*Sigh* I do wish this series would stop trying to mess everything up.
I loved the first book. I adored it. I would marry it given the chance. Then the...more*Sigh* I do wish this series would stop trying to mess everything up.
I loved the first book. I adored it. I would marry it given the chance. Then the second one came along, it was alright in most respects and brilliant in one way, but it just wasn't as good as the first. Now we have this one, and it could be great but it goes out of its way to try and ruin itself.
If you're familiar with the series you'll know the plot, but I'll give a quick recap for those who aren't. It's near future and the economy has continued its downward spiral, fuel costs so much that people have to put solar panels on their cars. Oh, and demons are on the loose. I like the setting, it works very well and I never have to try hard to suspend my disbelief because it's so well written. In some ways the city is one of the best characters of the series.
The characters are all likeable, even (most of) the demon hunters who were built up in the previous book to be a bunch of dicks. This was a good move, the hunters could easily have descended into cliche if Oliver tried to make them as unpleasant as they'd been built up to be. I mean, yeah, they do some pretty unpleasant things, but the people themselves are alright.
Beck is still my favourite character, partially because he has a huge poster of Taylor Swift on his bedroom wall, and partially because he's cool and was given an interesting problem and is actually trying to beat it rather than wallow in it like so many characters in so many books. Riley is still her usual self, which is to say stubborn as a mule but still likeable enough, and the supporting characters are still as well written as they were in the previous books.
I know, I know, I gave the book three stars and so far the review has been entirely positive, so what's wrong with the book? Well, the last fifty pages makes me want to hurl the book into a shredder or perhaps a volcano, that's what wrong with it.
Firstly, the big confrontation. It's half past the apocalypse and Demons, trappers and hunters all throw down in a cemetery. When said like that it sounds f-ing awesome doesn't it! Well Oliver dropped the ball. Big time. Maybe it's because YA is not the only thing I read and I've been spoiled by the likes of Lee Child, but Oliver has written us the blandest action sequence ever. It could have been so epic, the plucky demon trappers vs. the hordes of hell, but it's just not. How it all gets resolved is a pile of arse as well, but that's more a problem with YA on the whole than this book in particular. I call it Voldermort Syndrome. You know at the end of the last Harry Potter, it's Potter against the Dark Lord and Potter wins due to a technicality? Well something like that happens here. The thing Riley has to do that's built up as impossible over the course of the book is achieved too easily. It's the problem all authors face when their protagonists are seventeen and they face the army of hell/the Dark Lord/the aliens from the planet Zog.
The second reason the book makes me want to burn it in the last fifty pages is what happens right at the very end. Beck goes all Edward Cullen on us. Beck, my favourite character, goes emo on us. This guy faced down an Archdemon for crying out loud he shouldn't be taking pointers from the Edward Cullen book of how to be an unlikable jackass.
The last few page of this book are so blisteringly idiotic that I felt like my IQ was dropping just by touching the paper the stupid words were written on.
That was a lot of bile wasn't it? Don't let it put you off, the book is still good and still very much worth your time, and if you are in the book's target audience (13-17 and probably female) then you'll love it. It's only because I'm an unpleasable twenty something that I got annoyed at the last pages. Even if you aren't in the book's target demographic then it's worth a read. The Demon Trapper's world is one of the most original on the YA market at the moment, the characters are several cuts above average, and the plot is solid. Just try not to hate Beck for being such a moron on the last few pages.(less)