Though my local library did not carry the bestselling book The Demon Trapper’s Daughter by Jana Oliver, that didn’t stop me from reading it. I ordered the book through the interlibrary program and just finished it yesterday, and must say that it deserves its bestselling status.
While it’s not the most compelling YA novel that I’ve read, it is a highly enjoyable, exciting adventure featuring a strong heroine who doesn’t allow boys to boss her around. It’s set only a few years into the future, in a world full of chaos brought on by the economic collapse of America. Demons lurk on streets and in homes, and it’s up to the demon trappers to catch them and take them to the Vatican.
Riley, our 17-year-old heroine, is the only female trapper and gets a lot of slack for it. Poor and motherless, she idolizes her father only to have him taken from her early on in the book. She is determined to remain a demon trapper despite his death and the dangers he had been investigating.
This world itself is gripping. Not only are there demons; there are also witches and necromancers, the former helping the demon trappers and the latter working to raise the dead to sell as slaves. Schools don’t exist anymore due to the economy; school takes place part-time in old abandoned grocery stores and coffee shops two or three nights a week.
Riley is enjoyable to read about. She’s gutsy and doesn’t complain, she’s tough even when the rest of the trappers give her a hard time, and she’s got a few love interests who like her quite a bit—one of whom she’s falling in love with (though I’m not quite a fan of the super religious kid, even with his gentlemanly habits and support of the heroine). Despite a few instances of unbelievable dialogue (who refers to their brother as “bro” not in speaking to him in person, but in mentioning him?), the book was very well written, its loose ends either wrapped up or promised to be in the next installment.
Of course, I am behind in reading the series; Oliver is releasing the fourth book this fall, so I have to catch up quickly! In the meantime, I would highly recommend this book for any fans of supernatural adventures and romance—especially teen girls who could use a decent heroine to look up to.