About the book
Forgiven is the third book in The Demon Trappers series by Jana Oliver. It was published by Macmillan Children's Books on 1st March and the book is 416 pages long.
The days are growing darker for 17-year-old demon trapper Riley Blackthorne. With her father's reanimated body back safely, Beck barely speaking to her because of a certain hunky Fallen angel, and a freshly-made deal with Lucifer, she has enough on her hands to last a normal teenage lifetime. Though she bargained with Heaven to save his life, her ex-boyfriend Simon has told the Vatican's Demon Hunters that she's working with Hell. So now she's in hiding, at the top of everyone's most-wanted list.
But it's becoming clear that this is bigger than Riley, and rapidly getting out of control: something sinister is happening in Atlanta... or someone. The demons are working together for the first time ever and refusing to die, putting civilians in harm's way. Riley thinks she might know who's behind it all, but who's going to believe her? Caught between her bargain with Heaven and her promise to Lucifer, Riley fears the final war is coming - and it may be closer than anyone thinks...
What I thought
The first book in this series was one of my favourites of last year and it got me hooked on Jana Oliver's writing. This instalment is by far the best yet and I loved every single page.
Forgiven starts off exactly where Forbidden ended, putting us straight back in the middle of the action again. Riley is on the run from the Vatican's demon hunters and is left to hide in a very unexpected place. So much has happened to Riley over the course of the first two books so her emotions are a bit all over the place. She doesn't know what to think or do anymore and she certainly doesn't know what the best way of doing things is. Even though Riley isn't exactly like other teenage girls, she is still easy to relate to. She questions herself and the things she does and she makes a hell of a lot of mistakes and punishes herself for them. Even though she is far from perfect, she always throws herself straight into any problem she may encounter and gives her everything to sort it out. She's a really strong female character but is still able to show her emotions.
Something that was missing slightly from the previous two books in this series is character development. Although a lot happens in regards to plot, there were some characters we just didn't know that much about. Forgiven changes all of that. Beck in particular goes through a lot in this book and because of this, we get to find out a hell of a lot more about him and his life. Not much has been said about what he did before being in Atlanta and a demon trapper apart from being in the army. Forgiven gives a lot of insight into other things that Beck has experienced in his life and what has made him the way that he is now. These things made me understand his character and personality much better and now I feel as though his actions are more justified.
Forgiven definitely doesn't lack action and excitement. From the very beginning of this book, something is always happening and Jana Oliver doesn't give her characters much time to catch their breath. Whether it be demons being killed or the Vatican making crazy decisions, the action never stops. The demon rating system has been explained in the book one but Forgiven also gives more insight into the way that the demon world works alongside the fighting and battles. I loved how fast paced this book was in regards to this but Oliver also made time for romance and for friendships to be explored. Although I do love the amount of action in this series, it is also nice to get other things as well so the mix for me was perfect.
Introduced in Forbidden was Ori, the Fallen Angel. While he doesn't have a big a part in this book as the previous one, there is an underlying theme of good vs evil with Heaven and Hell. Forgiven asks a lot of questions about which side is the right side and who should prevail in the great war. I thought Oliver's reasoning behind her decisions was fantastic and extremely interesting. This way of seeing angels and demons has never been done before so it was nice to get a very fresh and exciting look at something that has been done over and over again. Nothing is what I expected with the addition of angels in this crazy world full of demons but I definitely wasn't disappointed with the way that the story went in this regard.
The ending was a complete heart-stopper. Just as I thought things were going well, a spanner is thrown in the works and everything changes. I was shouting at the book in my head as I was reaching the end because I didn't want the story to end this way. Luckily, there is a fourth book being released in August and I don't think I'll be able to get my hands on it quick enough. I need to know that some things in particular get resolved and hopefully have the outcome that I was wishing for. While I wasn't too pleased with how this book ended, it was a good ending that was certainly shocking and unexpected.
As you can probably tell, I really loved this book and would highly recommend this series in general. It's one of the best YA series out there.