Sunday, June 24, 2012

YA book review: Forgiven (Demon Trappers, Book 3) by Jana Oliver

Reading level: Ages 12 and up
Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; Original edition (March 27, 2012)
ISBN-10: 0312614802
ISBN-13: 978-0312614805

Jana Oliver's third spellbinding Demon Trappers novel - following The Demon Trapper's Daughter and Soul Thief - brings all new thrills, as Riley Blackthorne takes on demons, love... and the future of the human race.

The days are growing darker for 17-year-old demon trapper Riley Blackthorne. With her father’s reanimated body back safely, Beck barely speaking to her because of a certain hunky Fallen angel, and a freshly-made deal with Lucifer, she has enough on her hands to last a normal teenage lifetime. Though she bargained with Heaven to save his life, her ex-boyfriend Simon has told the Vatican’s Demon Hunters that she’s working with Hell. So now she’s in hiding, at the top of everyone’s most-wanted list.

But it’s becoming clear that this is bigger than Riley, and rapidly getting out of control: something sinister is happening in Atlanta… or someone. The demons are working together for the first time ever and refusing to die, putting civilians in harm’s way. Riley thinks she might know who’s behind it all, but who’s going to believe her? Caught between her bargain with Heaven and her promise to Lucifer, Riley fears the final war is coming – and it may be closer than anyone thinks…

My thoughts: Sometimes the third book in a series can suffer from series lag. Burdened with over repeating what's gone on previously, story lines that may not click into place or are lacking, or an introduction of a new character that seems gimmicky, anything can happen when a story goes on for a long period of time. I can happily say this is not the case with the third book in The Demon Trappers series, Forgiven. Once again, author Jana Oliver delivers and the war on evil has never sounded or looked this good before.

Riley has had her heart broken again, this time by Ori, and she has made another deal--this time with Lucifer himself--to protect the ones she loves and to save mankind. The Vatican is breathing down her neck, watching her movements and testing her loyalty, and just when she thinks she can let Beck get closer to her, she thinks he screws things up again. Peter takes on a more important part, helping her get to the bottom of the fake Holy Water scam, and we learn more about Paul and his own deals and even more about exactly what Master Stewart knows about a great many things past and present. 

I'm impressed by the details, the character dynamics, the action sequences, the dialogue, just about everything in this series, especially the way I can still be shocked by twists and disclosures. Riley has had to do a tremendous amount of growing up while training to be a demon trapper. She has been able to spend time with her reanimated father but Paul is only a shell of the man he was and she knows their time together is limited. The threat of war grows closer as does Beck and Riley as they finally admit their feelings run deeper than just friendship or a working partnership. Of course, their journey to getting together encounters hills and mountains. 

Demons are actually working in tandem and Riley has to go into hiding to finish the work her dad began and get to the bottom of revealing exactly what the hellspawn have planned for Atlanta. Simon figures out he's been a traitor and a jerk. Favorite characters like Mortimer and Ayden return to help out when needed and did I mention the climatic showdown? Whoa. There's a fierce battle between Heaven and Hell which reveals exactly who is guiding the demons for a takeover and so much more. The only downside I noted were the typos I found in this book.

Satisfied. Fulfilled. Excited. And left hanging by  Forgiven's cliff hanger ending so now I'm anxiously awaiting the fourth and final book in the series, Foretold. I've become a huge fan and supporter of this YA series and can't wait to see what Jana Oliver has thought up next for Riley and company.

Rating: 5 stars. Still gushing about this one.

Favorite excerpt: ""Then go for it, girl. Don't bitch at me when ya break yer leg."

Riley didn't break a leg or anything else by the time she reached the roof. Once Beck joined her, she carefully rearranged the debris on the stairs as Peter had done.

"That'll make it harder for us to get down if we have to go in a hurry," he complained.

"Yes, but it keeps the scary people down below." Except you.

This time there was no sleeping blanket, no friendly Peter, and no yummy food, just the cold, hard asphalt of the roof grinding into her butt and Beck's hostile presence.

Riley leaned against the short wall that faced the plant, crossed her arms over her chest to conserve body heat, and tuned him out. This was Stewart's payback. Couldn't be anything else. He really couldn't expect her to settle things with Backwoods Boy during this lifetime, let alone the few hours they had to be together.

Her companions' phone began oinking, causing him to swear. He muted it immediately, then rose and walked toward the center of the roof to take the call, out of sight of the street below.

Probably his squeeze wondering why he's not knocking boots with her.

Sour jealousy rose inside her, which she didn't really understand. Beck wasn't anything to her, not anymore, and yet she was angry that a flirty perfect chick was working him over. Don't think about it. It's not your problem. She turned her mind to math equations--anything but picturing Beck and Justine together.

The math solution failed miserably."

Cover comment: This cover is okay, it doesn't really say anything about this installment of the story.

Book source: Purchased.


  1. I'm a fan of this series too and I'm so happy that Riley is finally growing up and not acting as irrational as she used to. If only Beck would get that memo then we'd be doing good! Looks like you loved this book as much as I did.

  2. I also loved this installment most of the 3 books in the series. I was kind of heartbroken by the end and I can't wait until book 4. I can't think of a single character that wasn't masterfully written or a single plot hole or any of the other things that might have caused me to give this installment less than 5 stars as well.

  3. Hi Amber! Yes, I loved this book and series. So glad you do, too!

    Hi Andrea! So glad you agree. I like to give credit where it is due and I believe this series certainly needs it:)