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The Demon Trapper's Daughter    by Jana Oliver order for
Demon Trapper's Daughter
by Jana Oliver
Order:  USA  Can
Griffin, 2011 (2011)

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* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Jana Oliver's The Demon Trapper's Daughter introduces spunky seventeen-year-old Riley Blackthorne in a 2018 Atlanta overrun by Hellfiends - varying from Grade One nuisances to Grade Five GeoFiends, able to 'cause earthquakes with a flick of the wrist.' Riley's teacher dad became a trapper to pay the medical bills incurred by his wife's death from cancer, and Riley signed on as an apprentice against his wishes.

The story opens as what seems like a run of the mill task for an apprentice trapper turns into a fiasco that leaves Riley and her dad open to censure from the Trappers' Guild. While Riley recovers from that episode, the unthinkable happens - her father is killed when a Grade Five demon teams up with a Grade Three, something previously unheard of.

A grieving Riley is forced to spend her nights guarding her father's grave to avoid his corpse being reanimated by a necromancer and enslaved for a year's service. As well, she's apprenticed to the toughest master around, Harper, who had a grudge against her dad. Helped by her father's bad boy apprentice Denver Beck, Riley practices and develops her demon trapping skills.

While all this is happening, romantic interests start popping up all over the place for Riley. In addition to Beck (who tries to hide his attraction to her for her own good) and her school friend Peter, there's religious trapper Simon Adler (whom she dates and who's also apprenticed to Harper) and the mysterious, gorgeous Ori, who appears out of nowhere and disappears as readily.

Riley continues her father's research to find out that holy water is being faked - and of course it does not work against demons. As soon as she reports her findings to the Guild, all hell breaks loose. Many trappers are injured and killed before angels arrive on the scene to defend the survivors - the latter seem to have an agenda for Riley too.

If you like tons of action in a supernatural adventure, then you'll enjoy The Demon Trapper's Daughter. Though it's all over the map in introducing factions and romantic interests (and I found the constant usage of ya in dialogue irritating), it poses a big question (why the demonic interest in Riley?) that grabs reader interest, as will the sneak preview of the next episode at the back of this one.

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