Review: Forsaken (The Demon Trappers) by Jana Oliver

Riley has always wanted to be a Demon Trapper like her father, and she's already following in his footsteps as one of the best. But it's tough being the only girl in an all-guy world, especially when three of those guys start making her life more complicated: Simon, the angelic apprentice who has heaven on his side; Beck, the tough trapper who thinks he's God's gift, and Ori, the strikingly sexy stranger who keeps turning up to save her ass. One thing's for sure - if she doesn't keep her wits about her there'll be hell to pay..

(This is the UK title, in USA it is published as The Demon trappers Daughter)
Forsaken is a fantastic start to what I hope will be an equally fantastic series, it was realistic enough to make me think “wow, yeah, I can relate”, but also had that fantasy element (obviously, with the whole demon thing) that gave me enough escapism. Set eight years in the future, the economy has failed so much that schools have shut down, as well as this, there are scary demons on the loose and only the demon trappers can get rid of them... but something is going wrong.

Our protagonist is Riley Blackthorne, daughter of a master demon trapper and an apprentice trapper herself, ridiculed and looked down on because of her gender, many people doubt her and Riley feels the need to prove herself, but things are going wrong. We are thrown straight into the storyline and the bigger events happen at the beginning, creating an interesting storyline from day one. This is effective and I never once wanted to put the book down, (stupid college, taking over my reading time!) I got completely absorbed in the book.

The boys... to be honest, I hate love triangles, there were three boys too so it’s even worse. There is Beck, who is extremely hot (EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!), but his overexaggerated ‘southern drawl’ annoyed me a little. Simon is lovely, a real nice guy and perfect and yay, unfortunately, I can tell Oliver isn’t planning for him to be Riley’s guy at the end of the series (call it readers hunch), as well as this, I did think that their relationship developed without much background(“Hi” “Hi” “I like you, hottie” *tongue down throat*) Then theres Ori, who just seemed one dimensional for me, mysterious and nice and I can see the attraction but he is just so... boring? I’m rooting for even Simon or Beck, NOT ORI! PLEASE!

The book is written in dual perspective, switching smoothly between Riley and Beck, we can see Riley’s developing feelings for... three guys and Beck’s conflicting emotions as well. I’m usually not one who rates a book on narration but this stuck out to me and I really enjoyed reading both points of view.
While original in its own ways, the book reminded me of a few other titles; The Devil’s Kiss by Sarwat Chadda, Paranormalcy by Kiersten White and Strange Angels by Lili St Crow. It’s a good read but some parts seriously reminded me of one of these books or another.

Overall rating: B+

Stand alone/series: First in a series
Released: February 7th 2011 (Paperback) 
Publisher: MacMillan Children's Books
Pages: 448
Book obtained via: Bought!

Review:Siren - Tricia Rayburn

Siren (Siren Trilogy, #1)Vacationing in Winter Harbor, Maine, is a tradition for Vanessa and Justine Sands, and that means spending time with the Carmichael boys. This summer, Vanessa is determined to channel some of her older sister’s boldness, get over her fear of the ocean, and maybe turn her friendship with Simon Carmichael into something much more.

But when Justine goes cliff-diving after a big family argument, and her body washes ashore the next day, Vanessa is sure that it was more than an accident. She is more certain of this, when she discovers that her sister was keeping some big secrets and Caleb Carmichael’s gone missing. Suddenly, the entire oceanfront town is abuzz when a series of grim, water-related accidents occur, with the male victims washed ashore grinning from ear to ear.
Vanessa and Simon team up to figure out if these creepy deaths have anything to do with Justine and Caleb. But will what Vanessa discovers mean the end of her summer romance, or even life as she knows it?

Siren has the features to be an amazing book, unfortunately, it falls a little short. I wish I could say I adored it but I didn’t, I didn’t dislike it, I just didn’t love it.

As a paranormal reader, sirens are something I haven’t read much of, I’m not sure there are many books out there about them and I was extremely excited to read this book, so much so that when I found it in my local supermarket I begged my mother for the £7 and bought it there and then. I started it in the car ride home. It was a slow start, I couldn’t really get into it and I kept putting it down. I finally got into it around fifty pages in and it held my attention for most of my night.

