Friday, 19 September 2014

Forsaken by Jana Oliver

Alternate Title: The Demon Trapper's Daughter (USA)
Series: The Demon Trappers, Book One
Publisher: Macmillan
Format: Paperback
Published: 7th January 2011
Number of Pages: 448
Book: Bought
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Dystopia, Futuristic, Magic, Action-Adventure, Thriller-Suspense, Mystery, YA
Recommended Age: 13+
Contains: Swearing, Violence, Death, Drug and Alcohol References
Author's Blog: Jana Oliver

Riley Blackthorne.  Kicking hell’s ass one demon at a time…
Riley has always wanted to be a Demon Trapper like her father, and she’s already following in his footsteps as one of the best.  But it’s tough being the only girl in an all-guy world, especially when three of those guys start making her life more complicated:
Simon, the angelic apprentice who has heaven on his side; Beck, the tough trapper who thinks he’s God’s gift, and Ori, the strikingly sexy stranger who keeps turning up to save her life.
One thing’s for sure – if she doesn’t keep her wits about her there’ll be hell to pay…
For Older Readers

Riley Blackthorne is the only child of legendary Demon Trapper Paul Blackthorne and is now following in his footsteps.  She's good too - not that the patriarchal idiots in charge of the Trapper's Guild appreciate that.  But with more and more demons coming into our world, they’re willing to let this girl into their all-man world.
Even after she totally screws up.  On a routine assignment, a Grade Five Geo-Fiend attacks.  In case you don't know, this is bad.  For one, Geo-Fiends are the highest level of demons under the Archdemons.  Two: demons don't work together.  Ever.  A Geo-Fiend shouldn't be helping a stupid little Grade One Biblio-Fiend out; it doesn't make sense.  But third, and even more worrying: why is the demon interested in Riley?  What does it want from her?
Trying to deal with necros, demons, the Guild, three hot guys and a sudden, devastating loss leaves Riley spiralling out of control.  
Who can she trust?  Who can she love?
And can she prove her worth - prove that she should be a Trapper?  While keeping her life - and her soul...?  While fighting the hardest damn battle the Trappers have ever faced?  When their most trusty weapon might be even less use than a fluffy little bunny?
And, more importantly, will her self-appointed keeper, the hot and infuriating Beck, let her do anything by herself?  Like, ever..? 
I’m going to start off by saying that I adored the setting of Forsaken.  You have so many hunter books now, thanks to Buffy and Supernatural.  And yes: this was a book about a demon trapper.  But it was set in the future – in a horrible world where much of society just seems to be falling apart thanks to a really serious economic crash that has left only the super-rich able to afford things like college or gas cars.  And then, of course, there's the whole demony-side...  Yeah, it was awesome.  I loved it!  It was so freaking cool!  And so different!  Basically, Forsaken was a book that was sure to win my heart before I even read the first word.  And man it succeeded.  It won my heart so damn quick and hard that I needed the next book.  Like, right now.  I'm hooked!  
Is it obvious that I loved Forsaken?  No?  Whoa.  Maybe I should expand...
Let's start with the characters.  I loved 'em all.  I especially loved how I could hear all the accents – I especially loved Beck's Southern drawl!  But, accents aside, my favourite character had to be Riley. She was just so brilliant – her witty quips and snarky comments were just hilarious and really reminded me of one Buffy Summers, AKA my fave kickass heroine ever!  Her habit of talking to herself was brilliant too – and so funny!  And she was strong as nails, tough as steel, but vulnerable too.  She was a totally kickass demon trapper, but she still had relationships problems, still got picked on.  She just felt real.  One-hundred-percent real real real.
And my joint favourite was without a doubt Denver Beck.  I adored Beck.  He was hot.  He was also such a sweetheart: the kindest, most caring guy ever.  He too was the perfect blend of steel and heart – he was one seriously epic fighter and Trapper, who took alcohol to meetings, wound people up (especially Riley) and acted pretty damn goofy.  But he was also so very vulnerable and broken.  I just loved all the hidden sides of Beck and he is definitely a huuuggee part of my needing to read on!  Team Backwoods Boy, people!  
The other guys in Riley's life were all very varying.  First off, Simon – such a sweetheart; so kind and good.    But he's a bit... I don’t know, too good?  Too... safe?  Ok, I admit.  I'm totally biased.  I like the snarky, bad-boy types.  So, basically, I'm a Beck girl through and through.  Sorry, Simon.  It's not your fault.  With Beck, you just didn't stand a chance with this girl. 
As for Ori... I kinda thought he'd have a bigger role, judging by the blurb.  But he only came in like over half way through.  However, he did have that whole mysterious-hot-type thing down.  He intrigued me.  I have two theories about him...  I can't wait to see which is right...
One of the guys I didn't like?  Harper.  I wanted to punch him.  Hard.  And yet... I don't know.  He had his redeeming factors.  Kinda.  Occasionally...   I don't like him by any stretch of the imagination, but I wouldn't shove him at a Five just for the hell of it.  High praise.  Kinda...
Enough of the characters and onto the world.  It was... well, terrifying.  It was just so gritty – even for urban fantasy.  I think it was the whole disintegrating society thing.  That added a whole other layer of grit.  And also just all the paranormal stuff too.  The demons... Well, I'd quite like a little Magpie.  They were cute.  But Geo-Fiends?  Grade Threes?  Um, no thanks.  Scary.  And Biblio-Fiends?  HELL NO!  Peeing on my books and destroying them?  I think I'd rather have a Grade Five in my house!  Of course, that's just the book addict talkin', not the, like, survival instinct part of me...  Speaking of: The necromancers terrified me...  But what was with the no-girls-in-trapper-club thing?  I mean, hellooo, sexist much, Trapper dudes?  And given how utterly kickass Riley is, you could do with a few more gals like her!  
Oh, but it’s good to know that McDonald's survives the demon apocalypse/collapse of society.  I've always been dreadfully, dreadfully worried that I won't be able to have a McFlurry one day.  My fears, it seems, are unneeded, though.
And yes.  That was all sarcasm.
But moving on... to the writing.  I freaking loved it.  Why?  Because the POV was split between Riley, who I loved, and Beck, who I freaking loved!  It was also really interesting – seeing his motives, seeing the world from his perspective.  Also, he's older than most YA narrators – more mature too.  Ergo: much more interesting perspective!  Kidding, kidding: I love Riley.  Love her to pieces.  But Beck... he was older, war-damaged, mature(ish) and... I just loved him, 'kay?  But seriously: loved the writing.  And the plot: I freaking LOVED the plot!  It was so awesomely... awesome.  So righteous and butt-kicking (I think they're two of Riley's favourite words).  I was totally hooked, start to finish.  And that ending!  Ohmigod!  Evil!  Gimme Forbidden.  Like now
With one kickass girl, a whole bunch of hot guys (hottest of all Beck) and a world to end all other paranormal worlds, Forsaken was one hell of a start to a series I just know I'm gonna love.  And to all you paranormal junkies out there?  Pick this up.  Right now.  It's so freaking awesome and unique and awesome.  And I know I said awesome twice, but it deserves two awesomes.  So pick it up!  It's freaking amazing and I can't wait to get my greedy little hands on Forbidden.
Dammit, where's a Magpie when you need one?

Star Rating:
4½ Out of 5

Read this book if you liked:
Fire City by Bali Rai
Carnival Of Souls by Melissa Marr
Billi SanGreal by Sarwat Chadda

Happy Reading


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