The Demon Trapper's Daughter: A Demon Trappers Novel
Gr 9 Up-The year is 2018, and Riley is no ordinary Atlanta teen. She is training to be a demon trapper like her father. The economy has gone to hell, and so it makes perfect sense that hell would send forth demons to wreak havoc on Earth. The opening … see full wiki
It's 2018 and the city of Atlanta is going to Hell. The economy is in shambles, the city is practically bankrupt, and Lucifer's demons are everywhere. Angels wander the streets but they keep a low profile and tend to stay in the background.
Demons have no such scruples. Whether it's a Biblio, a Magpie, or one of the Geofiends there is no forgetting that things are bad and on their way to worse.
Especially for seventeen-year-old Riley Blackthorne. An apprentice demon trapper learning the ropes from her father, Riley already sticks out as the only girl apprentice in the local demon trapper's guild. When she botches a routine trapping, that's bad. When her father is killed and Riley is left on her own, that's a whole lot worse.
Riley is alone in a hostile city. There are some in the guild eager to see her fail. There are some, like really cute fellow apprentice Simon Adler, who want to help. Denver Beck, her father's trapping partner and a near constant annoyance to Riley, wants nothing more than to run her life. At least, sometimes he does. Sometimes he just wants to be nice to her. It's confusing.
Either way, Riley doesn't want help. She wants to get by on her own and prove herself.
In a city where the demons know your name and the old rules are changing, working alone might get Riley killed. Or worse in The Demon Trapper's Daughter* (2011) by Jana Oliver.
There is a lot to love about The Demon Trapper's Daughter. Jana Oliver takes the old conventions about demons and demon hunting and turns them upside down in this dynamic start to what promises to be a thrilling series. Oliver's world building is phenomenal. Riley and the other characters, particularly Beck, jump off the page in an evocative story where readers will smell the brimstone and feel the swipe of every demonic claw.
The story is written in the third person and alternates between Riley and Beck's viewpoints. The one weak point in the writing are the italicized thoughts interspersed throughout the narrative which are a bit jarring--particularly Beck's since his are written in the vernacular to convey his Georgia accent. Riley can be a frustrating protagonist especially with her low opinion of (the obviously awesome) Denver Beck. But Beck is just as stubborn. By the end of the story the two balance out even though they might not see it that way.
There are a lot of urban fantasies out there. There are a lot of books about demons. There are a lot of books about a young woman trying to prove herself. This book is all three. Gritty, funny, and exciting The Demon Trapper's Daughter is a charmer with equal parts action and heart. Highly recommended.
*This book is also called Forsaken. I believe that is the title of the UK edition but it might be called that elsewhere as well. Both titles work but I prefer The Demon Trapper's Daughter as it points more to the crux of the story. Either way, this is the first book in The Demon Trappers series.
Possible Pairings: Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Unearthly by Cynthia Hand, Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey, Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry, Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton, The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan
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