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Forgiven: A Demon Trappers Novel    by Jana Oliver order for
by Jana Oliver
Order:  USA  Can
Griffin, 2012 (2012)
Softcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Forgiven is the third in Jana Oliver's Demon Trappers series, following Soul Thief and The Demon Trapper's Daughter. The series stars spunky seventeen-year-old Riley Blackthorne in a near future Atlanta overrun by Hellfiends. There, Riley's teacher dad became a demon trapper to pay the medical bills when his wife died, and Riley signed on as an apprentice against his wishes.

Riley's father was killed by a Grade Five demon in The Demon Trapper's Daughter. His corpse was stolen (necromancers reanimate and enslave the dead). Denver Beck coached Riley, while hiding his feelings for her. Riley dated young trapper Simon Adler and made a deal with Heaven to save his life. And gorgeous Ori kept saving hers. Though not a demon trapper, Riley's schoolmate Peter is her best friend.

In Soul Thief, Simon rejected Riley, accusing her of working with Lucifer. Riley sought and found her reanimated father. Beck became involved with ruthless freelance journalist Justine Armando. Vatican demon hunters arrived in town. And after Riley fell hard for Ori - and learned that he is one of the Fallen - she was forced to make a deal with Lucifer.

As Forgiven opens, Vatican forces seek Riley, suspecting her of collusion with Hell. Riley dreams of Ori, who insists that her only hope is to cede him her soul. Riley and Peter continue to investigate the Holy Water scam. It soon becomes clear that Lucifer has a rebellion on his hands. Helped by her witch friend Ayden and necromancer Mort, Riley stands 'between the eternal armies of Heaven and Hell' ... and is forced to make another dubious deal.

This series has only improved over time and Forgiven is the best book yet. In it, Oliver develops Riley's relationship with her Backwoods Boy nicely and sets the scene for further adventures, relating to a secret in Beck's past. And Riley tells us that 'Blackthornes didn't back down from a challenge', so we can expect that she'll have his back.

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