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review 2016-07-05 17:07
"Dead Easy" by Jana Oliver - how can a book about a serial killer be so nice?
Dead Easy - Jana Oliver

It may sound an odd thing to say about a novel set on the seedier streets of post-Katrina New Orleans and featuring blackmail, bereavement, deception and gory ritualistic murders by a serial killer, but "Dead Easy" was a fun read.


It reminded me of the kind of TV show that I can relax into because, even when murder is involved, things will stay hopeful. "Dead Easy" is much more like watching  an episode of "Rizzoli & Isles " than an episode of "Criminal Minds".


"Dead Easy" has a strong, twisty plot that is nicely paced although perhaps just a little too dependent on some fairly unlikely coincidences.


The New Orleans setting adds to the atmosphere of the novel and goes beyond the tourist clichés, letting me feel that I'd actually been somewhere new (although not a particularly nice or safe somewhere new. The New Orleans Tourist Office won't be promoting this view of their city.) .


Perhaps because all the main characters in "Dead Easy" are at least twenty years old, the book has been marketed as a straight mystery/thriller/amateur sleuth novel but, to me, it has the feel of a novel for young adults and quite nice young adults at that. The identical twin sisters at the heart of the book are twenty years old, have just completed their first year at college, have been through months of trauma and grief and guilt and yet they think and behave with a wholesome innocence I haven't seen outside "The Waltons". The odd thing is that I liked this aspect of the novel. After all the jaded, voyeuristic, told by badly broken people, stories that there are out there, it was refreshing to meet nice people.


They're nice but they're not wimps. They dive into fights, using their fists and their feet, they take on the bad guys and they show great courage. All of which somehow makes them nicer.


A couple of things jarred with me. In the early chapters we're told that one of the sisters sees ghost and can sense the presence of evil. Given the setting was New Orleans, the plot involved ritual killings and the sister with the sight gave dressed like an Goth and gave graveyard tours, I was sure I was in for a bit of (very welcome) supernatural mystery.  Sadly, her sight turned out not to be particularly germain to the plot. I'm with Chekhov on this one:

"If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off. If it's not going to be fired, it shouldn't be hanging there."

The second thing that bothered me were the proofing errors. There were a few endings that disagreed, a couple of slips in tense, and the odd missing word. Jana Oliver writes too well to be let down by this kind of proofing.


So, if you're looking for a mystery that will wrinkle your brow but not turn your stomach and you're in the mood for nice, hopeful people overcoming the odds, settle down with "Dead Easy" and have a fun afternoon.


If you're interested, you'll find it on Kindle for just $4.95


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review 2016-02-22 22:13
Book Review of Mind Games (Demon Trappers Book 5) by Jana Oliver
Mind Games: A Demon Trappers Novel (Volume 5) - Jana Oliver

A Demon Trappers Novel
Riley Blackthorne’s life as a Demon Trapper is about to hit the wall. Knowing she will always be a target for those who want to exploit her “connections” with Hell, she’s learning defensive magic. It seems the only way to ensure she and her fiancé, Denver Beck, have a future together. But not everyone in Atlanta, or at the Vatican, is pleased by this news. In fact, some want to ban the use of all magic, and Riley would make the perfect scapegoat.


As a new demonic enemy stalks her, Guild politics roil the city, throwing the trappers into chaos. To protect herself and the man she loves, Riley will be forced to choose: continue in her legendary father’s footsteps, or carve her own path. A path that may well lead to her losing everything she so desperately seeks to protect.


Review 6*


This is the fifth book in The Demon Trappers series. I absolutely loved it!


Riley Blackthorne is a fantastic character. She has made a few mistakes, both personally and career-wise, but that just makes her human. I love her feisty attitude and have enjoyed watching her grow from a sixteen year old with a chip on her shoulder in the first book, The Demon Trapper's Daughter (US) or Forsaken (UK), to a determined young woman of nineteen in this book, who has literally faced both Heaven and Hell. Being a demon trapper is not an easy job, and being the only female in a male dominated career is definitely not easy either. Nevertheless, Riley can definitely kick Hell's ass one demon at a time.


I have been eagerly awaiting the release of this book and pre-ordered my copy when I found out it was available. Unfortunately, due to my large reading list, I wasn't able to read it when it was released in October last year.


I started to read this book and didn't put it down until I had finished it. The story is told through the eyes of both Riley and Beck. I felt like I was meeting family members or friends again after a long absence. I have missed these characters a lot, especially Denver Beck and the Kleptofiend (AKA Magpie demon) that began this journey for me. Denver Beck (or Backwards Boy as Riley calls him) became my first book boyfriend way back in 2011 when I read Forsaken. He is now training to become a Grand Master, and engaged to Riley, who is now a Journeyman. I also liked meeting a few of the other characters like Mortimer and Ayden, although I still have reservations about Lord Ozymandias. He didn't enamor himself to me when I first met him in the earlier books, and now he's only just bearable. Yes, he made an error of judgement and appears to be repentant, but there's something about him that still sends a shiver up my back. I suppose it's because he's the most powerful Necromancer in Atlanta. Simon, Riley's ex-boyfriend makes an appearance too. He's another character who has grown a lot since the first book.


