Archive for March 7th, 2011

The Demon Trapper's Daughter by Jana Oliver

Goodreads’ synopsis:

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 ass. One thing’s for sure – if she doesn’t keep her wits about her there’ll be hell to pay…

So maybe this is a sign that I’m getting indecisive in my old age, but I’m having a hard time making up my mind about The Demon Trapper’s Daughter. Don’t get me wrong, I was enough of a fan that I’ll definitely pick up book #2 when it comes out in the fall.  And I’ll pick it up with high hopes for its awesomeness.

This first book has a lot going for it–namely a spunky yet relatable heroine (Riley) with clear goals in life (voila, instant plot), as well as lots of drama and a good dose of bad luck. There are plenty of interesting guys, including a caring father, a long-time best-friend-who-might-want-to-be-more (Peter), and 3 (yes, three) good-looking guys who think she’s hot stuff. Hunky hero #1 (Beck) comes with a dark and secretive past and a parent complex, hunky hero #2 (Simon) supplies the goody-two-shoes persona and golden boy charisma, and hunky hero #3 (Ori*) is our tall dark & handsome Mr. Mysterious. The demons she hunts provide both adventure and a bit of humor here and there.

DTD truly is a good story, with a well-built world, so why wasn’t I in love after finishing it? Well, for one I wasn’t a big fan of Riley’s internal monologue. Here she is, this strong young woman who is (trying to be) mature beyond her years, both because that’s just who she is and because of the hard knocks life’s dealt her. And yet her internal monologue sounds like a 12-year-old’s.


What is it with these people? Do they, like, give them happy pills or something?”

I don’t know, but I get this feeling that YA authors think they have to use young and hip language in order for their teenage characters to feel authentic. I obviously shouldn’t be commenting on the topic (did you note my opening comment?), but I can assure you that EVEN at that age I NEVER thought or talked like that. Sure, some girls did, but they weren’t the kind of girls I hung out with…or want to read books about.

Second, Ms. Oliver needs to hire a new editor. OK, I’m overly anal, but the missing commas, lost periods, and incorrect pronouns (Riley became a “him” at least once) really detracted from the story.

That said, I will still recommend DTD to my YA paranormal/urban fantasy-loving friends 🙂

*I was amused by the use of the name “Ori”, as I very briefly dated an “Orie” in college.


4.5.11: So I felt the need to update my DTD review.  After I read the book, I wasn’t convinced that the book was wonderfully awesome.  Good?  Yes.  Awesome?  Hmm, maybe.  But now?  Time to upgrade to “awesome!”.  Why the change of heart?  Well, since I read a lot, I have a tendency to forget details of previous books after I start a new one.  (Dude, I can only have so many characters in my head at the same time!)  I’ve read 6 books (8 if you count the two I’m currently reading) since finishing DTD and I STILL can’t get Riley out of my head.  Nuff said.

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