Reading Level: Young Adult
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (August 30, 2011)
Series: The Demon Trapper's Daughter #2
Source: ARC provided by the author
Cover: As with the last one, I really like this cover. The interesting pose of the model and the graveyard fading into that gorgeous blue all work for me. I'd definitely pick it up!
First Sentence: "The Grounds Zero Coffee Shop made the most amazing hot chocolate in Atlanta, maybe even the whole world."
Mini- Review: An action packed sequel building off of everything that was right about the first for an entirely new adventure in the gritty world of future Atlanta!
Riley Blackthorne’s adventures continue in the second spellbinding Demon Trappers novel, as she battles demons… and a love that could destroy her
At the start of the second thrilling installment of the Demon Trappers series, 17-year-old Riley Blackthorne has about had it up to here. After the devastating battle at the Tabernacle, trappers are dead and injured, her sweet boyfriend Simon is gravely injured, and now her beloved late father’s been illegally poached from his grave by a very powerful necromancer. Add to the mix: 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, and Riley’s almost ready to leave Atlanta altogether.
But as the demon count in Atlanta increases, the already crippled Trappers Guild has its hands full, and, when the Vatican finally sends its own Demon Hunters to take care of the city’s “little” problem, 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. As Riley’s life becomes a dangerous balancing act, will she be strong enough not to tip? And who will be there to catch her if she falls?Review:
Riley and her guild are back and dealing with the aftermath of the attack on the Tabernacle. Picking up where The Demon Trapper's Daughter left off, Soul Thief utilizes the world building it did in the first novel to plunge Riley and the reader further into the gritty underground of Atlanta with the same cast of real characters, a few new additions and a plot full of jaw dropping twists.
What I loved about Riley in the first novel was her strength but also her vulnerability. She was brave when she needed to be but she was also fragile and broken seeing as she becomes an orphan and has to deal with a lot of other things on top of that. She doesn't lose this balance in the next book. She's still battling with the implications of the first novel and she makes several life changing decisions in this one. What I really appreciated about her is that she didn't make any stupid choices. Every move Riley made was one I'd make myself sans the intense anger towards Beck (though I feel like that's because as a reader I follow him around and get to know what he's really thinking).
Speaking of Beck, I liked his chapters but I'd have liked to see a few more of him. He took a backseat in this novel but it's because Riley's chapters really pushed the plot along. I did like a particular scene where we find out something kind of huge about Beck over barbecue and filling out form but I won't say anymore for those of you who haven't read it.
I also really liked Peter's character who has done a 180 since the first novel. I kept looking at the adventures Riley and Peter went on and saying that that is what real friendship is made out of. Harper's transformation also provided interesting. Even as much as I disliked him in the first novel, I always felt there was more going on under the surface and this novel provided some insight into that for which I am grateful. As for Ori. I'll just say I was right about him... one way or the other.
What I really appreciated about this novel were the twists. I got to a certain point and just sat the book down and said "now, that's a game changer". Ms. Oliver isn't afraid to screw with the normalities we know to make for an interesting plot and I applaud her for that. I'm also really glad that the character's make life altering decisions and do things that they can't magically take back. It makes the stakes feel that much higher and I appreciated that.
The other thing this novel really succeeds at is expanding on the world building from the first novel. We get to know about Deaders in the first book and who summons them but in this novel, Riley is forced to dive into the world of Necromancers. She goes to this auction and I, as a reader, loved finding out the rules and social standards the Necros followed. We also get to learn more about witches and their magic. There are other things introduced that are also expounded upon but I won't mention them so as not to give anything away.
I'm going to say this last thing because I need to: I loved the scenes with Beck and Stewart because of their accents. I found myself reading Beck's dialog in a Southern accent then accidentally reading Stewart's that way and having to go back and change it to Scottish. I loved how their voices sounded together in my head.
Soul Thief weaves together all the things that made the first novel great and stitches them into this new novel while throwing in brand new surprises to make something bigger. Riley's journey is one laden with heart ache and triumph and Ms. Oliver makes the reader care about every bit of it. Soul Thief feels like it's building towards something and I can't wait to find out what happens. You can bet I'll be heading back to Atlanta when the next demon shows itself!