Friday, 29 July 2011

Review: Forbidden by Jana Oliver

Forbidden (The Demon Trappers #2) by Jana Oliver
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Released: August 5th 2011
My Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads

Riley's beginning to think being a demon trapper isn't all it's cracked up to be. Her dad's been stolen by a necromancer, her boyfriend's gone all weird and she's getting warm and fuzzy feelings for someone who's seriously bad news. It's tempting to give it all up and try to be normal, but that's not an option. Because the demons have plans for Riley. And they're not the only ones. (from Goodreads)

Forbidden was fast-paced, thrilling and a great follow up to Forsaken, and possibly my favourite “second-in-a-series” of the year. In this book, Riley has to deal with a lot; after the demon attack that takes the lives of several of her fellow trappers and hospitalises her boyfriend Simon, Riley doesn’t think things can get much worse. How very wrong she is. First Simon starts acting all weird, then she’s accused of working with Hell, her guardian-slash-friend-slash-eternal-bane-of-her-existence Beck is set on shipping her out to her aunt in Fargo, and to top it all off, the mysterious freelance demon hunter Ori isn’t letting her out of his sight, and Riley’s starting to have thoughts about him that Heaven wouldn’t be too pleased about. But worst of all, Riley’s dad is still out there somewhere, illegally re-animated, and Riley is determined to find him and let him rest in peace. But finding him is proving to be more difficult than it first seemed, and Riley has other important things on her to-do list – like saving the world.

One thing I really liked about Forbidden was that I felt that, even among all the demons and the angels and hunters, it seemed very real. Riley was a very believable teenager – both in this book and in Forsaken – she got angry, she got jealous, she got impatient and she did a lot of stupid things that any teenager with raging hormones and an authority complex would do.  Sure, there were times where I was mentally screaming at her to think about what she was doing, but to me, that just proved how emotionally invested I was in these characters – because if I didn’t care about them, why would I care about what they did? I really liked Riley, and I think her grief and stress clouded her judgment at times, which is why she did a few things that perhaps were unwise. Even so, I was rooting for her the whole time, and I loved her ferocious attitude and her determination to save her dad (I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I really don’t like those “damsel in distress” type heroines that faint whenever something remotely serious happen – which is why I liked Riley so much, because she was the complete opposite).

Another thing I liked about Forbidden was Riley’s best friend, Peter. He played a slightly bigger role in this book, and I really enjoyed reading about him – he was a lot more daring than he was previously, and a lot funnier than before – some of his lines were hilarious! He was also a really great friend to Riley and helped her out whenever he could, whether it be with her boyfriend troubles (I always knew there was something about that Simon I didn’t like) or with her demon troubles (and there were a lot of them), which I think was good of him, because a lot of people would have steered clear from the dangerous world of demons and demon trapping.

However, possibly my favourite thing about Forbidden was the return of Beck. He was definitely my favourite character, and I loved the little snippets that were from his point of view – Riley could be really harsh to him sometimes, and I think sometimes she forgot that she wasn’t the only one grieving about her dad; Beck missed Paul just as much as she did, and all he was trying to do was protect her like her dad would have wanted. It was interesting to read about his internal struggle too – on the outside he was this brash, confident guy that made a lot of jokes and eyed up a lot of women, but inside he was worrying constantly about Riley and trying to decide what his feelings for her meant. I liked reading about his reactions whenever Riley mentioned Ori or Simon – he didn’t think much of either of them, and even if he wouldn’t admit it, it was clear why – even the Masters (head demon trappers) could tell. Of course, he wasn’t all serious and had his funny moments too – and any guy who can admit to loving Taylor Swift, and who can sing along to her songs, is all right with me ;).

Something that surprised me about Forbidden was how much I came to like Mort, a necromancer that had previously been after Riley’s dad’s body. Mort always liked to do things the legal way, so when he heard that Riley’s dad was stolen, he helped her try to find him, no questions asked, and risked a lot to get info for her. He just seemed like a genuinely nice person, with an intriguing back-story, and I’m hoping we get to see a lot more of him in the next book!

For those of you who like mystery, I say only this: Forbidden is full of it. Whether it’s the whole what-the-frigging-heck-is-going-on-with Ori thing or whether it’s the what-on-Earth-are-Heaven-and-Hell-up-to debate, you will be left wondering about a lot of things. By the end, some information (but not all) is revealed, and I can guarantee the first thing your brain will do is go “bfbhhfdjhjdnxng...I need the next book!” That’s what happened to me. I can’t wait until Forgiven is released!

Overall, Forbidden was an excellent addition to The Demon Trappers series, and has left me eagerly anticipating the sequel. For anyone who enjoyed the first book, this is a must read, and I also recommend the series for fans of urban fantasy and for people who like their heroines with a bit more mettle than in your average YA.


  1. Aw man, this is the second gushing review I've read of this! And I was surprised with a copy in the mail today - if that's not a sign that I NEED to go grab myself Forsaken and start devouring this series soon, I don't know what is. You have me excited to dive into this world now!

  2. This series is awesome, probably one of my favorites. Can't wait for the release date.

  3. Okay... I need to get the first one and this one at the same time. Yep... I think I need to start this series soon! Good review!

  4. awesome awesome review. I agree with everything you said. I loved this book so much, definitely my fave second in a series book of the year too!

    The Cait Files

  5. Great review! I love Forsaken and Forbidden sounds even better. Beck is definitely my favourite character so I am glad to hear we get his POV again :)

  6. I think I need to check out this series now!

  7. The only thing I actually loved about the first book was Beck! I'm excited that we get to read more about him in the second book. I might just stick with this series because I like Beck's Character so much.
    Thanks for the great review, can't wait for this one!


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