SOUL THIEF, A Demon Trappers Novel, Jana Oliver, St Martin’s Griffin, $9.99, 320 pages, ISBN: 9780312614799, reviewed by Barry Hunter.
If you missed the first volume of this series, run, don’t walk to the nearest bookstore and pick it up. (THE DEMON TRAPPER’S DAUGHTER, $9.99, ISBN: 9780312614782) You don’t want to miss a single page of any of the adventures of Riley Blackthorne. It is a pleasure to read an adventure for the Young Adult market that has a message that transcends age and time. It is a story that may have been told before, but never with the zest and appeal and sheer joy have you felt after losing yourself in the demon filled world of Atlanta in 2018.
Riley is a seventeen year old apprentice demon hunter whose dead father has been reanimated and stolen from the grave; her friends in the Demon Hunter’s Guild have been attacked by the demons of Hell; and, she is suspected of being the cause of their woes.
It seems Riley has the weight of the world on her shoulders in the ultimate battle of Good and Evil and some of her friends are not sure of which side she is on. Simon, her boyfriend who was injured in the attack, believes she is in league with Lucifer and wants nothing to do with her. Others feel that her father’s appearance to warn her seconds before the attack caused the Holy Water boundary to fail.
Riley’s “protector” Ori seems to have more on his agenda than he is telling her.
Riley faces the normal teenage trials of school, a job and boys in addition to the task of finding out who stole her father and defending the family name against the charges of duplicity. Add in subplots about counterfeit Holy Water and the Vatican’s team of demon hunters coming to Atlanta and you have a grand novel that only leaves you wanting (oh so much) more.
Jana has created marvelous characters in her previous works, but Riley, Beck and Ori are at the top of the list for becoming fully developed in my mind. The book, at least to me, plays out as a movie in my mind as I was reading it. SOUL THIEF lives up to its name; mine has been stolen by Riley and Jana Oliver.