Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Book Review: Forgiven by Jana Oliver

Forgiven by Jana Oliver

Reading Level: Young Adult
Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; Original edition (March 27, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0312614802
ISBN-13: 978-0312614805
Series: Demon Trapper #3
Source: Finished copy provided by publisher 
Cover: I actually thought this was the UK cover because it looks more like the UK covers than the first to American covers. I like this one okay but I miss the full length body shot of Riley that we usually get and I like book series that follow the same pattern. I guess this book's color is purple but I don't know it instantly like I did with the last two.
First Sentence: Riley Blackthorne's tears were no more.

Mini-Review: Forgiven rises the stakes sky high and introduces an entirely new Riley Blackthorne that you're going to love!

Jana Oliver's third spellbinding Demon Trappers novel - following The Demon Trapper's Daughter and Soul Thief - brings all new thrills, as Riley Blackthorne takes on demons, love... and the future of the human race. 
The days are growing darker for 17-year-old demon trapper Riley Blackthorne. With her father’s reanimated body back safely, Beck barely speaking to her because of a certain hunky Fallen angel, and a freshly-made deal with Lucifer, she has enough on her hands to last a normal teenage lifetime. Though she bargained with Heaven to save his life, her ex-boyfriend Simon has told the Vatican’s Demon Hunters that she’s working with Hell. So now she’s in hiding, at the top of everyone’s most-wanted list. 
But it’s becoming clear that this is bigger than Riley, and rapidly getting out of control: something sinister is happening in Atlanta… or someone. The demons are working together for the first time ever and refusing to die, putting civilians in harm’s way. Riley thinks she might know who’s behind it all, but who’s going to believe her? Caught between her bargain with Heaven and her promise to Lucifer, Riley fears the final war is coming – and it may be closer than anyone thinks…

I've been a fan of this series since the first cover was released. I love the idea of a girl fighting in a man's world and I needed to know how people trapped demons. What I found was a wildly imaginative world full of brand new roles and characters I couldn't get enough of. Forgiven takes this amazing story to the next level and is full of intrigue, character transformations and stakes as high as possible.

Riley has learned more, become more resourceful and has lost about as much as she can take. Forgiven
follows her right after Beck's betrayal and finding out her father's reanimated is at Mort's. I tended to get really angry at Riley's hot temper in the last two books towards people who love her. I guess she's had enough of fighting the people she cares about because in this book, she's learned to direct her anger at the right people. With a clearer head, she is able to see through how people really are to what they are hiding which makes her interactions with Beck much easier. I did like that the things Riley has suffered have effected her. She is no longer as eager to prove herself and she isn't fearless. She feels every death, understands every dangerous situtation and these things effect her. She allows people to help her because she knows she is in over her head. Having her more rational just made for a better Riley. I could really see how the things in the last two books effected her and how much she's grown as a character. It made for an awesome read.

Beck's getting better too though he doesn't catch on as quick as Riley that loving someone means loving all of them. He's scared to death that he's going to lose everything once people find out about that past of his which makes him stay stuck in the same place half of the time. I was happy to see that once Riley decided to grow up, he did a bit of growing on his own. Seeing the tender side of him just added to a character I already love and I can't wait to finally see him and Riley have their time together. Especially since we got some wonderful sneak peeks of it. Once these two hotheads stopped fighting each other, we got some pretty amazing moments that totally made suffering through their bickering in the last two books worth it!

The same side characters that I loved from before are also in this book. I don't talk about him enough but Peter is one of my favorite best friend's of all time. His connection to Riley really does make this book stronger, especially since he is all Riley has now. I loved watching how strongly these two care for each other. Mort and Aryden also play their parts well, both reliable to a fault when Riley needs them and I can't wait to see what romance lies ahead for them. Hear that Jana Oliver? They need some lovin' from the other magic side, if you know what I'm saying, because their chemistry burnt me! I also really liked seeing a more human side to the Hunters in this book. Riley always thinks of them as so big so it was nice to see that they are just guys fighting a much bigger cause too.

There were plenty of twists and turns to keep the story interesting and as always, Riley and Beck's voices colored the story interesting. I really didn't have any idea who was on who's side and what was going to happen until it was playing out in front of me. As expected, Oliver's writing is superb, effortlessly guiding the reader through this fascinating city of Atlanta that she has created for us to enjoy. I like that in this book, the city and the rules and stakes just got bigger and really let us know just how small the things fighting evil were.  I am continually surprised at how things can just keep getting better in this series but Oliver manages to surprise and delight with each installment.

