Forgiven starts off exactly where Forbidden ended, putting us straight back in the middle of the action again. Riley is on the run from the Vatican's demon hunters and is left to hide in a very unexpected place. So much has happened to Riley over the course of the first two books so her emotions are a bit all over the place. She doesn't know what to think or do anymore and she certainly doesn't know what the best way of doing things is. Even though Riley isn't exactly like other teenage girls, she is still easy to relate to. She questions herself and the things she does and she makes a hell of a lot of mistakes and punishes herself for them. Even though she is far from perfect, she always throws herself straight into any problem she may encounter and gives her everything to sort it out. She's a really strong female character but is still able to show her emotions.
Forgiven definitely doesn't lack action and excitement. From the very beginning of this book, something is always happening and Jana Oliver doesn't give her characters much time to catch their breath. Whether it be demons being killed or the Vatican making crazy decisions, the action never stops. The demon rating system has been explained in the book one but Forgiven also gives more insight into the way that the demon world works alongside the fighting and battles. I loved how fast paced this book was in regards to this but Oliver also made time for romance and for friendships to be explored. Although I do love the amount of action in this series, it is also nice to get other things as well so the mix for me was perfect.
Introduced in Forbidden was Ori, the Fallen Angel. While he doesn't have a big a part in this book as the previous one, there is an underlying theme of good vs evil with Heaven and Hell. Forgiven asks a lot of questions about which side is the right side and who should prevail in the great war. I thought Oliver's reasoning behind her decisions was fantastic and extremely interesting. This way of seeing angels and demons has never been done before so it was nice to get a very fresh and exciting look at something that has been done over and over again. Nothing is what I expected with the addition of angels in this crazy world full of demons but I definitely wasn't disappointed with the way that the story went in this regard.
The ending was a complete heart-stopper. Just as I thought things were going well, a spanner is thrown in the works and everything changes. I was shouting at the book in my head as I was reaching the end because I didn't want the story to end this way. Luckily, there is a fourth book being released in August and I don't think I'll be able to get my hands on it quick enough. I need to know that some things in particular get resolved and hopefully have the outcome that I was wishing for. While I wasn't too pleased with how this book ended, it was a good ending that was certainly shocking and unexpected.
We begin exactly as we left off from book 2, in the shocking sight of Riley's father, the great and respected Paul Blackthorne standing before Riley. The shock for both us and her has not worn off and we feel brave Riley's resolve turn to emotion as she is once again in the arms of her reanimated father. His presence with necromancer Mort providing a safe haven for him for the moment but his mere presence proving that the battle with The Prince of Darkness: Lucifer and co. Is anything but over.
Once again we easily slip into the world of Riley, demon trapping and fallen angels. With Ori now set in stone he off Riley's back for the moment but the consequences of their night together run deep with both the guild and our favourite trapper; Beck. Not to mention that the rumors of her father working for hell as well as her presence at every huge disaster is making her a target for trouble with both the demon hunters, the guild and the Vatican.
While dealing with proving her innocence in it all, her favours to both Heaven and Hell are both revealed in the form of markings on her arms, with it uncovering a destiny of those favours which see a show down of epic proportions with demons which don't die on hallowed ground or with holy water, fallen angels and heaven and hell. There is a lot going on and its clear we are just scratching the surface of the bigger picture to still to come.
And meanwhile, in amongst all the carnage and demon slaying, father saving and magic working, we see the chemistry unfold between brave and beautiful Riley and gallant hero Beck. The two finally showing that their love hate relationtionship runs more to the side of love in a number of fragmented moments in between all the action. Growing closer and closer, it clear that they want to be with each other just as much as we want them to but in the world of demon trapping things are never that easy...
And we are left on tenterhooks, eagerly awaiting book 4 - Foretold which is out August 2012, I don't know about you but I am counting down the days!
Poor Riley hasn't had the easiest time of things recently and as both Heaven and Hell seem to have their sights set on her it doesn't look like it's going to get better any time soon. She is struggling to cope with the betrayals of both her ex-boyfriend Simon and Ori who lied to her about everything so she doesn't know who she can trust or where to turn. At least her father is safe with Mort and her best friend Peter is there when she needs him. As she comes under investigation from the Church Hunter's who think she has allied herself with Hell Riley is determined to solve the mystery of the fake Holy water to help prove her innocence. With Armageddon just around the corner can Riley work out just what she needs to do to prevent the end of the world?
If you've read my reviews for Forsaken (US title: The Demon Trapper's Daughter) or Forbidden (US title: Soul Thief) then you'll already know how much I love this series. It's by far one of the best YA paranormal series that I've read so I couldn't wait to get started on Forgiven. Thankfully Jana Oliver didn't disappoint me and this was the best book yet! There is literally so much going on in this series that the books are almost impossible to put down when you've started them. I don't know how I'm going to survive the wait until August for the final book Foretold!
Riley is a fantastic heroine and a character that I love. She isn't perfect and makes mistakes (I think most of us were shouting at the pages telling her not to do what she did with Ori at the end of the second book!) but that just makes her easier to relate to. She has done a lot of growing up since the series began and it's good to see her gaining confidence in her abilities. There are some absolutely heart breaking scenes with Riley and her Dad in this book and they really showed just how far she has come in the last couple of months.
I love the fact that Riley has a strong and supportive friendship with Peter but that there is no hint of a romance between them. I'm sick to death of the best friend who is madly in love with the heroine while she doesn't notice him that way so it's good to find a series that breaks away from that. Riley is currently caught between good and evil owing a favour to both Heaven and Hell but everyone is keeping secrets from her. The more she uncovers the more everything changes from black and white and into shades of grey and the harder it is to decide who really has her best interests at heart. I really don't know if I should be routing for the angels or the demons at this point!
