Thursday, July 14, 2011

'Neon Graveyard' Review

by Megan S.

Las Vegas's Neon Graveyard by Lissa
I read a lot of urban fantasy.  It's not by design, I just like an ass-kicking heroine and urban fantasy has plenty.  The drawback to consuming so much of one subgenre is that it can get monotonous after a while.  The stories seem to blend together, the heroines never seem to learn from their mistakes, and each protagonist seems to get more isolated as the series goes on.  There have been a few series that stood out like beacons over the last few years with unique story lines and truly likeable characters.  One that has is Vicki Pettersson's Signs of Zodiac which was recently completed with the release of the sixth book, The Neon Graveyard.

Check out why the Signs of the Zodiac books are a must read after the jump.  Don't worry, I won't spoil any of the books for you!

Signs of the Zodiac is the story of superhero Joanna Archer and her quest to protect the citizens of Las Vegas.  Over the first five books, Joanna experiences the awakening of her superpowers, joins a troop of masked heroes in their fight against their dark counterparts, learns of her destiny, grows from her mistakes and begins a revolution all the while kicking some serious Big Bad butt.

Signs of the Zodiac are like most good urban fantasy books in all aspects that make the subgenre so popular.  Joanna is brave and attractive.  She makes the hard choices and has a hot boyfriend.  The heroine is quick with the quips and battles her own anger.  The books are fast paced and fun but none of that are why I like the series so much.

The Silver Slipper sign at the Neon Graveyard by Corey Ann
What makes Pettersson's books so different are the world she created, Joanna's character development and the inclusion of traditional geeky mainstays, superheroes and comic book stores.  Las Vegas is as much a main character as Joanna with the landscapes, the glittering lights of the Strip at night or the glaring and dusty Neon Graveyard, mirroring the story.  Each book also highlights the progression of Joanna's character becoming a more well-adjusted individual, learning to embrace friendships and loved ones rather than shoving them away.  Finally, the most fun facet is the role of comic book stores, comics, and the kids that love them as the fuel for superpowers.

The Neon Graveyard, the sixth and final book, is a solid ending to the series, tying all the loose ends up and giving Joanna a hopeful send off.  If you aren't familiar with the series, check out the first book, Scent of Shadows.
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