Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Review: Forgiven by Jana Oliver

Forgiven (The Demon Trappers #3) by Jana Oliver
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Book
Released: March 1st 2012
My Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads

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…
(from Goodreads)

Forgiven was another great addition to a series that just keeps getting better and better. In this book, Riley is forced to deal with the consequences of fraternising with a Fallen angel. The Hunters are already convinced she’s working for Hell and if they ever found out what really happened between her and Ori, she’d be shipped off to Rome for sure. Beck is furious with Riley, she’s practically under house arrest and she still has no idea why Lucifer decided to summon her dad, let alone what kind of favour he could possibly want from her. And if things weren’t bad enough already, someone is creating zombie-like demons that can’t be killed, and they’re wreaking havoc across the city. If Riley doesn’t find out what’s going on and who’s behind it all, she won’t be able to stop Armageddon, and she’s sure as hell that Heaven won’t forgive her for going back on her promise.

Riley was as awesome as ever in this book. Even though Ori lied to her and she almost lost her soul, she didn’t let that take her over and refused to be consumed by it. She got on with her life, doing the best she could. I found it easy to connect to her – her emotions were a bit all over the place, but I think that made her quite a believable teen, and despite that she was still able to focus on the important things, like trapping and finding out what was going on with the fake holy water scam. I think Riley grew a lot in this book – she was less recklessly hot-headed and took time to think about what she was going to do next. Even when she was disobeying orders, she did it because she truly believed it was the right thing, or it was to only way to fix what was going on. I think she was learning from her mistakes and becoming a better trapper and a better fighter. After everything that had happened, no-one would have blamed her if she just wanted to give up and mope for a while, but the fact she struggled on was admirable and made her more likeable. One of the reasons I love this series is because of Riley. I like heroines that actually take action instead of watching everyone else do everything for them.

Beck, as usual, was one of the highlights of the book for me. Though maybe not the usual type I go for in YA fiction, I just think he and Riley would be so good together. He was angry at her for the first part of the book, because of what happened with Ori, and he let his jealousy get the better of him. Underneath that though, you could tell he really cared about Riley. He was worried about her, and didn’t want her to get in any more trouble. Later on, when they sort of made up, he did his best to be there for her, and I loved the way the two interacted. It was sort of like “you annoy the hell out of me, but I like you really and you’re funny” and was so great to read about. Beck’s comments about certain people made me laugh too. However, the best thing about Beck in this particular book was that we got a little glimpse into his past – and boy, was it interesting. This is why I loved the bits from his point of view so much – we got to see things about him no-one else did! We’d always been kept in the dark about Beck before he started trapping – all we ever knew was he used to be a soldier. But it turned out Beck was actually hiding something quite shady and dark. I’m so intrigued; I can’t wait to find out more about it. Whatever it is, Beck was desperate for Riley to never found out. After that ending though...well, let’s just say I am excited for book 4!

I also think I’ve grown to love Peter even more. He was so good in Forgiven, such a brilliant friend to Riley. Always there to cheer her up, or offer her advice or lend her a hand. Everyone needs a friend like Peter, really. He was so cute and awesome...ah. If only he were real! Mort was another character that I grew to like even more. He was determined to do the right thing and he was always very sweet to Riley and he made me smile. Ayden, the witch who helped Riley in the last book, was back in Forgiven too, and I really liked her. She and Mort had this great banter going on – as much as they claimed to hate each other, I think they actually got a long pretty well, and their scenes were definitely funny! Captain Salvatore, one of the Hunters, was another funny one. He seemed to be one of the only guys with a good sense of humour and was a refreshing change from all the other, serious Hunters.

The mystery of Ori was not fully resolved in Forgiven, though we did learn a lot more. Although he was turned into a statue, he could still communicate his thoughts to Riley and they were very interesting thoughts indeed. I thought Ori was a bad guy but after Forgiven, I’m not entirely sure what his motives truly were, or what will happen next. I’ll definitely be interested to find out more about him, and the other Fallen, in Fortold.

Overall, Forgiven was a brilliant follow up to Forbidden – if you liked the previous two books, then this is a must-read. The story was awesome, full of things I didn’t expect and had a lot of great action as well as mystery and suspense. Cannot recommend this series enough – with a tough heroine and an exciting plot, give it a go and you won’t be disappointed.


  1. I think I was completely opposite to you on this one (except Beck, I still love Beck)!

  2. YES, yes, and yes! I totally agree with everything you've said. Riley is one of my favourite YA heroines and Beck is just so swoon worthy. Peter is such an awesome friend and Mort is such a sweet heart. I wasn't a fan Ori in Forbidden, but my feeling for him have kind of changed after reading Forgiven. I'm interested to see where Jana takes his character in the next book. I'm so excited about Foretold - August seems so far away!

    Great review. :)

  3. Lucifer. Unstoppable zombie-like demons. Fake-holy water scams. Awesome characters. Agggh, must make time to get on these books soon!

    Riley sounds crazy awesome, love me a heroine who take ACTION! Hehe and I love how you describe the relationship with Beck, “you annoy the hell out of me, but I like you really and you’re funny" Those are the best kind to read! Fantastic review, Liz!

  4. I really liked book two, but I was majorly disappointed with the turn of events in book two. And WILL BECK AND RILEY EVER GET TOGETHER, DAMMIT? I'm not sure I can handle the wait anymore.

    I'm happy that the characters are becoming more amazing as the series goes on, so that's a plus. You've got me seriously considering giving this one a whirl.


  5. AHHHH Liz you've got me SO excited for this!! My copy was despatched today and I cannot wait for it to arrive. I love that Riley grows a bit because she can sometimes be a bit frustrating and I'm now totally intrigued by Ori and Beck revelations...awesome review, cannot wait to read this.

    The Cait Files

  6. I've only read the first book in this series and even though I own book two I've been putting it off. I did have some issues with the first book but I liked parts of the story and Beck was a personal fav. I will have to get caught up with this one very soon.

    Thanks for your great review!

  7. I enjoyed this book much more than the first two. Great review!

  8. Woah, how did I not know that this series was already up to its third! I must not have been paying close attention because I could've sworn the first one just came out. A shame because it really sounds like I'm missing out and should be paying better attention!

  9. I just feel so bad that I haven't even started this series.

  10. Ditto with Vivienne. Why haven't I started this series yet? I think I've seen you talk about it 237984 times and yet... agh!

    I'm reaaally intrigued about Beck's back story even though I know nothing about him. It's always cool to read the past of the more mysterious characters and you've got me so intrigued.

    I think I'm like forever suspicious of Peters because of Pettigrew but this one sounds so great! :)

    Awesome review, Liz! <3


  11. I really need to read this series!!! I have the first book on my Nook, and the library has the second book. I need to remedy that soon, because the series sounds awesome!


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