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Monday, March 12, 2007

Scent of Shadows by Vicki Pettersson

Scent of Shadows has several positive reviews on the cover talking about how great a story it is. It had a pretty good premise and a decent plot, but I think some of the details left a bit to be desired. As action books go, it was pretty good. The pacing was good and the lead character was pretty well developed.


Joanna Archer is the daughter of a multimillionaire gambling mogul, Xavier. She was raped and left for dead in the desert outside Las Vegas when she was sixteen. By all rights she should be dead. As a matter of fact, the rapist intended her to die, but she did not. Joanna healed and turned the pain and fear into a weapon. She learned the Martial art Krav Maga, the martial art developed by the Israelis.

Over the years she has hunted for her rapist, intentionally putting herself in harms way, making herself bait for the evil that lurks in Vegas. It eventually finds her, but in ways normal people would never understand.

On the day before her 25th birthday she is assaulted by a homicidal serial killer, Ajax. She defends herself and is rescued by her old high school flame, Ben. One thing leads to another and they hook up for her birthday. But before their date, Joanna and her sister Olivia learn that Xavier is not Joanna's father. Bad news for the heiress, but it is OK she hates Xavier.

After her date with Ben, she visits her sister, only to be attacked by another homicidal maniac. The battle that ensues leaves her sister dead and her on the run. Why would one woman be the target of so many nutball killers?

Joanna is a Zodiac symbol. A mystical warrior, involved in a millennia long battle between the light and shadow. Each side is ruled by the twelve symbols of the Zodiac. She is the daughter of the Archer. Actually, she is the daughter of both Archers, the evil and good. Her birth and ascendancy have been prophesied. The Light wants to control her. The Dark wants to destroy her.

She is Light and Dark combined in one vessel and has the powers of both sides. She gets to choose which side she serves. The Dark killed her sister. Raped Joanna and left her for dead. So she is out for revenge. However, revenge is not that pure of a motive and the Darkness in her prevents the purity of Light.

Joanna turns it into a weapon. She finds the traitor in the Light Zodiac and destroys Ajax and a large part of the Shadow Zodiac.

All in all, it is a pretty good story. The problems I have with it are some of the details are too convenient or unexplained. It left me unsatisfied in parts. This is the first in a series of Zodiac books, so maybe she will fix this in her second book.

1 comment:

Bill Bennett said...

This sounds like a good story. I liked the review too.