Foretold, by Jana Oliver

For my review of The Demon Trapper’s Daughter (book #1) click here!
For my review of Soul Thief (book #2) click here!
For my review of Forgiven (book #3) click here!

ForetoldPublisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Release Date: December 11, 2012

Genre: Young Adult – Urban Fantasy

Type: Series (The Demon Trappers #4)

Purchase: Book Depository (Free Worldwide Delivery)

It’s all or nothing in the final battle for humanity and Beck’s heart…
Now that Riley’s managed to fend off Armageddon, everything has changed… Well, most things. Lucifer’s ex-right-hand man, Sartael, has proven to be more resilient than anyone thought and is about to confront the Prince of Hell once and for all, forcing Atlanta into the path of a looming storm. Even worse, Beck is back to treating Riley like a little girl again, as if their epic kiss never happened. While she’d love to just tell him off and move on, Riley has vowed to take care of Beck the way he’s taken care of her since her father died. When she’s drafted to help him care for his dying mother in South Georgia, that vow is put to the test. Before long, they stumble too close to a dark and murderous secret from Beck’s past, the one he fears could drive her away forever. As old enemies settle scores, Riley may be Beck’s only hope for redemption… and survival.

If there was anything I had to say about this series as a whole, it’d have to be just how riveting and consistent each book has been. The last and final book of the series, Foretold, was no different. Except… there was something that truly stood out in this instalment – something different that made me appreciate the characters of Riley and Beck and the others I’ve felt so connected to so much more. 

Foretold was a whole new level of intensity, with the final battle finally at hand and the countless lives sure to be lost, I thought Riley and Beck had so much more to lose, on top of all the things that they’ve already lost. It was such a thrilling, suspenseful experience as a reader, trying to get through a book filled with chaos with the faintest slight of hope for the characters you’ve grown so attached to.

The most distinctive aspect about the final book was the plot. Essentially, there were two major stories taking place, and I was unsurprisingly immersed in both. The first, being Beck’s personal journey coming to terms with his past and facing his deepest, darkest secrets was… well, completely different from the ‘Demon Trapping’ atmosphere I’ve been so used to. It was lovely. Emotional. Everything I did not expect from an arrogant, tough, frustrating guy like Beck.

[MINOR SPOILER ALERT]

That whole story with Beck heading back to his small hometown with Riley felt a tad bit like Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Okay maybe more than a tad. I don’t know. Let’s just say it was creepy, yet entertaining as heck.

[END OF MINOR SPOILER]

As always, Riley Blackthorne kicked ass. I don’t how else to properly explain her tremendous growth as a character, whilst still remaining true to herself – feisty, confident (the good kind), and completely flawed yet admirable in so many ways.

What I treasured in Oliver’s writing was how compelling and satisfying this conclusion was to the series. From the battle between Lucifer and Hell’s rebels haha sounds like a motorcycle gang, to Beck and Riley’s forever-frustrating relationship, and even Simon’s story – I felt Oliver wrapped this series beautifully and truthfully.

Foretold was a bittersweet conclusion to such an amazing series of books, and I am glad to have read and experienced it along with the characters I’ve grown so fond of.

—————————————

Bookaholic Verdict: no cure for this addiction – i will love this series forever and ever

Quotaholic: “It wasn’t until Riley returned to her seat that she looked out the window. Beck’s mouth had dropped open in shock. He blinked a few times and closed it.

Jamie’s totally-relevant reading playlist:
“The Reason” by Hoobastank
“The Great Escape” by Pink

For the Bookaholics (3): Kickass Heroines

For the Bookaholics is a monthly segment where any book-related topics are discussed and shared.

