8.30.2011

OUT TODAY! Soul Thief by Jana Oliver- Review & Interview!

US Edition

SOUL THIEF

Demon Trapper's Daughter, Book Two by Jana Oliver
Available August 30, 2011
------------------------------
Riley Blackthorne is beginning to learn that there are worse things than death by demon. And love is just one of them…


Seventeen-year-old Riley has about had it up to here. After the devastating battle at the Tabernacle, trappers are dead and injured, her boyfriend Simon is gravely injured, 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 body guard, and Beck, a super over-protective “friend” who acts more like a grouchy granddad. With all the hassles, Riley’s almost ready to leave Atlanta altogether.
UK Edition

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 loose. 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…


IB Teen REview:


We find ourselves at a crossroads by the end of Soul Thief. Our beloved characters need to deal with some rash and very tough decisions they've made. The lines between Good and Evil are blurry, that same line in the sand between them is so unevenly divided, and people find themselves on the wrong side of that line all over the place. While Soul Thief feels more like connective tissue for Books One and Three there's so much has happened, and much that is yet to be explained, and huge new questions are introduced- it is still essential reading.

Soul Thief- and Demon Trappers Daughter- read more adult than YA. If Riley weren't seventeen, this book would be found in a different section of your bookstore or library. It's mature, it's brutal, it's raw- and that's just the language and the emotional drama. Layering in a stupendously fantastic urban fantasy steeped in demons, angels, necromancers, witches... and who knows what else. All of that set against a near futuristic crumbling dystopian south.

The series and its unique mythology is incredibly well thought out, all the details are intricately constructed. Atlanta, a bankrupt city of five million souls, where even death cannot save you or your family from your debts. For example, if you die before having settled with your creditors, they can have a necromancer raise you as a zombie and then sell you as a slave to the rich. Also, gas is so outrageously expensive that people resort to any form of transportation- from Rollerblades to shopping carts, horses, and if you're able to afford it; the rare car or truck. Metal is stolen from everywhere to be sold- even the streetlights are poached. And the schools were sold off, went bankrupt, and then forced to be held in abandoned buildings like old Starbucks or grocery stores. In this world Jana Oliver has created, America has gone to hell in a hand basket.

And while Riley and Beck- the two narrators of the series- don't get much face time together, their scenes are the most intense and turbulent. These two characters are at their best and their worst all in the same conversation. They go from defensive, to emotionally naked, to reaching DEF CON 4 levels of confusion, hurt, and anger. Like when Beck 
calls her Girl or Kid to keep his distance, it drives Riley crazy feeling that he doesn't respect her. But when he's just being real, it's Riley, and when he's real she seems to feel untethered. She's put up blinders to any good intentions in anything Beck does for her. She's always waiting for the verbal assault or deep cut and lashes out, swinging wildly. She won't let herself recognize that so much of what she does and feels is in direct reaction to Beck or in anticipation of Beck's reaction.


Beck and Riley have had the harshest of wake up calls as the Soul Thief draws to a close. Riley can no longer avoid dealing, consequences are upon her on a biblical scale. And Beck must realize that his treatment of her has NEVER done any good! The best of his intentions have the worst of reactions and consequences for Riley. He's made a career of pushing Riley away with brutal shoves, and it always backfires in ways he never sees coming. While Riley doesn't see that her knee-jerk reactions are hurting him just as much as she's hurting herself.


When I interviewed Jana Oliver for Demon Trapper's Daughter I asked her what her favorite type of hero was, and re-reading her answer gave me a deeper understanding of their dysfunction.
JO:The flawed one. The one who has to face his/her own personal insecurities, overcome them and then do what has to be done no matter the personal cost. The hero can be either male or female. The bottom line is that they face something they fear. I’m also fond of “unintended consequences.” A hero makes a decision and it ripples out into the world in ways he/she never thought possible. This is a variant on the old adage: “No good deed goes unpunished.” 
Book 3, Coming in 2012

In DTD, Riley seemed like a much younger girl; naive, stubborn, but so determined to find love and a future with Simon- AKA, Mr. Right- who also happens to be the complete personality opposite of Beck. DTD beats Riley up emotionally- and by Soul Thief, she's tired, battle weary, and desperate.

I love Riley because she  won't ever back down against heavy opposition, even when the chips are stacked against her. She loves big, fights big, ans walks some seriously scary streets on her own. She will put it all on the line to keep her word. And I love that she can live in a grey area, that her character is not burdened by a "good girl".