What can I say? The plot is amazing, original but unfortunately, Rayburn doesn’t pull it off as well as she could do. I got a little confused at some places about what was going on, who was doing what and where things were taking place. It could have been simple but I think that Rayburn needlessly overcomplicated some parts of it.

The book flowed well, things led to another and clues were discovered, as should happen in a good mystery novel, I didn’t really think anything was a shock, I mean, she kept me on edge, but I never really had any *GASP* moments while reading (and I need a good *GASP*). Some parts of this book were downright scary though, the parts where Vanessa is sneaking round the house had me so scared for her, but the parts that could have been really frightening, like the action at the end, were overlooked, and I felt she rushed the end of the book.

Vanessa annoyed me slightly at the beginning, but I grew to like her as she developed, which is good because I doubt I could have bared to read the book if I had hated her but... Simon... oh Simon... this is one of the only YA boys that I have liked. I adored him, and I felt the relationship was natural, as he and Vanessa had been friends for years before, it wasn’t just “I METZ A BOI ‘N’ NOW I LUB HIM ETERNALALALLY!”, it was a natural development, and I loved that there was something in the way, my heart breaks for him at some points in the book. I really hope Rayburn keeps him as Vanessa’s love interest in the sequel, I would HATE her forever if she suddenly changed her mind and decided to give her somebody different.

All in all, the book isn’t terrible, not fantastic either though. It is a good start to a trilogy. I will be reading the sequel (Undercurrent, which is released summer 2011, I think), but I won’t have massively high expectations.

Overall rating: C

Stand alone/series: First in a series
Released: February 3rd 2011 (Paperback)
Publisher: Faber and Faber
Pages: 320
Book obtained via: Bought!

Review: Across the Universe - Beth Revis

Across the Universe
Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.
Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone-one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship-tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming

I don't know what I was expecting with this book. I think that maybe I was expecting a little too much after reading some rave reviews online and it only just fell short of my expectations. In no ways was it bad, I still couldn't put it down and it did leave me thinking afterwards, however I still felt a niggling sense of dissapointment after reading it.

It is a murder mystery/political statement/romantic/sci-fi. Maybe a little too much to take on, but Revis does do it brilliantly. There is so much going on in the book sometimes I forgot about one storyline until it got mentioned again and I went... "Oh... yeahhhh..."

I must point out that the first chapter is extremely good. It is a little bit decieving because the rest of the book doesn't live up to that first chapter, I felt a little bit cheated, however Revis does manage to keep her writing flowing through the book and I was pleased with how easily the plot fell into place. Every event lead to another, which lead to another and it flowed fantastically to the last page, there was nowhere in the book where I wanted to put it down because there was no slow points. The... erm twist(s) at the end of the book were shocking but I did feel that one of them, Revis sort of just decided right at the end, because it doesn't really fit in with the rest of the book, I mean, how could that be hidden all the way through the book?

The book switches point of view between Amy and Elder. In some ways this is good, because we can see conflicting feelings between them, and we can see the relationship develop from both sides however the point of view switching can be a curse. I found that because we aren't following just one character all the way through, i couldn't really connect and empathise with either Elder or Amy, I would have preferred maybe jusy Amy's narration. But I can see why Revis did use switching, and it does work in most ways.

The romantic aspect is one thing I must say was perfectly written. It wasn't rushed, it develops slowly and sweetly and we can see how Elder is trying to keep her happy, but Amy is way too bitter to want to fall in love, it is a love story that you keep willing on, I absoloutely loved the way the two characters felt, but I couldn't really empthasise with them because of the point of view issue.

All in all, not a bad book, definately worth reading, but not absoloutely perfect. Don't set your expectations too high.

Overall rating: B

*NOTE: There are some scenes about 'mating' and some strategically hidden swearing, this book maybe a little mature for younger readers.*

Stand alone/series: First in a series
Released: March 3rd 2011 (Paperback)
Publisher: Puffin
Pages: 398
Book obtained via: Won!

The Bookish Type: Giveaways

Casey at The Bookish Type has this absoloutely fab-u-lous giveaway going on! Here's the link. please don't enter so I can win (joking) not.