[Update] As this post is quite long overdue, I’ve decided to make For the Bookaholics not monthly, but sporadically, you know, whenever I feel like making these. Anyways

To the bookaholics who just love a good, stubborn, tough-as-nails, anti-damsels-in-distress, this one’s for you…
 Kickass Heroines
Yes, I’m back! And if you stuck by me throughout this entire year, you guys already know how much I love it when stories have a strong, vocal, female character as a protagonist. Maybe it’s because I am a female myself, but there is something empowering when I read about girls who don’t fall under those traditional female stereotypes. So, without further ado, here are my favourite kickass heroines, in no particular order:
 
 Rose Hathaway
Vampire Academy series, by Richelle Mead
Rose Hathaway

Rose Hathaway on the Last Sacrifice cover. Not exactly how I pictured her, but considering how crazy and downright mind-blowing Last Sacrifice (the sixth and final book) was, it totally makes up for it.

Looking back, I’m pretty sure Rose Hathaway was the girl that started it all for me – my love for strong heroines, that is. Half-vampire, half-human, Rose embodies what makes a true, kickass heroine. Not only does she have the feisty attitude perfected, but her strong need to put herself in harms way just to protect others makes her (as much as she hates to admit it) one of the most stubborn, caring characters out there. However, despite her protective nature, male or female, you mess with Rose, you mess with her fists. Her badass strigoi fighting skills and tattoos make Rose a force to be feared and reckoned with (but mostly feared).
 There are obviously not enough words to describe how much of a complex, badass character Rose is, so if you haven’t already had the pleasure, or are totally over the whole “vampire” phase, don’t let that stop you from reading the Vampire Academy series. I can honestly say this girl right here is the main reason why I became incredibly obsessed with the series, and the reason why I am never afraid or ashamed to recommend these books to anyone. Seriously, the whole “being a vampire” thing is the least of Rose’s worries.
 Quotaholic: “Wild and disrespectful? Who the hell are you anyway? Outsourced help?”
 
 Vera Dietz
Please Ignore Vera Dietz, by A.S. King
I pictured Emma Stone as Vera Dietz - she's quirky, witty, and I can totally see her playing vulnerable.

I pictured Emma Stone as Vera Dietz – she’s quirky, witty, and I can totally see her playing vulnerable.

Vera Dietz doesn’t take anyone’s bs. That makes her a kickass heroine. Vera Dietz is not only smart, but she’s a smart-assThat makes her a kickass heroine. Vera Dietz has been through a hell of a lot considering she’s only in high school, but she stays classy. That makes her a kickass heroine. Vera Dietz has made countless mistakes and does stupid things that make her life sad and miserable and regretful, but she learns to deal and live. That makes her a kickass heroine. Vera Dietz is probably one of the strongest, toughest female characters out there, and she doesn’t even need special super-powers to prove herself. Kickass heroine, anyone?

Vera Dietz surprised me as a character – I don’t know what it was about her, but there was something special about her voice that stood out, which made her story such a heartfelt, memorable read. Check out Please Ignore Vera Dietz on Goodreads, or my review right here!

Quotaholic: “I reminded myself that the one thing Jenny Flick couldn’t buy, no matter what she used as currency, was a ticket to drive on the high road next to people like me.”

 
Daenerys Targaryen
A Song of Ice and Fire series, by George R. R. Martin

Emilia Clarke plays an amazing Dany in the HBO series.

I’m still on the first book of George R. R. Martin’s epic series, but that doesn’t make Daenerys “Dany” Targaryen less of a kickass heroine. Forced to flee her home with her only other living family member, Dany never really knew her parents or her ancient, powerful Targaryen bloodline. Not only is she in hiding alongside her emotionally and physically abusive brother, but she is sold off as a bride at the age of thirteen. You’d think Dany would be broken and worthless and completely hopeless, right? Wrong. Daenerys Targaryen is a fighter, by all means. They don’t call her the “Mother of Dragons” for nothing.
While I’m only on the first novel, Daenerys is easily becoming one of my favourite characters in A Game of Thrones. Don’t be intimidated by the size of the novel, but just in case you are, the HBO show is just as good!
Quotaholic: “Woman? Is that meant to insult me? I would return the slap, if I took you for a man.”
 
Tessa Gray
The Infernal Devices series, by Cassandra Clare

A STUNNING Tessa Gray on the final instalment of The Infernal Devices series – Clockwork Princess. Who else is impatiently waiting for March?

