Saturday, January 5, 2013

Book review: Foretold by Jana Oliver

Foretold (The Demon Trappers, Book 4) by Jana Oliver
YA paranormal*Paperback, US, 352 pages
Published December 11th 2012 by St. Martin's Griffin 

In FORETOLD, the fourth Demon Trappers novel by Jana Oliver, Riley faces the final battle for humanity and Beck's heart—and Hell is the least of her problems.

Now that Riley’s managed to (just barely) fend off Armageddon, everything’s changed. Well . . . most things. After their passionate kiss before the big battle in the cemetery, Beck is back to treating her like a little girl, as if nothing ever happened. While she’d love to just tell him off and move on, Riley vowed to take care of Beck the way he’s taken care of her since her father’s death—but she’s about to get a whole lot more than she bargained for. When she’s commissioned to go with Beck to his hometown and help him care for his dying mother, they stumble too close to a dark and murderous secret, one that Beck fears will drive Riley away from him forever. As chaos breaks loose, Riley may be Beck's only hope for redemption . . . and survival.

Meanwhile, up in Atlanta, it’s quickly becoming clear that Heaven may have won a battle, but the war is far from over. Riley and Beck face a stormy future, as Lucifer's ex-right-hand-man, Sartael, proves himself to be more resilient than anyone thought. He has Atlanta in his grip and is about to begin a brutal war with the prince of Hell. As the seconds tick down toward a final confrontation, it's up to Riley and the man she loves to finally defeat their old enemy, or lose everything they've fought for.

My thoughts:
There's a saying about parting is such sweet sorrow. With Foretold, that parting wasn't sweet, it was spectacular. Even though I was sad to have to say goodbye to a beloved series, Jana Oliver did her characters justice and gave readers the only send off this book needed and deserved.

Beck. What can I say about this guy? I used to think Jace from Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments was the IT guy for me in YA paranormal. You know the type: mysterious, brooding, dark, sexy as all heck, swoon-inducing, but then I met this guy named Beck. Soldier. Drinker. Mean. Pipe wielder. The quiet type. Redeemable. The more I read about him, the more I fell (hold up--fan gurl moment here). Yes, he has a heart of gold. He's a good guy. Loyal. Can be sexist. Has mom issues. But he trained under the best and he loves Riley, Paul Blackthorn's daughter. And she loves him too. THIS is what gives Foretold and the series as a whole its heart--the relationship, the conflict, the bantering, the KISS. Add in demons, fights, and more and these ingredients make this a great series.

Jana Oliver gives readers what they've wanted for some time now--Beck's story, and kudos to the author for making it all believable and good. Seeing Beck return home with Riley to deal with his mom's impending death makes this emotional guy even more so. The mystery and crime from his childhood gets stirred up, adding tension to an already tense segment. I so loved reading about Georgia boy Beck, Riley's Backwoods Boy extraordinaire.

But I cannot write a review without mentioning Ms. Riley. This girl has gone through so much--from book one and her beloved father's murder (did I mention I cried?), the betrayal of her fellow trapper boyfriend Simon and being taken advantage of by the angel Ori, the mysteries, the battles, and the general-ness of being a teen girl who can also kick ass and traps demons.

Thank you Jana Oliver for creating such a fantastic series and satisfying the voracious reader inside me with these books. Great characters, scary demons, precarious situations and a slew of a motley group of humans, demon trappers, witches, angels and more, I have loved The Demon Trappers series. It is a melancholy time to say goodbye but I am sated by the conclusion of this book and the hint that perhaps another demon trapper may have his own story in the future. Please?

Rating: 5

Favorite excerpt: "‘Because I’d like to get to know you better?’

He launched off the back of the truck and walked a few paces down the road. ‘Why the hell do ya do this to me?’ he demanded.

‘What?’ Riley asked, startled.

‘Ya can’t be part of my life. When are ya gonna understand that?’

She slammed the soda can down and hopped off the tailgate. This moment had been brewing for a long time and when it was over he’d either accept she was on his side or she was out of here.

‘You’re the one who keeps moaning about how nobody will give you a break because you’re some hick loser, but just let someone actually care about you and you can’t handle it.’

  ‘Ya have no idea how bad it can get down here,’ he said, shaking his head.

‘Really?’ she said, advancing on him. ‘As bad as having two dead parents or dealing with the Vatican and their Inquisition Lite? How about that whole Armageddon thing? Just how bad is this going to be, Beck? Let me know the worst.’

His mouth had dropped open. ‘Ya don’t understand,’ he spluttered.

She took a deep breath, trying to calm her boiling emotions. ‘Then tell me the truth. I want to know why everyone hates you and why I had to order the pizza. I want to know why Cole warned me not to go into the swamp with you.’

‘Just let it go.’

‘Tell me, Beck! What is this black secret that Justine’s uncovered? Did you get some girl pregnant? Or run someone over with your truck when you were drunk? What is it that has you so worried?’

Beck was silent. Around them birds began to nest in the trees as the sun set.

‘It’s all about trust,’ she said, quieter now. ‘I shared my darkest secret with you. Now it’s time for you to do the same.’

He looked away, both fists clenched.

Come on. Let it out. You want to – I can feel it.

Beck’s fists unclenched as his face took on a haunted expression."

Cover comment: I'm a fan of all of the covers, including the UK covers with Elizabeth May on them, and I really like this one because it's different. There's no fiery red and no face shot of Riley. The mystery of the cover art reflects the tone of the book.

Book source: I received an ARC in return for my honest review during a book tour.

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