Thursday, May 3, 2012

Review: Soul Thief (The Demon Trappers # 2)

17-year old apprentice demon trapper Riley Blackthorne's world is about to abruptly change and dive rapidly into the abyss thanks to several factors that are all working against her. Most of these factors have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with Riley or her actions which are intended to be brave in nature, but silly once they are made.

Her father's body has been raised from the dead by an unknown force and nobody is talking about it. The necromancers that Riley knew from protecting her fathers grave, aren't saying much at all. All they know is that it was a Dragon, and it comes to Riley saying "Don't Fail Us." Of course, there's the always annoying collection agents who won't leave Riley alone even though being a minor absolves her from any of her parents debts.

This is the big reveal in the end. When Oliver finally uncovers the reason why Paul was reincarnated, you know that Riley is the reason for it. Naturally, the whole good vs evil is once again in play. Who are the one's actually protecting the demon trappers Angels or Demons and why? Is Lucifer actually the bad guy, or the one who is there to stop the forthcoming Apocalypse from happening. Interesting in that Oliver really portrays Lucifer to be a decent enough character in that he is actually doing God's work in testing humans and angels alike and judging the worthy from the not.

Ori, the so called Freelance demon hunter, is out for something other than protecting Riley from the Level 5 Demon who killed her father. Ori's revelation of who he is, and what he wants from Riley comes with a huge twist once again, in the end. I appreciate the fact that Oliver waited until the last chapters to reveal the underlying plots for Ori and Lucifer. Naturally, this is Riley's biggest mistake since she loses apart of herself that she can never get back.

Demon Hunters sanctioned by the Vatican and requested by those in charge of Atlanta, arrive and aim directly for Riley. They believe that Paul and Riley are the main reasons why 1/3 of the cities demon trappers were killed by a massive demon attack on their meeting place. They pretty much just push the cities demon hunters to the side, and abruptly start killing every demon in sight. Of course, thanks to Simon ::coughasshatcough:: The demon hunters have Riley in their sights and are relentless in their pursuit.

Then there's Simon who Riley agreed to work for Heaven if the angels would just save his life. Simon who Riley fell deeply in love with only to have her heart tore out of her body and stomped on. So much for gratitude! Simon turns out to be the worse sort of asshat I've had the displeasure to read about in a very long time. He is the worse sort of bible thumper as well and really puts Riley in a bind when he believes she has sold her soul to Lucifer.

Riley and her best friend Peter have discovered that someone is definitely messing with the Holy Water in the city and diluting it with water. Unfortunately, with everything else that happens to Riley in this story, this becomes a tertiary storyline. Thankfully, Peter seems to be Riley's only real friend who doesn't go out of his way to betray her. Instead, he honestly does his best to help her get to the bottom of the holy water controversy.

Beck. Ah, who can forget Beck? Beck is a journeyman demon trapper who worked for Riley's father and now considers himself to be her protector as well as her guardian. He is also an army veteran and loves to drink hard and listen to ::gasp:: country music! Beck is 5 years older than Riley and has always thought of her as his little sister. In this book, you get a sense that Beck actually cares for Riley, but the two of them are so hard headed that you wonder who they have co-existed so long without coming to blows. I really am disappointed in Beck however, when he falls into Justine Armando's clutches. Beck, Beck, Beck, Dude!!!

Knowing this was the second novel in a 4 part series, I was a little tepid to read it. Normally the second book in a series is the best one of the bunch. This book, unfortunately, leaves readers with a HUGE cliffhanger and a reunion that I really ought to have seen coming.

I love the world building for this series. The story takes place in a not too future Atlanta (2018) where the city is totally broke and the prices of everything is out of this world. It's a city that has turned into a battle ground between good and evil and those that fight the good fight.

I do appreciate how Oliver hasn't turned Riley into a teetotaler or a coffee drinker. As a hot chocolate lover myself, I can totally respect a fellow chocolate lover. I just wish that Riley wouldn't come across as such a idiot most of the time. Overall, her choices from agreeing to work with Heaven to her new agreement with Lucifer, have all come with steep prices.

You know when an author has grabbed your attention when you start screaming at the characters in the book like they were sitting right next to you. Oliver really puts her characters through the ringers, and I can only hope that the next book is as good as this one.

Next in series:
Forgiven March 27, 2012
Foretold August 2, 2012

Author: Jana Oliver
Title: Soul Thief (The Demon Trapper # 2)
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Released: August 30, 2011

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