The Demon Trapper's Daughter
By: Jana Oliver
Published By: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: February 1, 2011
Won in a giveaway
From the back cover...
It's the year 2018, and with human society seriously disrupted by the economic upheavals of the previous decade, Lucifer has increased the number of demons in all major cities. Fortunately, humans are protected by trappers, who work to keep homes and streets safe from the things that go bump in the night.
Riley has always dreamed of following in her father's demon-trapper footsteps. But when tragedy strikes and a top-level demon murders her dad, Riley finds herself in for a much more dangerous future than she ever could have imagined.
I really had no idea what to expect going into this one and I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised. The book opens with Riley at a university law library trying to trap a Biblio-fiend, a 3 inch demon who hates books and likes to destroy them by ripping them up and peeing on them. Riley's plan of attack? She pulls out her trusty copy of Moby Dick and starts reading to the demon...boring him straight into a dead faint. And what does she use as a containment device? Something with air holes and a tight fitting lid, a highly technical modern piece of equipment....a sippy cup. Yeah, I was a fan of Riley by page four.
There are other supernatural forces at work in Riley's world besides Biblio-fiends. There are Klepto-Fiends (little demons dressed like ninjas who like to collect pretty shiny things...they're cute and I kinda want one), Geo-Fiends (big bad demons who can stir up a heck of a windstorm), angels, necromancers, and witches to name a few. But it's really the demons Riley is most concerned with. She's an apprentice trapper, working with her dad who has a reputation as being one of the baddest trappers around and she wants to be just like him. Not just because it's in her blood, but they kinda need to trap to survive. The economy sucks, her high school classes are held in closed up grocery stores and Starbuck's, and her dad is dealing with a mountain of medical bills from when Riley's mom was receiving treatment in a battle with cancer that she ultimately lost.
Riley's life gets hit with tragedy again early on in the story when her dad is murdered by a Level 5 fiend in an area known as Demon Central. It's his partner, Denver Beck, that has to deliver the news to Riley, who is devastated. Denver is southern. So Southern Riley has nicknamed him Backwoods Boy. He's a truck driving, beer drinking, damn fine country boy, 5 years her senior who she had a serious crush on when she was 15. He rejected her and she's never gotten over the embarrassment so she's defensive and abrasive around him. However, now that she's a little older, it's obvious Beck has feelings for her, but with the death of her father...his partner...he finds himself in a position where he has to be responsible for her and that takes precedence over any other feelings he might have for her.
To protect her father from necromancers who want to reanimate his body and sell him as a zombie like servant, Riley has to sit vigil at her dad's grave site every night. And as if that's not enough, she has to deal with being apprenticed to a different master trapper who's beyond being a jerk (I REALLY couldn't stand him), dealing with mean girls in her new school location, and trying to solve the mystery of a password protected computer disk her father left behind. Oh yeah....and the demons seem to have it in for her in particular because they know her by name, which isn't something that happens with other trappers.
Amidst all the chaos is sweet sweet Simon, a fellow apprentice trapper who believes wholeheartedly in the forces of good. The kind of boy who would walk the path of the clergy if he didn't want to have a wife and family one day, so he chooses to battle evil as a trapper. And with all the horrible things going on in Riley's life, he's just what she needs to bring a little happiness.
The Demon Trapper's Daughter is gritty urban fantasy for young adults and I absolutely loved it!! It reads as older YA and contains some sexual references and strong language, so I'd say this one is for older teens and above.