Friday, August 3, 2012
Review: Foretold (The Demon Trappers, #4)
Author: Jana Oliver
Publication date: August 2nd 2012
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Paperback, 416 pages
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Reviewing a last book in the series is never easy or especially fun. In fact, it’s one of my least favorite things to do, vacuuming and peeling onions included. Fortunately for me, Jana Oliver gave me a lot to write about, all of it good.
Riley Blackthorne is finally sure that she loves her father’s protégé and her friend and protector, Denver Beck. She may have given up her soul to avoid the Armageddon, but her heart still knows where it stands. The kiss they exchanged on the cemetery right before the battle was pretty eye-opening for both of them, but now that Beck’s past is coming back to haunt him, he doesn’t want Riley anywhere near him, all in a misguided attempt to protect her and save himself from possible rejection. The way Riley sees it, the only way for the two of them to ever be together is to uncover the skeletons in Beck’s closet and make him see that she will always stand by his side, no matter what.
Of course their story isn’t the only thing we have to worry about. There are human enemies to defeat and demons to destroy. Once again Oliver entertains with the wide variety of creatures she's created: from Pyro-Fiends and Klepto-Fiends to Arch-Fiends and fallen angels.
I think Beck’s fans (because really, aren’t we all?) will be quite happy with this story. Even though there’s a battle between Heaven and Hell going on in the background, Foretold mainly focuses on his personal demon, his horrible, uncaring mother and the crime he was always blamed for, but never officially accused of. Although Oliver always experimented with language, she took it a step further in Foretold. The finer nuances of Beck’s character were constantly emphasized through a very clever use of language. His pronunciation was changing depending on his mood, location and company. His grammar would deteriorate every time he was under stress, which was most easily noticeable in his pronunciation of pronouns. This sort of thing can be very rewarding for an attentive reader and it’s exactly the kind of thing that makes me insanely happy.
I need to say a few words about Riley Blackthorne as well. There was a point in the series (around the middle of book two), where I almost gave up entirely because I couldn’t deal with her whining and self-pity. Yes, she’d had a lot to deal with, but she reminded me of my five year old when she’s both sleepy and hungry. This didn’t take long, but her character didn’t suffer any radical, overnight changes either - she slowly grew to become self-confident and strong. It is almost sad that the series is ending now that Oliver finally found solid ground to stand on with her.
It says on the cover that this is a book for older audience and I tend to agree, though I generally dislike such limitations. Younger teens should be aware that these books contain violence and sex that isn’t necessarily a profound, life-changing experience. Sometimes sex is just sex and Jana Oliver never shied away from it. One of her characters is a twenty-something-year-old war veteran after all, and not one that is happy with sitting alone in his apartment, watching game shows and drinking orange juice. The Demon Trappers series is balancing a fine line between YA and adult urban fantasy, which worked perfectly for me, and hopefully it will for those of you who have yet to give it a chance.