Demon Trapper's Daughter, by Jana Oliver
(This may be a first! A review written and posted immediately after finishing the book)
Riley Blackthorne just needs a chance to prove herself – and that’s exactly what the demons are counting on… 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. 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? (summary from GoodReads)
The Demon Trapper's Daughter was a quick, action-packed read. I liked Riley, and believed that she was a 17 year old girl. In some ways an adult, and in some ways still young (and stubborn and impetuous and emotional). She's brave, but at the same time scared. I also liked Beck, Riley's father's trainee and Riley's former-crush-now-kind-of-big-brother-but-not-really. Although at times, I felt his character fell a bit into too much of a cliche. And I look forward to seeing if some of the other secondary characters - Peter, Simon, Oli, and even Martha - are fleshed out a bit more in the upcoming books. I hope they are. I also liked the concept of the book -- it made me nostalgic for Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, and would definitely appeal to fans of those shows (like me!) The only real hangup I had with the book, is that the world building was lacking for me. The setting - urban Atlanta - was spot-on. I could see Atlanta around me. But the foundation of this alternate reality just wasn't developed enough for me. What are the rules of this world? Why are things the way they are?
Maybe not the best book I've ever read, but over all an enjoyable book. A nice quick read if you're in the mood for action and butt-kicking.