I love Beck because he's a protector, and despite a brash, cocky, and extremely tough facade- is very damaged and is his own worst enemy. He will sacrifice himself for others, and he tries so hard to become a better man. I love that he tries to care for Riley despite not knowing the first thing about how to go about it. In book one, Riley basically tells him that she wishes Beck were dead instead of her father. Despite the cut Beck still shows up the next morning to make her breakfast. He makes sure she isn't alone, that her bills are paid, and that she doesn't kill herself through sheer recklessness. He stays outwardly strong so that Riley can fall apart after her fathers death despite the fact that Paul Blackthorn was his father figure, mentor, and best friend.

I love Riley and Beck because they are a hot mess, and their hot mess is more real to me than any perfect love story. I love Riley and Beck because they don't pull any punches, they go for the jugular, they bleed all over the pages. The characters are so far apart, and they've miles to go before they can even really reach each other. If only Riley knew what Beck was really thinking, maybe she wouldn't hurt herself so much. If only Beck could believe he was worth a damn, he might actually get the girl he loves. How often can two people go to war against each other before there's nothing left to blow up?


I can relate to both of their struggles. There is something completely relateable in fucking up relationships, of forcing intimacy with others who are intrinsically wrong for you and telling yourself that they're what you want. That doing this is some twisted self defense mechanism you're using trying to hurt the one you really want. But you end up crying because you've hurt yourself instead.

I can understand what it is trying to forget in someone elses arms. Both Riley and Beck fight so hard to keep their distance, and they are tearing themselves apart in doing so.
I look forward and hope for redemption in book three, Forgiven, they've gone through the fire and I know- or at least hope- they will inevitably come out singed around the edges, but victorious. 


ib teen grills jana oliver:

IBT: First and foremost, is Demon Trappers a Trilogy or exactly how many books are planned?

JO: The initial contract was for three books, but I have envisioned five to tell the whole story. That would allow for a satisfactory resolution to most of the characters’ personal issues along with the bigger subplots. Whether there will be five books depends on my publisher, of course.

IBT: In Soul Thief things are much less black and white, grey seems to permeate all aspects and characters that once seemed pretty clear-cut. What's the progression for each book for you?

JO: I like writing characters who evolve as the story plays out, allowing the readers to see deeper into their motivations, defenses and dreams. A good example is Master Harper. In Demon Trapper’s Daughter he’s just downright horrible to Riley and Simon, so bad that some readers have asked why the Guild just doesn’t toss him out. In Soul Thief we begin to learn why he’s that way and what events have led him to the bottle. And in so doing, we realize why the Guild hasn’t shown him the door. Characters who are clearly one thing or another bore me. I like to peel away those layers and see what’s behind those defenses. Because of that sometimes those characters become murkier and harder to pin down. 

IBT: Is the Vatican's interest in Riley purely as a scapegoat because she's not just a young apprentice, but a woman as well, or is there a larger plan in play?

JO: Tempting as it was to play the Vatican as the bad guys, I’ll leave that to Dan Brown. ::laughs:: The Catholic Church is as much a pawn in the game between Heaven and Hell as are Riley and the others. Certainly they have issues with Riley being female, but they also have deep concerns about the Demon Trappers Guild as a whole. There is a long-standing rivalry between the hunters and the trappers and Riley is caught in the middle.

IBT: It feels as though Grand Master Stewart is still keeping things close to the vest. Is he just another in the line of criminally bad communicators or are you trying to kill us with all the drama it causes? 


JO: ::Laughs:: Angus Stewart is a wily and secretive dude for a good reason. As the series plays out we learn more about what being a Grand Master entails and a few of the many secrets his kind keep “close to the vest” as you put it. His depth of knowledge is dribbled out when he feels it will be best received and by whom. 


IBT: Does Riley not see how much she still cares for Beck and how so many of her actions and reactions revolve around him. Or is her view of him prejudiced because Beck is the closest link to her father? Could it be that she is still holding a massive resentment towards Beck for not only rejecting her but then spending so much time trapping with her Father while Riley got to spend so little time with her dad?

JO: By the time she realizes how much she cares for him, a lot of damage is done. In many ways she doesn’t see that her life revolves around him because she has the fear of being hurt again. With all the hassles, any other guy she’d probably just tell to hit the road (for example Allan the ex-boyfriend). But there is a deep connection with Beck that refuses to be broken or shoved aside that easily. Part of it was his closeness to her dad and most of it is the fact she really cares for him.

IBT: Writing scenes with Riley and Beck must be the absolute funniest thing ever. Both characters are prone to explosive defensive reactions just and throwing in jabs while waiting for the next verbal blow to land.

JO: I really do enjoy most writing their scenes. They just play off each other’s emotions so beautifully. Some of the scenes make me very sad because often they’re so busy guarding their hearts they’re missing the bigger picture. But if I don’t let them work through their own issues at their own pace, the story won’t be right. Sometimes I grit my teeth and write the scene they dictate to me.

