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Saturday, September 29, 2012

[Review] The Demon Trapper's Daughter (The Demon Trappers, #1) by Jana Oliver

Title: The Demon Trapper's Daughter
Series: The Demon Trappers, #1
Author: Jana Oliver
Pages: 340 (Paperback)
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: February 1, 2011

Demon Trapper Riley Blackthorne just needs a chance to prove herself—and that’s exactly what Lucifer is counting on…

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.

Riley is the daughter of a well renowned demon trapper, and the only female trapper (besides the one on some reality TV show). When her father is killed on the job, Riley must cast a protective circle around his grave and sit vigil until the next full moon or else necromancers will raise his corpse to be a servant to the wealthy. While Riley needs the money to cover the rent, utilities, food and her mother's hospital bills, she does not want her father returned to be a slave. Talk about a unique premise! I loved the premise of this book, and it's nothing like anything I've read before.

I also found the set up to be really interesting. It's Atlanta, Georgia in the near future which has been overrun by demons and is totally bankrupt. There's potholes everywhere with demons lurking in their depths, and school is held in run down grocery stores, old Starbucks, and daycare centers. There's also a black market demon trade. The demon trappers are responsible for responding to demon sightings, while the church provides Holy water for fighting them and healing wounds. I just wondered how the city got to this point, and what the rest of the country is like.

Another thing that I wish was made more clear was why there are no female demon trappers. Is there a historical reason? Old fashion sexism? Or the author's way of having her female lead do something special? I just found it a little frustrating that Riley being the only girl among the trappers is constantly brought up, but with no explanation as to the why of the situation.

The Demon Trapper's Daughter is also a bit more mature than the normal YA, but it's nothing over the top. There's some strong language (a lot more than I was expecting), talk of sex, and violence. But the main character is 17, and the other character that is sometimes followed is in his 20s, so it works.

Unlike many YA paranormal novels, the romance load is very light. Sure Riley gets a boyfriend, but there's no claims of undying love or make-out sessions. This might be because Simon is a "good Catholic boy," but either way, the romance is kind of in the background. However, there does seem to be some hints at a love triangle. In my opinion, Simon doesn't even measure up. He's actually quite a boring character, but he didn't get enough page time to develop. Beck on the other hand is the second POV so we really get to know him. He comes across as a jerk, but underneath that he's a good guy with some emotional demons (in addition to the real demons he fights everyday).

Overall, I really enjoyed this one. If you're looking for something a little different in the paranormal genre, where action outweighs the romance, I'd definitely recommend this one.


  1. I've been debating on whether or not to give this book a shot. After your review, I think I might put it on my TBR list! It's too bad the romance isn't very dominaate though ! Great review!

    1. I'm glad I could help you decide! It is a really good book, even without the romance we're use to in YA paranormals. :)

  2. Unfortunate about the whole "only female of my kind" thing—it always feels like such a cop-out to me. This does look pretty good, though, all things considered, especially since the teen romance doens't take center stage.

  3. I've read the book and I absolutely LOVED it!

    I think the world-building is really creative. It also helps that Riley is one heck of a hard-ass protagonist. She doesn't back down on anything, I know there are a lot of female protagonists like her out there but with the situations she was in, I think her characteristics really helped shape the story. Unlike other books that I've read with strong protagonists who at times just reminded me of being stupidly stubborn, Riley really captured my heart and I really like her. I do think Jane Oliver was a little hard on Riley though. Almost everything she does ended up blowing up on her face, she can't even have a proper relationship with Jane actually whacking it within one book (if you read the next 2 books, you'll see what I am talking about) and I really felt bad for Riley...

    Well, long story short, I love this book and am happy that you enjoyed it too! ;)


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