Forgiven is most definitely an action packed novel that will have you guessing from beginning to end. With a more mature female character finally coming into her own on the gritty and dangerous streets of Atlanta, I think you'll find it hard to put down Forgiven.With each installment, things only seem to get better. I'll be anxiously waiting for the conclusion of a series that is rapidly becoming one of my favorites!


Favorite Lines:
High above, a blood red moon held court in the sky, thousands of stars paying homage.
--Pg. 11 of "Forgiven" by Jana Oliver
"Give it up, will you? You're my best friend, but you can be a self-centered asshat sometimes." (as if I needed anymore reason to love Peter, here is a wonderful line by him)
--Pg. 43 of "Forgiven" by Jana Oliver
Roscoe had hit on her, tried to talk her into starring in one of his movies. No matter how angry Beck was at Paul's daughter, no one had the right to do that and keep breathing.
--Pg. 82 of "Forgiven" by Jana Oliver
All she wanted was one more tale with a happy ending. Even more, she wished it was hers.
--Pg. 106 of "Forgiven" by Jana Oliver
The market itself was usually a sea of colorful tents... now only chaos was shopping here.
--Pg. 247 of "Forgiven" by Jana Oliver
"Trials and setbacks. Strife often leads ta a sweeter life.That's the lesson of the blackthorn."
--Pg. 258 of "Forgiven" by Jana Oliver
There was no sunlight in her life now. Instead, it grew darker by degrees, like approaching nightfall.
--Pg. 265 of "Forgiven" by Jana Oliver
It was the kiss of a man who had waited years for that moment and feared it would never come again.
--Pg. 279 of "Forgiven" by Jana Oliver
There was a muffled rustle of wings on both sides. Then utter silence, the universe holding its breath.
--Pg. 322 of "Forgiven" by Jana Oliver
The ring and the note were all she had left of Paul Blackthorne. No, that wasn't quite right: Her heart still held all the sweet memories of their years together. No matter what, those were immortal, beyond reach of  any demon or angel.
--Pg. 345 of "Forgiven" by Jana Oliver


  1. Sounds like this one might be an improvement on the last book, which I found a bit disappointing. The romance drama got a little too House of Night for me in Soul Thief.

    I'm disappointed by the cover change; I liked the US covers for the last two way better. Oh well!

    1. I totally agree with you about the cover!

      I get the romance drama too but this book finally gives you a pay off for all that waiting.

  2. I thought this was the UK version, too. Weird.

    I've only read book one. I enjoyed it. Honestly, Beck bugged me. I'm glad to see that there's been tons of character growth. I'd definitely be interested in reading more knowing Beck and Riley have moved beyond the bickering.

    Great review, Amber. I'm glad you loved this!

  3. I feel the same way about the cover. It really disappointed my after the first two books. And as much as I don't like to judge, the cover of the first book is the reason I picked it up (it really caught my eye).
    Forgiven is the book I have been waiting for! I feel like the first two books were building till this point and I can't wait to get my hands on a copy! Your awesome review makes me want to read Forgiven right NOW! But I can't. :( I'm dying for just a teeny tiny Riey/Beck moment! :D

  4. @ Amber - Thanks for the great review. Sorry I didn't get out sooner -- I've been on the road.

    @ Andrea - Riley and Beck still do some bickering, but both are getting a clue just how important the possibility of a relationship would be for both of them.

    @ Kris - I can promise there is a teeny tiny Riley/Beck moment in FORGIVEN.

  5. This is one of my favorite series! The world building is great and the characters feel very real to me, I think that's what I love most! Riley and Beck are flawed and real and even when Riley screws up you can totally understand why she made that bad choice (Soul Thief) so you can't be mad at her for it. Forgiven was amazing <3

  6. Hi Amber! I skipped parts of your reviews because I'm currently reading Forbidden (I might spoil it!) But this really got me: 'Forgiven is most definitely an action packed novel that will have you guessing from beginning to end.' It reminded me why I love the series. ;) Great review and thanks for stopping by at my blog!


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