Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Review: Forsaken by Jana Oliver

Forsaken (The Demon Trapper's #1 by Jana Oliver
Published: 7th February 2011
Publisher: Panmacmillan

Goodreads description:

Riley Blackthorne just needs a chance to prove herself – and that’s exactly what the demons are counting on…

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.

But then a Grade Five Geo-Fiend crashes Riley’s routine assignment at a library, jeopardizing her life and her chosen livelihood.  And, as if that wasn’t bad enough, sudden tragedy strikes the Trappers’ Guild, spinning Riley down a more dangerous path than she ever could have imagined. As her whole world crashes down around her, who can Riley trust with her heart – and her life?

My thoughts:

I really liked this book. I’d definitely characterise it more as urban fantasy than paranormal romance, which I awesome as I don’t think we get enough YA UF. I bonded instantly with Riley, she was very determined and very very independent even to her detriment, which I can associate with as I’d say I was the same way.
I loved the concept of demons in this book, how the lower level ones were basically just pests like rats or cockroaches which got more severe as they went up the levels. I loved that the demon trappers were a recognised (albeit disliked) organisation, rather than one operating secretly.

I love the setting too, it reminded me of the state of things in Dark Angel, with everything going to the dogs and lots of poverty corruption and imbalance in the society. I though Ms Oliver got that across really well, it seemed really realistic.

I quite liked most of the supporting cast, especially Beck, though Simon really got on my nerves, plus I felt the only reason Riley even liked him was because he was the only person to really be nice to her and take an obvious interest with her. I also have issues with how the blurb describes Ori, he showed up ONCE to save her life, and only popped up about half way through. Though I don’t doubt he will play a larger role in the later books, I kinda feel like the blurb misled me a bit on that.

I thought there wasn’t much of a plot really, which was the book’s only downside. I enjoyed reading it, but the pacing was slow and not much concrete seemed to happen. It definitely seemed like a book that was setting the scene for the later books, and whilst this didn’t bother me too much, it’s why the story didn’t get a perfect score from me.

I’m really looking forward to reading the rest of the series, you could definitely see how things were being set up to be major factors in later books which I loved, I just wish a little more had happened in this one. So for that, I give it 4/5 


  1. I loved this one too! Beck was definitely one of my favourite characters, and Simon got on my nerves a bit too, he was too much of a goody-goody. I really like Riley though, and the ending was brilliant! Ori-wise, I said the same thing - he only showed up right at the end, and I expected him to be in it a lot more! Glad you enjoyed it though :).

  2. I agree about ori - though he's there more in the sequel. I loved this book too and I'm ecxcited to see you review Forbidden!

  3. This is one that I really want to read!

    Great review!

  4. Great review, Cait! I am really looking forward to reading this! Hopefully our library will get in a copy soon. :) Thanks for sharing!

  5. I loved this novel and the second one was just as good for me. Like you, I really connected to Riley and her plight and Beck managed to make Southern sexy. Plus, I think Magpies are adorable and I want one of my own to feed shiny things to!

  6. Love the covers of this series, and I've been hearing good things about Beck! I'll have to check this one out soon!

  7. Nice review! I love the cover, and Riley sounds like a great character.

  8. Okay, I definitely need to start this series. I've been reading some great reviews of it lately and I got sent a copy of the sequel the other day - CLEARLY the universe is sending me a sign!

    And you're yet another person I've read that does not like Simon much LOL. Poor guy, he's a bit unpopular :P Great review! Must get my hands on this soon!

  9. Jana Oliver’s novel, the first in a YA trilogy, is a mix of urban fantasy and future dystopia. Her depiction of an Atlanta where the government is too broke to even maintain school buildings.

  10. I loved this book... of course, I live in Atlanta, so it was neat to read many of the scenes and recognize the exact streets and surroundings she's talking about.

  11. I like your blog.This I read this kind of blog in free time.


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