Author: Jana Oliver
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Number of Books: Four
Review: Four Stars
I enjoyed these books. It took me a couple tries to get into them, but I was intrigued from the moment I saw the title and synopsis. It looked fun, quirky, and interesting-which it was. As the series progresses, each book is better than the last. I enjoyed each book more and read each one faster. What's interesting is the plot layout of the series. The first three are regular buildup and then final event, but then book three ends with a cliffhanger that left me going "What? I
thought this was a trilogy!" So I looked it up and ordered the fourth book, Foretold, from the library. There was no contest about it, I enjoyed it infinitely more than the other three. But there was one odd part. Foretold is like a really long denouement up until the last maybe third of the book. It's the characters figuring things out and resolving issues. They live in Atlanta, but travel to a small town farther south. When they get back, everything has gone to Hell in a hand basket, quite literally. It was an interesting plot twist and I enjoyed getting to know the male protagonist as well as his background more in this story.
The main character is Riley Blackthorn. She's a demon trapper for a living, and crazy things, well, crazier than normal, start to happen to her after her father dies. In the stories, she matures and grows by leaps and bounds. She's the only
woman in the trapping business, as well as one of the youngest. Because of that, she is treated like a child by many and even scorned by others for entering a job that has been all male for a long time. Yet Riley stands tall and doesn't crumble beneath the pressure. She makes mistakes, like anyone else. Though our problems are *slightly* different, I can still relate to Riley and her predicament. She's a likable character that I can't help but root for, through the good and the bad, the calm and the crazy, the sunshine and the storm. She makes some decisions that make me want to bang my head against the wall, but she learns from them and makes a better one the next time. The male protagonist Denver Beck, though everyone calls him Beck. This. Boy. Makes. Me. Want. To. Smash. My. Head. Against. A. Brick. He is difficult, not understanding in the least, and secretive about things he doesn't need to be. He
treats Riley like a child and pushes her away for the longest time. Though she makes her own choices, him pushing her away lead her to some of them. By the end of the series, Beck is a decent guy and I like him, but if only he could have been that way throughout the books. I like how he also has his weaknesses, which will not be disclosed in case of spoilers. Yet he learns to overcome and deal with these weaknesses, which is the best someone can do. Riley also a witchy friend named Ayden and a necromancer who she eventually becomes friendly with, Mortimer. The two of them are fun side characters that I adore and wish there was more of in the story.
The story is fun and easy. Many characters have heavy accents (Scottish, Southern, etc) which can make the dialogue hard to read, but it's fun decoding it as well. The reader sees strengths and weaknesses in everyone, and all the characters grow past their initial judgment. I wasn't sitting on the edge of my seat in anticipation, but I wasn't leisurely strolling through the book either. It was a nice fast pace with just enough plot twists to keep it interesting. Overall, I enjoyed this series and may one day read it again. It gets a solid four stars.
I’ve always been a bit “outside the box” and when I started writing I didn’t deviate from that plan. Flaunting conventional wisdom, I self-published my first three books in an effort to learn how publishing actually works. I learned a lot, including such arcane skills as how to calculate a book’s spine size and typeset a manuscript.
After spending a couple years honing my skills, I sold my Time Rovers® Series to Dragon Moon Press in 2005. That series (SOJOURN, VIRTUAL EVIL and MADMAN’S DANCE) was nominated for fifteen awards and has won twelve to date. Which still amazes me. I’ve also sold short stories and non-fiction articles for various anthologies.
My ultimate goal was a contract with one of the major publishing houses and that came to fruition in April 2009 when I signed with St. Martin’s Press. The Demon Trappers Series, a Young Adult Urban Fantasy series set in Atlanta, debuted in January 2011 in the United Kingdom and February 2011 in the United States. I’ve also written short fiction and non-fiction for various anthologies.
Though I’m an Iowan by birth, I live in Atlanta. I credit my crazy imagination for my success and honestly believe I have the best job in the world. And I love single malt scotch and expensive chocolate. Not a bad combination.
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It’s the year 2018, and with human society seriously disrupted by the economic upheavals of the previous decade, Lucifer has increased the number of demons in all major cities. Atlanta is no exception. Fortunately, humans are protected by Demon Trappers, who work to keep homes and streets safe from the things that go bump in the night. Seventeen-year-old Riley, only daughter of legendary Demon Trapper Paul Blackthorne, has always dreamed of following in her father’s footsteps. When she’s not keeping up with her homework or trying to manage her growing attraction to fellow Trapper apprentice, Simon, Riley’s out saving citizens from Grade One Hellspawn. Business as usual, really, for a demon-trapping teen. When a Grade Five Geo-Fiend crashes Riley’s routine assignment at a library, jeopardizing her life and her chosen livelihood, she realizes that she’s caught in the middle of a battle between Heaven and Hell.
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