Demon Trappers #1
Published on: February 7th 2011
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
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.
Even though I am a diehard fan of all sorts of YA novels, fantasy is not my favourite genre. I cannot easily connect to the said genre. Most of the times, the emotional value of the books is too low. But Jana Oliver’s Forsaken or The Demon Trapper’s Daughter changed my view about fantasy to a great deal. If there is a good writer writing fantasy, you won’t find a scarcity of emotions.
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?
Forsaken - the first book of The Demon Trappers series was a heart pounding, adrenaline kicking novel that is really, really good for a first book in the series. It is set in Atlanta (where Jana Oliver actually lives) in 2018.
The book has been published with different names and covers in the USA and UK. For the name, Forsaken seems much better than The Demon Trapper’s Daughter but cover of the latter is much better.
Riley Blackthorne is a seventeen year old trainee Demon Trapper. Her father is a top Demon Trapper himself, which makes things harder for Riley. The others in the business assume that she’s trying to rise high using her father’s fame. Riley strives to prove that she is a competent Demon Trapper herself and is worth being called Paul Blackthorne’s daughter.
I absolutely loved Riley within a few pages. She is smart and independent, and although she has flaws, is stubborn, she doesn't take no for an answer and stands up for herself. She may have to work harder to prove her point and does make mistakes like everyone else but I find these qualities in her not only redeeming, but they also make her more human as a person, rather than a character.
Denver was equally lovable. Riley used to like Denver, some years ago. Their relationship is strained but it is great. The best character portrayed in the book, according to me, is Den. His life is in a mess and he is truly believable. He is a mix of dark and light shades and absolutely lovely.
The book is quite fast paced and gets you laughing and crying at the right times. As I said earlier, unlike the other fantasy or paranormal books, Forsaken is packed with emotions. Because normally, most writers pay more attention to the setting and the paranormal aspect of the world, rather than the characters and their development. Jana Oliver does a commendable job of balancing both wonderfully.
And for the lovers of romance, amidst all the anti-demon action there is a love triangle that will keep you swaying to and fro.
The thing I didn’t like about the book was that there was an unnecessary use of curses and swear words in between. Also, keeping in mind the target market, there is a great deal of violence in this book and sexual situations that are adult in nature, such as references to sexual violence, mentions of sex toys, and soliciting a minor. I also didn't like how there was a subtle mocking of people living in Southern USA.
To sum up, it’s a great book, with good characters and a strong plot. I personally am dying to know what Oliver’s got more for us in the next book of the series. I would definitely recommend giving it a go, even if it’s not your usual type. The book is perfect for teenagers between 14 and 18, both genders.
Review originally published on: http://vaultofbooks.com/a/review-forsaken