The Demon Trapper’s Daughter (also known as Forsaken in the UK) is the first book in the Demon Trappers series by Jana Oliver. Rating: 3.5/5
*Note: This is not a spoiler free review. I do not suggest continuing on with this review if you have not read this book. If you’ve read the book/series leave me a comment so we can fangirl together!
There were a lot of things about this book that I really loved, and some that also rubbed me the wrong way. I’m the kind of reader that notices every small editing error there is. Trust me, I really wish that was something that I could get over. There were a LOT of editing errors in this book, and even during parts where I was super into the story I would notice it and stare at the error. I can forgive the first handful, but when I could wash my hands in editing errors it becomes a problem for me.
I also felt like the relationship with Riley and Simon was super rushed. There was a part where he was telling her that he wanted her to meet his family and come over for dinner (after about a week of knowing each other) and Riley was like, “Whoa. This is a bit fast”. I agreed with her, it was very fast. I mean, the third encounter they had together (the first one being quite brief) they were already calling each other boyfriend and girlfriend. I could see why she liked him and all that, but this book was good enough that it didn’t need a typical, silly (I almost want to say stupid, but I’ll refrain) YA love plot. I wasn’t annoyed at first though, it did make sense, and I was all about it. She was saying she was starting to fall for him, and while that also seemed fast, I was okay with it. Then the end of the book she is all NO I CAN’T LOSE HIM I AM IN LOVE WITH HIM OH NO I WILL OF COURSE SAVE THE WORLD SO HE CAN LIVE AND I AM SO WORRIED BLAH BLAH BLAH. Hi, girl, take a pill. You haven’t known him long, you haven’t had many significant moments with him. She talked about them sharing their dreams, etc. together but really, it was a two second conversation between kisses (which he always got weird about) in which she guessed that he wanted to be a hunter and not a trapper. Again, not significant. While reading this all it seemed very inorganic and thrown in for fluff, and it annoyed me. Also, as an older author she should have studied some slang words that 17 year olds today (or in this case, 6 years from now) would actually use. Hunky and “Hunkalicious” to describe a boy – not something that would be said. But that’s just me being nitpicky.
Now that I have complained (I am so so so good at bitching and complaining), I can talk about all the things I loved. The plot, for one, was really great. It reminded me of the CW show Supernatural, which is a great show if none of you have seen it. I loved that she was such a strong female character and didn’t take anyone’s bullshit. Not the trapper’s guild that was all men and detested a female joining, not her dad’s younger-but-still-older-than-her partner, not her classmates. No one. I think that’s part of why I was so annoyed that the author was weakening her with this weird love interest that didn’t make sense, but I digress. Even when her father died and left her orphaned, she stayed strong and did what she needed to do. She had a very real reaction. She was devastated, she broke down (sometimes at inopportune moments), and she thought about the benefits of her own death (not suicide or anything, but after she was almost killed by a demon). The narrative made her really likable, and she was pretty kick ass. YA books need more main characters like this.
There was also a LOT of vulgarity and profanity, and I loved it. I hate when YA books (or any books for that matter) tiptoe over things like sex or curse words. Yes, teenagers say fuck and shit and asshole and yes they occasionally have sex. I’m not saying that this book was laced with curse words on every page, but it was used in a very real way and by the characters that it made sense to use them. For instance, Riley didn’t swear nearly as much as some of the other characters, and typically referred to Beck and Peter as asshats or buttheads.
Another reason why I loved the book was Beck. He started out really creepy, but as the story went on I really started to fall in love with him. He’s such a tortured character, and it was really nice being able to see into his mind in certain parts of the book. He did a lot of things that pissed me off, but you always knew where he was coming from, and that was to protect Riley. I ship him hard with Riley, ps. and I sense a relationship blooming in the next few books. Guess we’ll see.
Overall this book was really good. I can’t wait to pick up the next one, and the one after that. I had trouble putting this book down, and really hated when my puppy would make me play with her instead of reading. I’m kidding, kind of.
*Note: I read this a few months ago, and am currently reading the second book in a series, which I will be reviewing soon. Because of that, I thought I’d post my review of the first book here from GoodReads before reviewing the second. You can access the review, and my progress updates here.