IBT: Am I correct in thinking that Beck pushes hard against a relationship he wants and doesn't feel he deserves so he chooses meaningless encounters. And Riley seems to throw herself headfirst into relationships with guys she sees to have traits opposite of Beck's, overlooking some seriously alarming red flags from them.

JO: You’ve got it exactly – Beck’s core issue is that he doesn’t feel he’s worthy of a girl as good as Riley (or anyone like her for that matter.) Despite his cocky behavior, he’s deeply insecure. Riley is a hot reactor–when someone hurts her she rebounds like a tennis ball and loses her heart too easily. For there to be a happy ending for them, she has to be willing to trust him with her heart (again) and he has to learn he’s worthy of love.


IBT: This last isn't so much a question, it's more of a thank you. I am thankful that there is a YA series that is heavy and mature and unflinching while being funny, and times very touching.

JO: Thank you! It’s been a challenge to write, but I really wanted to do something different. I enjoy writing gritty stories, but the cool thing about us humans is that we can find humor even when the world is melting down around us.

IBT:That's all I've got, thank you for your time. Demon Trappers series in so unique, it is definitely one of the few that are the class of the urban fantasy genre.

CONTEST DETAILS:                                                        
  • A copy of both Demon Trapper's Daughter and Soul Thief  by Jana Oliver

  • And a copy of Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook: PARANORMAL: 
  • On hit TV shows, in best-selling books, blockbuster films, video games, and comics, pop culture has been overrun by hordes of vampires, zombies, werewolves, ghosts, wizards, and other paranormal creatures. Luckily, the authors of the Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook series are back with all-new, expert advice designed to help readers fend off the furry, fanged, freaky, and frightful. This classic handbook format is packed with new illustrated instructions for crucial scenarios ranging from the domestic (How to Host a Cocktail Party When Your House is Haunted) to the scary (How to Survive a Zombie Attack in the First Day, First Week, and Long Term) to the practical (How to Break Up with a Vampire).
    It's perfect for the modern-day trapper in all of us!

TO ENTER:                                                                      
  • Comment on this post
  • For 1 extra entry: start Following this Blog (Followers automatically get an extra entry)
  • For 1 extra entry: post about this contest on your blog, twitter, Facebook, or any other site (add the link in the comments please)
  • For 1 extra entry: Follow the IB Bookmarked Blog (companion to IB Teen Blog)
  • THIS CONTEST HAS ENDED.  Thanks to all who entered!                     

    35 comments:

    sRy_ said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Maidenveil said...

    I'm looking forward to reading this book. :) I enjoyed the first one.

    +1 - old follower here
    +1 - blogged: http://mrhcontestpage.blogspot.com/2011/08/win-soul-thief.html
    +1 - sidebar: http://mrhcontestpage.blogspot.com
    +1 - linked: http://iampsychobabble.tumblr.com/post/8773819772/win-soul-thief
    +1 - following IB Bookmarked Blog
    = 6 total
    maidenveil(at)gmail(dot)com

    Margay said...

    Looks like an interesting book!

    I'm an old follower +1

    debbie said...

    This book sounds really good, I would love to read it.

    I am a old gfc follower +1
    debbie
    twoofakind12@yahoo.com

    Samjam G said...

    +1 Old follwer : Samantha Rose
    +1 Tweeted: http://twitter.com/#!/SamjamRose/status/101695450377240576
    +1 Following IB Bookmarked Blog
    = 4 total! :)
    Samjam@earthlink.net

    Samjam G said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    blackroze37 AT yahoo.com said...

    would love to be entered






    tweeted
    oldfolower

    Zareen aka Taco said...

    I've been wanting to read this series for a while! Thanks for the giveaway.

    +1 Blog follower: Zareen T
    +1 Tweet: http://twitter.com/ShiningStar786/statuses/101722528346669056
    +1 Companion blog follower: Zareen T

    mizzbookworm@gmail.com

    Sniffly Kitty said...

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    +1 GFC for IB Teen
    +1 GFC for IB Bookmarked

    snifflykitty@gmail.com

    Andrea said...

    I want this SO bad! Thanks for the giveaway!
    +1 follow this blog Andreat78
    +1 follow IBB Andreat78
    +1 tweeted https://twitter.com/BookishAndrea/status/101731486876696576

    andreat78@yahoo.com

    Jessica@a GREAT read said...

    OOh I so can't wait to read this one!!

    +1 Old Follower

    jessica(DOT)agreatread(AT)gmail(DOT)com

    Sierra Cullen.♥ said...

