Tuesday, June 30, 2009

City of Souls by Vicki Pettersson



City of Souls is Vicki Pettersson's tight roller coaster of a fourth novel. Picking up where The Touch of Twilight left us, things have only gotten worse for Joanna/Olivia Archer. A little girl lays dying, the safe zones of Las Vegas no longer protect the warriors of the light, and until the Archer can fix things, her troupe's manuals won't be written and the Light will only continue to grow weaker.

But the solution for the many problems facing Vegas seems to be hiding in Midheaven, a mysterious other realm where nothing is given for free...

Touch of Twilight marked a return for Pettersson to the quality of her first novel (The Scent of Shadows) after a slightly less enjoyable follow-up (The Taste of Night,) which did serve to lay groundwork for events in the third novel. In City of Souls, we see the reprocussions of the events in The Taste of Night hit the breaking point. Their resolution serves to take the series to the next level.

While we do see similar "mistakes" on Joanna's part repeating, the fourth pushes her harder and further. We get answers and we do see Joanna grow and realize (finally) that perhaps she could find a better way of going about things. At the end of this novel, I more invested than ever before in Joanna's ongoing story and mad to know what happens next.

The Fourth Sign of the Zodiac is a jaw-dropping-bet-you-can't-stop-reading thrill packed with luscious prose and one of the sure bet best ways for urban fantasy fans to kick off the summer. Pick up a copy, put on some sunscreen, and spend the holiday in Pettersson's City of Souls.

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