Tessa Gray is probably my favourite Victorian character ever. In fact, she’s just my favourite character ever because she gets to dress up in all those Victorian clothes. I mean, who wouldn’t be jealous? Besides the fact that two gorgeous men – Jem and Will – are completely in awe of Tessa, she is quite the kickass character. Whatever she is, there is no doubt that she’s headstrong and hard-headed, and will do anything in her power to protect the people she loves. Though she is one-third of a frustratingly-infamous love triangle, Tessa Gray is perfectly fine on her own, and doesn’t let anyone – not even the two most swoon-worthy boys – define her. 
If you’re, you know, living under a rock or something, be sure to check out The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare – seriously, you don’t want to miss.
Quotaholic: “If you do not help me, I swear, I will change into you, and I will lift him myself. And then everyone here will see what you look like in a dress. Do you understand?”

 

Tris Prior
Divergent series, by Veronica Roth

Though I never had Shailene Woodley in mind, she is in final negotiations to play Tris in the Divergent movie adaptation. Surprisingly, I’m pretty excited to see how this turns out.

Tris Prior is basically the definition of ‘kickass heroine’. As a member of the Dauntless faction, Tris is not only forced and trained to be a brave citizen, but naturally, she is one. Tris jumps off moving trains and climbs insanely high trees like it’s no. big. deal. Essentially, Tris is a divergent – without spoiling, she’s powerful, different, and dangerous – yet she knows what she’s worth and uses her abilities to do what she thinks is right. 
Check out Roth’s Divergent on Goodreads, or my review right here!
Quotaholic: “People tend to overestimate my character. They think that because I’m small, or a girl, or a Stiff, I can’t possibly be cruel. But they’re wrong.”
 
Hazel Grace Lancaster
The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green

So I never really had an exact picture of Hazel in my mind (except for a younger version of Natalie Portman), but I think Chloë Moretz would be great.

Hazel Grace doesn’t kick butt. Nor does she have super powers or lives in an alternate world where supernatural powers exist and can be obtained. This is why Hazel Grace is one of the greatest kickass heroines out there – she’s tough  in a world where cruelty, violence, and unexplainable mishaps happen to genuinely good people. Hazel Grace lives in a world very much like ours, and faces an inevitable reality like all humans must – except more painful and much faster. She’s a Cancer Kid, but unlike most Cancer patients, or any character I’ve ever come across. She sarcastic, witty, and incredibly intelligent, which is why she deals with her sickness in a way that makes readers themselves rethink about the meaning and beauty of life.

I may not have related to Hazel’s story, but it was her character that really spoke to me, not only as a devout reader, but as a simple, human being. Seriously, it would be a crime if you haven’t experienced the beauty that is The Fault in our Stars (Or, you know, just check out my very incoherent and emotional review here). 
Quotaholic: “Like, I realize that this is irrational, but when they tell you that you have, say, a 20 percent chance of living five years, the math kicks in and you figure that’s one in five… so you look around and think, as any healthy person would: I gotta outlast four of these bastards.”
 
Katniss Everdeen
Hunger Games series, by Suzanne Collins

(this girl doesn’t need a caption)

What else can I say about Katniss Everdeen that hasn’t been said, or seen, or read about yet? Everyone and their mother knows who this kickass heroine is, and who can blame them? Katniss is the representation of hope in her disastrous world, and with a simple bow-and-arrow at hand, she is not to be messed with. No matter where she is, or who she’s with, the Girl With the Braid is a fighter.
Quotaholic: “No one will forget me. Not my look, not my name. Katniss. The girl who was on fire.”
 
Vin
Mistborn series, by Brandon Sanderson

Vin on the first novel, Mistborn: The Final Empire.

