by Jana Oliver
St. Martin's Press
First line: The Grounds Zero coffeeshop in Atlanta made the most amazing hot chocolate in Atlanta, maybe even the whole world.
17 year-old demon trapper and hot chocolate aficionado Riley Blackthorne is trying to pull herself together after surviving a massive unholy attack which has wiped out a good deal of the demon-trappers in Atlanta. She's still an apprentice trying to prove herself and the stakes are higher than ever. Her father has been killed and reanimated as a zombie-like servant, there's a criminal cover-up with useless holy water on the market, her financial woes are worse than ever and naturally, her love life is a mess. In order to save her boyfriend Simon's life, Riley makes a deal with Heaven - she'll owe them a favor, a big one, in exchange for his health back. Beck, her father's former apprentice still has a crush on her, even if he won't admit it to himself.
To be honest, it doesn't feel like the plot moves terribly quickly. Riley spends a lot of time searching for her father, and is still trying to rally the crusty old salts who run the Trappers Guild to get together and do something about the ineffective holy water. Beck makes a somewhat ill-advised decision to start dating a snaky reporter, Justine. Simon isn't too grateful or loving towards Riley, which pushes her right into the arms of Ori, a supernaturally hot rogue demon hunter (or so he claims.)
I really enjoy a book that has a very firm sense of place. The first book in this series, The Demon Trapper's Daughter, captivated me, and I loved reading a dystopian version of the city featuring so many familiar landmarks. I'd have to compare this to Lauren Oliver's Delirium, even though the plot is quite different, it's also a post-Peak Oil world, where cars are a rarity. If you like the first book, this one is definitely worth taking a look at.
I borrowed this book from the library.