I was desperate to find a new book series to read and found myself on Goodreads, looking at my recommendations. This book instantly caught my eye and I got my hands on it a little later, devouring it in less than 24 hours. It's been a while since I had a good reading session, and it felt good to finally make up for lost time!
I'm very confused about this book due to a lot of reasons, which made this review a little hard to write. I know that people are really intense and open about their love for this, so I have a little disclaimer: IF YOU'RE A FANGIRL/FANBOY (can I say 'fanperson'? Is that a thing?) AND YOU CAN'T TAKE CRITICISM, LEAVE. NOW.
Phew. Now that I've got that out of the way, I can get on with my life. And my review. But before I do, I think you guys should know what it's about... So: Ready? Set? Boom, here goes the synopsis:
Riley Blackthorne just needs a chance to prove herself—and that’s exactly what the demons are counting on...
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
I'm not sure what to think about this book. I'm very conflicted, and unsure whether I actually like it or not. It has some very good aspects, I can't deny that, but it has some aspects that really put me off. It isn't a bad read, far from it, but it went from greatly entertaining me to pissing me off in the turn of a page. Instead of just randomly saying stuff like I usually do, I'm going to divide everything into categories: the good, the bad, and the ugly.
The basic idea and the world presented to us was very refreshing, which is something I sorely needed, finally giving me a break from books centered around horrifically love-sick teens. Instead of that, it actually focuses on the plot (shocker, I know) and makes any romance secondary to the action (cue the gasps). Good job, Jana Oliver. I appreciate that.
I also liked the fact that she put an actual effort into creating the world for her series, giving it some depth and detail, which I loved, especially the hierarchy of the demons (Ones, Threes, Geo-Fiends and so on) and the detailed (but not overly so) explanations of how to trap them, along with the rivalry between the Trappers and the Hunters, which shows some promise for the other books in the series.
Beck. Beck is the best freaking thing in the book, blowing all the other characters out of the water. He's the only one I take seriously because he actually has depth and shows some character development throughout the story. He starts off seeming to be the typical YA fiction badass but, as the story goes on, he becomes so much more. Plus, his sarcastic quips and his banter with Riley is great, bringing some much needed comic relief to the story.
The writing is a little too slow for my taste, making the story drag along slightly. I get that sometimes you need to slow things down to create character development and add some detail and stuff, but at some points it just felt like it was fluff to meet her word target. I'm sure this writing style is great for some people, but the lack of action just isn't for me. Sorry, folks.
There was some stuff that just didn't seem coherent, like the fact that Riley could barely make her rent and bills but could afford to spend 12$ a bottle for holy water and spends all day driving around in her car when the author makes a point to repeatedly say how expensive gas is in their city. I know, I'm weirdly sensitive about this stuff, but it irritates me when the author contradicts himself (herself, in this case).
I liked Riley as a character, but I hated her interaction with Beck. Beck's the guy that looked after her when it all hit the fan, but she still manages to be a complete jerk to him because she had a crush on him when she was 15, which just seems childish and idiotic. She's being an idiot to the only guy who as always there for her, which seems... stupid.
Riley and Simon's relationship. Ugh. I can't take that seriously. Simon seems like a really irritating guy, with all his self-righteousness and his weird mood-swings and I just don't understand how Riley puts up with it. It's like: HELLO, BECK'S RIGHT THERE, STOOPID. They fall in love a little too quickly for it to be realistic, but all YA fiction does that, so I can't complain.
Anyway, this is the end of my review, and I'm really awkward with endings. So, um, bye. Peace out.