Title: The Demon Trapper’s Daughter
Author: Jana Oliver
Publisher: St Martins Pr
Publication Date: February 1, 2011
Plot Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.
I love books that start with action right out of the gate. The Demon Trapper’s Daughter does just that, as Riley traps a ‘bibliofiend’ demon in a law library to disastrous results. There are plenty of thrills and scares as the plot chugs along, and although one or two plot elements were a tad predictable, there were still several surprises that I did not anticipate.
Oliver’s world-building is solid, though it is depressing to see that Riley faces discrimination and sexual harassment in the year 2018. I was intrigued by the descriptions of Atlanta overrun with demons and hellspawn of all description (and thank goodness, angels) where gas is over $10 a gallon and school is held in abandoned Starbucks and old grocery stores. And oh yeah, the dead can be reanimated as servants for the rich.
Riley is a sympathetic heroine even if you do want to shake her every once in awhile—that just makes her that much more believable. I also enjoyed the character of Beck, despite his tendency to say “ya” and “yer.” That is a pet peeve of mine because it normally pulls me right out of a story, so the fact I kept reading anyway is a testament to the strength of Oliver’s storytelling. I also really liked “Nice Catholic Boy” Simon, although we don’t get into his head like we do Beck’s and therefore he was not as fully developed.
I will definitely be reading the next book in the series! I would recommend The Demon Trapper’s Daughter to fans of dark paranormal stories, especially upper YA and older (due to language and some suggestive content).