Saturday, April 21, 2012

Reading Reflection: Soul Thief

Soul Thief (The Demon Trapper's Daughter #2)
by Jana Oliver
Published August 30, 2011
P. 339
Rating: 4/5

Riley Blackthorne is beginning to learn that there are worse things than death by demon. And love is just one of them…

Seventeen-year-old Riley has about had it up to here. After the devastating battle at the Tabernacle, trappers are dead and injured, her boyfriend Simon is gravely injured, and now her beloved late father’s been illegally poached from his grave by a very powerful necromancer. As if that’s not enough, there's Ori, one sizzling hot freelance demon hunter who’s made himself Riley’s unofficial body guard, and Beck, a super over-protective “friend” who acts more like a grouchy granddad. With all the hassles, Riley’s almost ready to leave Atlanta altogether.
But as Atlanta’s demon count increases, the Vatican finally sends its own Demon Hunters to take care of the city’s “little” problem, and pandemonium breaks loose. Only Riley knows that she might be the center of Hell’s attention: an extremely powerful Grade 5 demon is stalking her, and her luck can't last forever

Alright, I like this second book better than the first.  My original problem was that there were so many different things going on that I couldn't keep track of every conflict.  Now with this second one, either these problems are being resolved or I finally got them in order (I think the second is true).

At the end of the first book Riley's father -- Paul -- is no longer in his grave, someone broke the wards and summoned him.  Somehow demons also broke the holy water wards around the trapper's meeting and all hell breaks loose.  The unsuspecting trappers are being demolished by various level demons and if it wasn't for tall-dark-and-handsome-Ori, Riley would probably be dead.  Not to mention a group of angels swooping in to save the day.  I have to say that I didn't really understand what was happening at this point of the last book, very confusing -- definite, Huh? feeling going on. 

Along with this violent ending, Simon gets really hurt during the battle and no one thinks he's going to make it.  While visiting him in the hospital, Riley encounters another another angel who says she'll save Simon, but Riley owes heaven a favor.  So she accepts. 

Book two.
  • Let's start off with Simon.  Riley accepts the offer and is debt to heaven so Simon survives, but he has changed drastically.  In the last book his faith guided him, now he swears Riley and her father are working for hell.  He turns into a huge jerk and I felt so bad for Riley.
  • Peter starts taking an active role in helping Riley out with research.  He starts stepping into her world and the definitive line of friendship I didn't really sense in the other book are clear in this one.  I like Peter, his the normalcy Riley needs in her life.  The nerdy, reassuring, BFF, always there when she needs him.
  • Ori.  Where did this guy come from?  He's a major character in this book, Riley's new love interest, but there is something more to him that proves Riley should stay away from guys for a long time.  However, there is a scene with him and Beck and I kinda like how Ori handled the situation.  Beck started his chest puffing and Ori provoked him, not very mature, but Beck seems to be walking an unclear line which he needs to clear up for himself.
  • Beck, oh Beck.  He tries to protect Riley, but is such a jerk in the process all the good intent is lost.  In this book you see more layers to him.  I like him, but by hiding his real feelings for Riley he's just pushing her away.  I understand his concern, he feels responsible for her and crossing that line doesn't seem like a good idea at this point in her life.  But turning that emotion into demands and constraints isn't working. 
  • Alright, Riley doesn't know who took her father and she's on a mission to find his body.
  • Damon Trappers and Demon Hunters do not play nice.  Now a group of demon hunters are coming to town.
  • Along with the demon hunters comes a seductive red-head, Justine.  She and Beck play nice for a while, really nice.  I hated him for it and hated her even more. 
  • Someone is messing with the holy water and Riley is doing her part to solve that mystery. 
  • Riley befriends a witch named Ayden and necromancer Mortimer.
Again there is sooo much happening in this book that it is very difficult to keep track of... too many love interests and problems.  Her latest love problem is huge and forces Riley into another debt owing decision and possibly ruins her chances of becoming a demon trapper and damages other relationships.  Again, I felt bad for her.  Not once in this book do I forget that Riley is a young adult with a lot to deal with.  She handles her situations like a teenager would, some she does great some not so good.  But she tries, that's what I like about this book.  She has the right level of teenage stupidity/naivety, angst, and kick ass drive.   

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