Big Book,  YA


Jana Oliver

Riley Blackthorne. Kicking hell’s ass one demon at a time…
Riley has made a bargain with Heaven, and now they’ve come to collect.
Lucifer’s finest are ruling the streets and it seems that Armageddon might be even closer than Riley imagined. But with her soul and her heart in play it’s all she can do to keep herself alive, let alone save the world. Riley’s not afraid of kicking some major demon butt, but when it comes to a battle between Heaven and Hell, she might need a little help…

This is the third book in Jana Oliver’s ‘Demon Trappers’ series. There will be no spoilers for this book but there may be for the previous two. Life isn’t great for Riley Blackthorne. Her ex-boyfriend wasn’t who she thought he was, her Dad has been reanimated and really isn’t himself and to top it off she has found herself owing a favour to both Heaven and Hell. ‘Forgiven’ picks up exactly where ‘Forsaken’ left off.
I had been looking forward to the release of this book since I read the last one in August. On the face of it this series is just another one of those teen supernatural books that can be found anywhere at the moment, but in reality this is so much more. ‘Forgiven’ follows Riley, the main protagonist, but also at times switches the viewpoint to Denver Beck, known to most as simply ‘Beck’. Riley is a teen apprentice Demon Trapper, the first girl the guild has ever allowed into its ranks. Beck is a Journeyman Trapper, ex army from a very troubled background. Riley’s Dad took Beck into their family and mentored him in the ‘trapping’ profession. It is this relationship that has really captured my interest. It’s not about instant love but about friendship and how love can grow and is handled in a much more mature way than relationships in books for teens generally are and this is a real strength of the book. I can hold my hands up and say that I absolutely adore Beck. Not instantly likeable, his character has developed over the three books in a way that makes you understand where he is coming from. Life has not been easy for him, and that with the way he cares for Riley makes you love him all the more. Whilst reading ‘Forgiven’ I actually looked forward more to the sections written from his point of view than I did Riley’s. Jana Oliver has created two characters that you can really care about.
The only problem with the book is the cliff hanger ending. Do I really have to wait till August for the next one?
Verdict: A well written teen urban fantasy book with amazing characterisation. Exciting, absorbing and will leave you begging for more.
Reviewed by Alison

Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
Publication Date: March 2012
Format: Paperback
Pages: 416
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Supernatural
Age: YA
Reviewer: Alison
Source: Borrowed
Challenge: None

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