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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Demon Trapper's Daughter by Jana Oliver

Hi there, insatiable readers!
Hope your week is going well so far.  Just a quick reminder about the contests currently running on the site....several chances for you to win everything from books in a variety of genres to a gift card to spend as you wish, so be sure to check it all out before it's too late!  Just look under "Current Contests" in the right hand sidebar for all the links. 

As we celebrate all things "love" this week....Monday saw the official start with Valentine's Day.  Yesterday we took a look at the power of your voice when raised in love against atrocious acts against mankind.  Today....we delve back into bookish love, but not with a sappy romance....oh no.  The book featured today has a strong lead character that has a mind of her own, a will of iron...and a heart that melts just like any other girl underneath it all....but don't tell her I told you that because she can kick some butt (and she does too)!  Without further adieu, today's book of choice is...


Riley Blackthorne is not just any girl; she's the daughter of master trapper Paul Blackthorne. What do they trap? Demons…and not in some fantastical land far far away; they are here, they are now and they ARE out to get you, unless they (or the roguish hunters) get them first. Though each capture is a challenge, recent events have made things even more so. How? For starters, the demons seem to be working together, which is off considering they’d normally eat each other before sharing space with another of their kind; second and perhaps even more disturbing…they know Riley by name.

No introductions made, nor salutations offered. The mere site of her and they are chomping at the bit to end her existence at all costs. Which begs the question…why now? Why this trapper in training? Is it because she’s a girl? Nawwww. Though trappers have always been male, I doubt even the demons are that chauvinistic. Is it because she has the potential to be a great trapper just like dear old Dad? Perhaps, though potential does not always lead to realization. Or is it something even bigger than merely her self? Something the demons don’t want her to realize until it’s too late? There’s a battle on the horizon, one that leaves your immortal soul hanging in the balance. Choose your side wisely because all of Hell is about to break loose…

Angels, demons, heaven, hell, trappers, hunters…and the still to be explained (Hello? Is anyone else that’s read the book wondering about Ori?!); who’d have thought this unlikely combination all in one book would make such an impressive story? Well, the author for one (hence it was written) and the publisher for two (great call there). What can I say? I loved this book. How could I not when the first demon Riley encounters is a Biblio-Fiend (definition:  small demon that loves nothing more than to shred, tear, and desicrate books...the horror...) that she has to trap before it wreaks any more havoc on the library it is currently vandalizing. They are an avid reader’s nightmare but a great way to draw in bookish fans.

It’s different than other YA paranormal tinged books out there right now even though on the surface, it contains some of the same elements…I mean you can’t have a paranormal book without the paranormal so of course they are bound to share some things, but it’s in how they are presented and the way the story is told that makes them stand out (like in this book). Riley is certainly not your typical heroine and definitely not a damsel in distress though in distress she certainly finds her self on more than one occasion. She’s sort of a cross between Buffy and her rival Faith (you know, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer…just minus the vampire slaying and all); a lot of good intentions but with some definite kick butt girl power (and you've got to love her outfit choice for the book cover...are those plaid pants I see?). For all her foul-mouthed (yes, there are a few word bombs, but it’s not "obscene" by any degree), defiant antics, and “I-need-no-one” behavior…we love her still.

Speaking of loving characters despite their personalities, her comrades are a cast of many colors all their own. From her friend Peter the good guy that gets lost along the way (though not necessarily in a physical sense) to Simon who may not be as straight laced as he comes off, Denver Beck who can’t seem to make his mind up about his real objective to Harper (one of the remaining master trappers) who just loves to treat apprentices like the chewed gum he envisions them to be (though I think there is more to learn about this particular persons past), and let’s not forget her Dad though his presence as the story progresses is not exactly “there” (read it, you’ll see); the combination is volatile at best but that’s just one more thing that gives this book such a high score on the appeal rating.

This book is not about solving everything. It’s about looking for answers to questions known and uncovering questions you didn’t even know you should be asking. If you expect to walk away from this book with a neatly tied package of solution time stamped and logged as COMPLETE….guess again. Things have only just begun and even though there is much story shared within these pages (action, adventure, loss, mystery, romantic interests, hidden love…need I go on?), it is what it is…the start of a new series (Yep, that’s right….woo-hoo!). At books end there are at least as many questions still to answer if not more than when you started, and yet it’s not one of those sticky points that makes you regret the read. On the contrary, you are (okay, I was, but I think you will be too) so swept up in all that is happening (and boy is there a lot going on within the final chapter or two), you barely notice the tally of answered versus unanswered questions growing unbalance in the background.

In the end, it all boils down to this: a great read from a talented emerging writer that will have YA paranormal fans on the edge of their seats from page one and beyond. I for one am eagerly awaiting the next addition to this series and shall be collecting every scrap of information that comes my way in the mean time much like the Magpies in the book collect all things that go “bling” in the night. (Ooh….shiny information….*pockets info*) This book hit shelves the beginning of the month, so be on the look out in a store near you….just be sure to alert the trappers if you run into any Biblio-Fiends attempting to destroy it before you get a copy for yourself. *grabs plastic sippy cup and hefty “novel-of-potential-yawning”*

ARC for review received via LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers and St. Martin’s Griffin, an imprint of MacMillan. (THANKS!) If you haven’t checked out the LibraryThing site, it’s high time you should. Why? I’ll tell you why….not only do they have great opportunities to win and learn about new and upcoming titles, but you can catalog your books, share recommendations, take part in conversations on their blog, and so much more…it’s just perfect for the book lover in you. (Of course, they are also on Twitter…so feel free to follow along!) Still need more information? I thought you might. Take a trip over to the publisher’s website  and then be sure to stop on by their YA dedicated site called WordNStuff. There you can sample chapter one, read a free short story tied into this series and find out about a few other books you just might want to add to your Wish List.

Until next time…happy reading!



Felicity Grace Terry said...

Biblio-Fiend - how dreadful, a character that nightmares are made of.

Gina said...

Petty Witter: I know, right? O_O

NotNessie @ Today's Adventure said...

This sounds like it actually stands out from the crowd. Adding to the to-read list ASAP.

Tales of Whimsy said...

Yay. It sounds great.

Alexia561 said...

Oh, I like the sound of this one! Loved your review, and have added it to my wishlist! I love the sound of the Biblio-Fiend, and he must be stopped! :0

Gina said...

NotNessie: Awesome! Can't wait to hear what you think! ^_^

Juju: *nods*

Alexia561: Yay! *high five* It really was good and you definitely need to avoid those biblio-fiends. LOL. Oh and come to find out, ~whispers~ it looks like book two comes out in August of this year! SQUEE!

April said...

I so so want to read this! It sounds so great! Did I mention that I am DYING to read it??!?! LOL! Now, because of you, I may have to break down and buy it! Geesh, thanks alot!! lol

Julie said...

I got this book recently. I was hesitant because some people have liked, some have not. I was totally hooked when I read a little bit of the first chapter in the bookstore about the Biblio-Fiend. Sounds awesome! I'm glad I got it.

Gina said...

April: Yes! *fits pump* --plays Reading Enabler theme song-- ^_^

Julie: I know, right? That first chapter does the story justice...and it just keeps getting better. ^_^

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