Kicked and beaten as a young child, Vin always believed she was insignificant. However, with the help of Kelsier and his gang of rebels, Vin became one of the strongest, most feared characters in the novel. Her quiet demeanour and petite frame easily become a deadly factor when she’s rubbed the wrong way – but it’s hard not to love her blunt, feisty personality. Fighter, survivor, terrifying creature of the mists – whatever you choose to call her, Vin’s a kickass heroine in all the right ways.
Check out Mistborn on Goodreads, or my review right here!
Quotaholic: “I’m not afraid of them, they just don’t like me. They know I can outrun them, and that makes them surly.” – Vin, on horses
 
Riley Blackthorne
The Demon Trappers series, by Jana Oliver
Riley on the cover of the third book of the series, Forgiven.

Riley on the cover of the third book of the series, Forgiven.

Riley Blackthorne is snarky, sarcastic, and isn’t afraid to say whatever’s on her mind. Her attractive, strong presence not only leaves all the boys chasing after her, but demons as well. You’d think having all the attention in the world would make her an overconfident, over-the-top bitch, right? Well, not quite in Riley’s case. The one thing Riley is determined to become is an accomplished demon trapper, saving the demon-infested world from destruction. 
Read about The Demon Trapper’s Daughter on Goodreads, or check out my review right here!
Quotaholic: “Here’s where she was supposed to apologize, promise to be a good little girl and never do anything like this again. Screw that.”
 
Clary Fray
The Mortal Instruments series, by Cassandra Clare

Lily Collins as Clary in the Mortal Instruments: City of Bones movie adaptation. Beyond excited for this.

Above all, Clary Fray has to be the most stubborn character I’ve read about, like, in the history of stubborn characters. Her determination to protect and fight for her family and friends is quite admirable, considering she’s only fifteen years old. Clary’s signature red locks matches her fiery personality – it’s no wonder the infamous Jace is so drawn to her. 
Quotaholic: “I don’t want tea. I want to find my mother. And then I want to find out who took her in the first place, and I want to kill them.”
Well, until next time, bookaholics!
Who are your favourite kickass heroines? Leave a comment below, or make your own post and link it in the comments section!

Forgiven, by Jana Oliver

For my review of The Demon Trapper’s Daughter (book #1) click here!
For my review of Soul Thief (book #2) click here

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Release Date: March 27, 2012

Genre: Young Adult – Urban Fantasy

Type: Series (The Demon Trappers, #3)

Purchase: Amazon

Heaven help you if you’ve lost your heart to hell…
The days are growing darker for seventeen-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. 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…

Confession: I’m actually very upset right now. It’s odd, I know, considering how much I ADORED reading Forgiven. But that’s the problem – I’m afraid I adored this book too much that I wasn’t able to savor the reading experience. I wasn’t able to put the book down. You’d think I would’ve at least stopped to eat, or drink, or even finish my homework, but NO. Anyways, yes, I’m upset because dammit, not only does Ms Oliver know how to write a damn good book, but because she knows how to write a SHORT good book. I’m upset because I wanted more, and I hate the fact that I have to wait another year for the next one.

As always, Riley Blackthorne is freakin’ awesome. I loved that she was able to just accept some things the way they are, without having to impulsively jump in, as what she’s known for.

In the last book, I mentioned that if I had one word to describe Riley it would be “tired”. And honestly, it’s no surprise she’d feel that way considering the situation she’s currently in. In this novel, however, I’d say the one thing Riley learned would be to trust. Trust in others, and trust that, no matter what happens in her life, she’ll get through it.

It’s a shame I have nothing else to say about Riley right now because I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned and raved countless times about how she’s one of my all-time favourite female heroines, like, ever. Riley is definitely a flawed character, but there was never a time where I disliked reading about her. And that’s what I think makes a perfectly flawed character; despite their mistakes and their poor decisions and their overt arrogance, there is the growth and the experience that comes with it, which the reader has the priviledge of reading.

As for the plot, holy crap. There were far too many things going on on each chapter, action and drama and suspense on every scene, which made Forgiven the most fast-paced book of the series, in my opinion. Reading the novel was like swimming underwater and not being able to take a proper breath, simply because there was no time to breathe until you got to the end (my crappy attempt at an analogy).