    Thanks so much for the chance! These series has been on my TBR list for awhile! :D

    1+ - GFC Follower (Sierra Cullen.♥)
    1+ - GFC Follower of IB Bookmarked Blog

    x
    Sierra(:
    ittssierraily{at]yahoo{dot]com

    The Lovely Getaway said...

    Perla, thanks so much for yet another great giveaway :) I've heard GREAT things about both Demon Trapper's Daughter and Soul Thief, thanks for this opportunity to win both! Please count me in!

    Diana
    lovelygetaway@gmail.com

    +1 old follower
    + 1 old follower of IB Bookmarked Blog

    Thanks again!

    Nerwen said...

    Hi there! Thanks for the giveaway!
    I hope to win...really want to read that book! :)

    +1 - Follow this blog
    +1 - Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/MrsJejung/status/101783317069836288

    Nerwen said...

    Hi there! Thanks for the giveaway!
    I hope to win...really want to read that book! :)

    +1 - Follow this blog
    +1 - Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/MrsJejung/status/101783317069836288

    forgot my mail: ladyDOTnerwenATgmailDOTcom

    Christa said...

    Thanks! : )
    +1 Old Follower: GFC: Christa
    +1 Tweeted: http://twitter.com/#!/wordsrollon/status/101798591424774145
    +1 Follower IB Bookmarked BLog: GFC: Christa
    ambience.of.rain {at} gmail.com

    The Itzel Library said...

    Count me in, please :)

    +1 Old folower

    Thnks

    itzel_library@hotmail.com

    Jana Oliver said...

    What an incredible review! Thank you so much!

    LindsayWrites said...

    add me! old follower!

    americangirlie1991 at yahoo dot com

    Starr said...

    I'm looking forward to reading both of these books!

    elaing8 said...

    Great review and giveaway.Please count me in

    +1 old follower
    +1 tweet
    http://twitter.com/#!/elaing8/status/101841741174419457

    elaing8(at)netscape(dot)net

    Martha Lawson said...

    I would love to be entered to win this one. Sounds awesome.


    +1 old gfc follower

    mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

    Suzan Lacey said...

    I'm not entering because I already have the two Demon Trapper books but I just wanted to comment and say that I loved your breakdown of the characters and the interview with Jana. I agree with just about everything you said about Beck and Riley and also hope they get some sort of a happy ending, preferably together! I also hope that Jana does get her contract extended to cover the extra two books she envisoned in the series cause I definetly want them!

    Megan said...

    +1 Follower: GFC: Megan Kyser
    +1 Tweeted: http://twitter.com/#!/mekyser/status/102040129576771585
    +1 Follower IB Bookmarked BLog: GFC: Megan Kyser

    AmethystDaydreams at zoho dot com

    ;-) said...

    Can't wait to read this book!! Jana Oliver is an awesome writer!

    +1 New Follower

    +1 Posted to facebook but I don't know how to put a link on here so you can see it :-(

    buddyt said...

    I have both these books on my wishlist and would love to get my hands on them so please enter me if the giveaway is open worldwide.

    Thanks.

    Carol T

    buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

    I am an old Follower via GFC = buddyt

    Angie said...

    I've been wanting to read this series for a while. thank you so much for this giveaway.

    +1 Follower

    +1 follow IB bookmarked blog

    ajiehuang1997 (at) gmail (dot) com

    Nicole said...

    Until I read your post I hadn't heard about these books, they sound amazing.
    +1 old follower
    +1 I follow IB Bookmarked blog
    +1 Posted on my blog
    http://nicole-lovestoread.blogspot.com/2011/08/giveaway-from-ib-teen-blog.html

    Sarah said...

    Great giveaway, these books look like really good reads. :)

    +1 Old follower
    +1 Companion blog follower

    Sarah L
    two_of_hearts_101 at yahoo dot com

    blackroze37 AT yahoo.com said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    A.J. said...

    I'm excited for Soul Thief! :)

    +1 follower: A.J.
    +1 tweet: http://twitter.com/#!/woven_/status/104274673986048000

    naruto_and_hinata(at)hotmail(dot)com

    Natasha Areena said...

    Count me in if this is open internationally. Thank you :>
    +1 old follower
    +1 following IB Bookmarked Blog
    =3 total
    thebookish96(at)gmail.com

    April X said...

    Thanks for the giveaway :)
    +1 old follower
    +1 follower the IB Bookmarked Blog

    aprilxu2222@gmail.com

    donnas said...

    Thanks for the chance!

    Im an old follower

    tweet - http://twitter.com/#!/DonnaS1/status/108412296618967040

    follow companion blog

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

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