I've said before how much I adore Beck and I'm going to say it again! I can't get enough of his character and love that we get to see part of the story from his point of view. The developments in his relationship with Riley had me jumping for joy - they make such a cute couple and I need to see them end up together. We learn a few shocking things about Beck's past in Forgiven but at the moment we have been left with more questions than answers about what he is hiding. I'm desperate to see how things play out - especially now we've started to see Justine's true colours (I did try to warn you Beck!).
This really is a series that I can't get enough of and one that I would highly recommend to anyone looking for an action packed story with a kick ass heroine, a hero to swoon over and a plot with more twists and turns than a roller coaster. I can't wait to get my hands on Foretold!
As her other two books have proven, Jana Oliver is a fabulous author. When the third installment in this wonderful series came to me, I was so excited! Read it in a day! Was brilliant! The story flowed on from the last two, and did not just feel like a 'filler' Wonderful writing, realistic and lovable characters, good twist on 'paranormal' genre for teenagers. Every single teenager should have a copy of this on their shelves!
The third instalment of The Demon Trappers series is my favourite of the awesome series so far. Riley Blackthorne has done a whole lot of growing up over the course of the series and, if you've been following my reviews, you'll know that I felt she needed to grow up in order for things between her and Beck, her father's young trapping partner, to flourish.
It was great to see things developing between Beck and Riley, but things are still bumpy. The conclusion of the book had me nigh-on ripping my hair out in delightful frustration!
This book also saw the best character development of the auxiliary characters. Peter, Riley's best friend, had far more presence in this book and I'm glad that their friendship has remained strong. Too many books suggest that platonic friendships between male and female characters are impossible, (think of Simon and Clary in The Mortal Instruments or Bella and Jacob in the Twilight series), but this series has avoided that, which I like.
I loved the development of Mort (a necromancer with a heart of gold) and Ayden (Riley's trusty witch pal) in Forgiven. Oh, and Master Stewart, one of the grand-master trappers is just awesome! They've been great characters throughout, but they were far more note-worthy in this instalment.
Justine, the red-haired reporter who had my fists clenching in book two was back in Forgiven and she was just as vile. Seriously, if she doesn't get her ass handed to her by a demon some time soon, I'll consider it the one flaw of the series! She's such a grade-A b-word!
In Forbidden, Jana Oliver began subverting the common ideas of good and evil and she continues this in Forgiven. The characters and beings I expected to hate were often drawn with subtle sympathy. Those I expected to be pure and good were often jaded and narrow-minded. I loved this interpretation of common beliefs and I thought it showed how much Oliver knows her stuff!
This series has astounded me so far and, according to The Book Depository, the forth book in the series (Fortold) comes out soon. BUT NOT SOON ENOUGH!
As the youngest member of the Demon Trappers guild, and the only girl, life isn't easy for Riley Blackthorne. She's lost her father, her ex-boyfriend believes she's in league with Lucifer (and he's doing his best to convince the other Trapper's) and she fell for a fallen angel - which didn't turn out too good.
With her father being reanimated and her being handed into the care of one of the Master Trappers, Riley is starting to try and get as back to normal as possible. If only things were that simple. Someone's tampering with the holy water supply and the demons are just refusing to die.
The Demon Trappers series is one of my current favourites and this third book lived completely up to my expectations. I love Riley's character as while she's tough and independent, she's also scared and vulnerable. She'll never admit being scared, or that she may not be quite as capable (yet) as some of the more experienced trappers but there's also a little part of her that's relieved if she's told to stay behind.
One of my favourite parts of this book was the relationship between Riley and Beck. Riley spends most of her time frustrated with Beck because he's treating her like a little kid. She's starting to know another side of him though - the real Beck which he doesn't usually let anyone see. Beck's also coming to realise that he doesn't just see Riley as a substitute little sister and that his reaction to finding out about her and Sori wasn't just him being over-protective.
For me the Demon Trappers series is a bunch of realistic, well written characters set in an exciting, if a little scary, world.
Please bear in mind that this is the 3rd book in the series and may contain spoilers for the previous books.
I am going to be honest with you from the start, I love this series and in my opinion it just keeps going from strength to strength. This is the best one yet, even if at points I felt as if my heart was being wrenched out.
The storyline picks up directly from the ending of Forbidden, dropping us straight in to the action. The revelations come thick and fast, the pacing of the story is a thrill ride in itself. I love the way Jana Oliver has the ability to weave together action, romance and the paranormal without pausing for breath. Riley is such a relatable character, over thinking and questioning herself but when the chips are down she really comes through.
The character developments took my breath away in this book. Insight into personalities and actions, background details of not only the main characters but the ones that shape the edges of the story added a great deal of depth and understanding to the narrative. Although there is still a huge amount left to learn, especially about Beck *swoon*. I have to say that although I love this bad boy I wouldn't want to see him with anyone else other than Riley, they are so perfect for each other.
Underlying all of the story is the battle of good versus evil, angels versus demons, what this book did was made me question as to whose side I was on. Who really is the champion of mankind? It was just brilliantly portrayed. The sacrifices people make for their loved ones and whether their choices are in fact the right ones all comes into question.
I also adore the way in which friendships are portrayed, help comes from unexpected places. While misconceptions can backfire badly, specifically in Simon's case.
I loved everything about this book, even though I sobbed at the ending. I am seriously pining for the next installment, thank goodness its this year or I might have to camp out on Jana's front lawn in an attempt to get her to take pity on me and let me read it [ ; D ]
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.