This story is again full of danger, action and adventure. The demons are scarier (we are dealing with Grade five's (Geofiends) and Archfiends here, amongst others) and someone is determined to undermine the Atlanta Demon Trappers Guild. I must admit that this book took me on an emotional roller coaster ride from beginning to end. I also found myself shedding a few tears too. When I reached the end of the book, I found myself becoming extremely sad once more. As I said before, these characters have become my friends and saying goodbye is a bittersweet experience. I don't know if any more books will be written with Riley and Beck in them, but I would love to read more books from the Demon Trappers world, as it intrigues and terrifies me in equal measure.


Jana Oliver has written a fantastic series. I love her descriptions and the attention to detail which made me feel like I was actually there in the thick of things. Her world building is exceptional and extremely lifelike. I also love her fast paced writing style and the flow was wonderful. She has a definite fan in me. I have a few of her other books on my Kindle to read yet and I am hoping to get to them soon.


I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this book, and series, to everyone who loves to read books in the YA and Urban Fantasy genres. - Lynn Worton

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review 2015-12-29 00:00
Mind Games: A Demon Trappers Novel (Volume 5)
Mind Games: A Demon Trappers Novel (Volume 5) - Jana Oliver I think we're all glad to see another Riley and Beck novel. And get some answers to the mysteries behind all the problems in Atlanta. Now that we know what happened to Simon, the guild issues have been resolved, pretty reporters are married, Beck is almost done with his training and Riley's application to be a master has been approved, the story can end. Or not. There are plenty of loopholes for a good author to weave another story through. I mean, what about an April wedding? And moving into the big house? Being in charge of Atlanta? Beck's mother's soul? Merging the Trappers, Witches and Summoner into a working unit, sort of. And then don't forget good old Lucifer himself. And...see what I mean?
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review 2015-09-21 00:00
The Demon Trappers: Forsaken
The Demon Trappers: Forsaken - Jana Oliver No. Just no. I don't even feel like writing a full review. I forced myself to read it because so many people told me to read it but I am no longer friends with those people. I'm kidding. I am so ridiculously dramatic. But really. I hated this book.
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review 2015-09-14 08:43
Seelenraub - Jana Oliver,Maria Poets


Aufgepasst! Es handelt sich um den 2. Teil der Dämonenfängerin-Reihe!

Riley steht vor den Trümmern der Dämonenfängerzunft. Nachdem die Dämonen eine Versammlung im wahrsten Sinne des Wortes gesprengt haben, ihr toter Vater aus dem Grab gestiegen ist und sie einen zweifelhaften Deal mit dem Himmel geschlossen hat, um ihren Freund Simon zu retten, wird es für Riley eventuell mal Zeit, sich eine Strategie für die weitere Vorgehensweise zu überlegen.

In Rileys Welt hat sich die Hölle aufgetan. Dämonen strömen durch die Straßen Atlantas wie es anderswo Ungeziefer ist und die Dämonenfängerzunft hat sie als ersten weiblichen Lehrling aufgenommen, was sie eigentlich nur dem Ruf ihres Vaters, einem meisterlichen Zunftvertreter, zu verdanken hat.

Doch Rileys Vater ist tot, seinem Leichnam wurde trotz aller Anstrengungen Leben eingehaucht und nun steht er als wandelnder Toter wie ein Dienstmädchen zur Verfügung, dem sie natürlich unbedingt einen Riegel vorschieben will.

Nebenher hat sie es auch noch mit mysteriösen Engeln und gefinkelten Finten der Hölle zutun, kämpft gegen ihren Meister an, der einen weiblichen Lehrling nicht für voll nehmen will und in feinster Riley-Manier stellt sie sich immer wieder selbst ein Bein, weil sie auch im 2. Band hindurch als Antiheldin glänzt.

Auch im 2. Teil der Dämonenfängerreihe hat mich die Autorin wieder in Rileys dämonische Welt entführt. Ich mag die Ausarbeitung sehr gern, weil sich hier Himmel und Hölle auftun, um - wie es scheint - die Apokalypse einzuläuten.

Daneben kriegen es die Dämonenfänger mit einer Special Unit des Vatikans zutun und mittendrin ist Riley Blackthorne, Dämonenfängerin in Ausbildung, die trotz der außergewöhnlichen Berufswahl eine bemerkenswerte Normalität verströmt, die ihr Leben einhaucht und einen gewissen Charme verleiht.

Die Handlung selbst war für mich unvorhersehbar und gerade zum Ende hin sehr spannend zu lesen. Es tritt zwar die Beziehungsebene in den Vordergrund, diese kommt aber ohne kitschige oder abgeschmackte Elemente aus, sondern hält sogar einige Überraschungen bereit, mit denen ich so nicht gerechnet hätte.

Auch diesmal war ich gern mit Riley Blackthorne im dämonischen Atlanta unterwegs und ich freue mich auf den 3. Teil, um erneut den Ausgeburten der Hölle das Fürchten zu lehren.

Die Dämonenfängerin-Reihe:

1. Aller Anfang ist die Hölle
2. Seelenraub 
3. Höllenflüstern
4. Engelsfeuer
Source: zeit-fuer-neue-genres.blogspot.co.at
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