Basically, the plot was fast and good and I did not care that it was going so fast because it was that good – at least until I actually finished the book and there was no more good left. Kudos to you, Oliver, for writing yet another brillant book.

Also, don’t think I’ve forgotten about the romance side of Riley’s story, because I haven’t. I’m just choosing to not talk about it because I DON’T HAVE THE WORDS. Seriously.

[MINOR SPOILER ALERT]

Except: Team Beck, b-tches.

[END OF MINOR SPOILER ALERT]

This is probably the most repetitive review I’ve written, but I’ll say it again: Forgiven was un-put-down-able. I’ve grown to love this series more and more as I read each book, and Forgiven was definitely not an exception. Love it, hate it, whatever you want – but don’t miss out on reading this series. Trust me.

 —————————————

Bookaholic Verdict: a highly-addictive series you won’t be able to get enough of

Quotaholic: “Her breath caught in her lungs. ‘I don’t want to be here if you’re not.’

Jamie’s totally-relevant reading playlist:
“Where We Belong” by Thriving Ivory

Soul Thief, by Jana Oliver

*For my review of The Demon Trapper’s Daughter (The Demon Trappers #1), click here!

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Release Date: August 30, 2011

Genre: Young Adult – Urban Fantasy

Type: Series (The Demon Trappers, #2)

Purchase: Amazon

Riley Blackthorne is beginning to learn that there are worse things than death by demon. And love is just one of them…
Riley has about had it up to here. After the devestating battle at the Tabernacle, trappers are dead and injured – her boyfriend, Simon, gravely so – 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 bodyguard, and Beck, a super-overprotective “friend” who acts more like a grouchy granddad. With all the hassles, the seventeen-year-old is almost ready to leave Atlanta behind.
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 out. 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…

First, let me say that I love books in a series. If I had to choose between a series and a stand-alone novel, I’d choose a series, no doubt (in most cases). The only thing I absolutely despise about book series, however, is the torturous wait. Thus, with The Demon Trappers series, I thought I’d be smart and not read Soul Thief until book three’s release was near. So after months of allowing this book to sit on my bookshelf unread and collecting dust, I decided to finally pick it up and read it. And though I’ve learned my lesson and realized that I was still waiting regardless, it was still very much worth the wait.

Although there wasn’t as much action as the previous novel, it was the characters – old and new – that I’d grown to appreciate and enjoy. Of course, Riley Blackthorne was without a doubt my favourite. It seemed to me that Riley just couldn’t catch a break –if you thought Riley had it bad in the first book, trust me, it was no comparison to this one. Not only was she still trying to cope with her father’s death, but now she had to find her father’s dead corpse, who was brought back to life without her permission, and make sure he actually STAYED dead. Heartbreaking, yes? Not really, considering that was not even half of her over-barring problems.

As a reader, it was very emotional seeing how frustrated – one as strong-willed, tough, and determined as Riley – was, with all her troubles. If I had one word to describe how Riley felt in this book, it would be tired. Tired for always being blamed, tired for always getting hurt, and tired for always having to take the role of ‘Blackthorne’s Demon Trapper Daughter’, when she’d much rather be a normal teenager… well, a normal teenage demon trapper. Again, I felt Oliver portrayed seventeen-year-old Riley exquisitely and successfully – her actions, her emotions, and her behaviour felt genuine and relatable, as a teenager.

As a devoted member of Team Beck, I was surprisingly unhappy with Simon’s character. In the first book, I didn’t like him, nor did I hate him, but his character in Soul Thief really made me, I don’t know, want to knock his head out with a book. Sure, there may be valid explanations for his behaviour, but the way he treated Riley… just, UGH. I was as frustrated as her. As for Ori, though attractive as he was, he felt off to me from the beginning, and I was hopelessly wishing for him and Beck to have a face off in which Beck would totally crush his face. (What I’m really trying to say is that Riley and Beck are perfect for each other, and they are flawless – in a not so flawless way – if that makes sense.)

