Author: Jana Oliver
Genre: Teen Fiction, Paranormal Fiction
Publication Date: February 1, 2011
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
ISBN-13 Book: 978-0312614782
Source: Received ARC from author for For What It's Worth Book Tours. This is my honest review!
The Demon Trapper's Daughter by Jana Oliver
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Riley Blackthorne is the daughter of Paul Blackthorne, a legendary demon trapper. Seventeen year old Riley longs to follow in her father's footsteps, but sexism, old grudges, and the demon's themselves all seem to want to prevent her from doing that. When the unthinkable happens, Riley must learn how to stand alone and find her inner strength to combat those who would rather see her fail.
Jana Oliver's character development is spot on. I loved Riley. She was tough, realistic, and yes, she still had some uncertainties. Her flaws were realistic as were her actions. What really impressed me though is Oliver's character development with the supporting characters. Denver Beck was also a well rounded and interesting character with a past that continues to taint his present and his perspectives. Simon the other apprentice demon trapper, loves Riley and has plans of his own and his own faith. Even Harper, the Master Demon Trapper, has a multifaceted personality and I found I wanted to know more about all of them. Oliver's characters pull you in and you find yourself eager to hear more of their stories.
This is definitely the first novel in a series and it leaves much to be revealed. Perhaps too much. I kind of felt that the story ended too abruptly and that I didn't get a satisfying ending. It definitely leaves you with a cliff hanger, but most books with give you some conclusion to the events in addition to the cliff hanger. I didn't feel that here. I felt that the ending left me empty-handed and that I really didn't know any more than I did in the beginning. Hopefully future novels will rectify this flaw and give us the substance we need to continue with the story.
The story is fast paced and virtually non-stop action. While this is a good thing that will keep the readers flipping the pages it also works against the novel. The pace is too quick sometimes, and explanations are never offered for events or circumstances. I would really like more detail on the history proceeding the events in the novel and the situation in the would, as it is alluded to, but never fully explained.
I am going to mention one other thing that has me concerned about this book. This book has presented some what of a librarian's conundrum for me. Although the book is written for teens and marketed to teens it has somewhat of an adult feel to it. There is language and sexual references, that although toned down from what you would find in an adult book, left me feeling like this book would have been better suited to being an adult book. There is a fine line that you walk sometimes between adult materials and teen materials especially in small town conservative libraries. I was not personally offended by anything in this book, but I could see some of my teen patrons and their parents not feeling comfortable with a couple of the sexual references. Before I get too far, let me say that it isn't anything more explicit than you would find in a House of Night novel by Cast. I just feel, after having read the whole book, that it would have been better if the author had just written the book for adults--it would have felt right. As it is, it feels like an adult novel that has been toned down for the teens. I don't know if I am expressing this correctly, but it just didn't fit.
Overall, I enjoyed this book, although I wish there could have been more substance. It is a first novel in a series and I look forward to what future novels will bring. I do intend to read the next book series just to see what will happen next.
Cautions for sensitive readers: Violence, language, and sexual references and situations.
View all my reviews