Oliver’s writing in this instalment was just as fast-paced, compelling, and enjoyable as her previous novel, as I was finding myself devouring the contents of Soul Thief, and now, impatiently waiting for what’s next for Riley and her ever-complicated world.

 —————————————

Bookaholic Verdict: is it Tuesday yet?

Quotaholic: “When she reached the door Riley paused and looked back at him. A single glistening tear rolled down his pale cheek. It was a match to her own.

Jamie’s totally-relevant reading playlist:
“Eyes Open” by Taylor Swift

The Demon Trapper’s Daughter, by Jana Oliver

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Release Date: February 1, 2011

Genre: Young Adult – Urban Fantasy

Type: Series (The Demon Trappers, #1)

Purchase: Amazon

Seventeen-year-old Riley, the only daughter of legendary demon trapper Paul Blackthorne, has always dreamed of following in her father’s footsteps. The good news is, with human society seriously disrupted by economic upheaval and Lucifer increasing the number of demons in all major cities, Atlanta’s local Trappers Guild needs all the help it can get – even from a girl. When she’s not keeping up with her homework or trying to manage her growing crush on fellow apprentice Simon, Riley’s out saving distressed citizens from foul-mouthed little devils – Grade One Hellspawn only, of course, per the strict rules of the Guild. Life’s about as normal as can be for the average demon-trapping teen.
But then a Grade Five Geo-Fiend crashes Riley’s routine assignment at a library, jeopardizing her life and her chosen livelihood. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, sudden tragedy strikes the Trappers Guild, spinning Riley down a more dangerous path than she ever could have imagined. As her whole world crashes down around her, who can Riley trust with her heart – and her life?

Hands down one of the best books I’ve read in 2011. Although I haven’t heard much about this series, I decided to pick this one up after watching Morgyn’s review on YouTube. Needless to say, this book is one of those reads that will definitely stay with you for a while.

The plot alone was such an appealing idea – I’ve never heard of a seventeen year-old girl who traps demons for a living! In a society on the verge of a post-apocalyptic world where demons freely and openly roam the streets, the mood was intensely dark and depressing, which, surprisingly, I actually enjoyed reading. It was interesting to read about the economic and personal struggle humans are faced with – in today’s world, and quite possibly in the future.

The heroine of the novel, Riley Blackthorne, was such a joy to read about, as her strong voice and heart-wrenching story captivated me from the start. The struggle and determination Riley had simply trying to make ends meet was very touching. As a seventeen-year-old girl myself, I could not imagine what Riley had to go through, which made the story that much more compelling, seeing how she dealt with her situation (and believe me, she dealt with them).

Despite her smartass remarks, confident attitude, and her strong willingness to be the best demon trapper, it was Riley’s vulnerability as a character that truly stood out for me. Although Riley constantly rejected help from those around her, throughout the novel, it was obvious that she was afraid of being alone. That fear of being truly alone, having no one to turn to but yourself, is something many people can relate to, which Oliver successfully demonstrates through Riley. Riley Blackthorne has easily made the list of my top female characters, along with the infamous Rose Hathaway and, of course, Katniss Everdeen.

While this story is told in a dual perspective (which I am not a big fan of, to be honest), Oliver’s writing style was fast-paced and easily distinguishable between the two narratives. I absolutely LOVED reading Beck’s perspective because he was such a funny, sarcastic, realistic guy. His snarky, blunt attitude towards Riley, yet overly protectiveness of her was such a bright thing about this book – their relationship felt so natural and unpredictable, which was probably the main reason why I enjoyed reading this book so much.

The Demon Trapper’s Daughter is an amazing, uniquely written novel, filled with action, drama, romance, and just overall demon butt-kicking – one heck of a story you do not want to miss!

 —————————————

Bookaholic Verdict: achingly addictive.

Quotaholic: “Here’s where she was supposed to apologize, promise to be a good little girl and never do anything like this again. Screw that.

Jamie’s totally-relevant reading playlist:
“Fix You” by Coldplay