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The Taste of Night

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The Second Sign of the Zodiac Being mortal isn’t easy. Being a superhero is even harder. Even mortal, Joanna Archer was nobody’s idea of a victim. But now, infused with the supernatural power to alter the battle between Shadow and Light forever, what she’s become is a target. And when a toxic virus invades the valley, her allies are targets are well. To find the cure that wi The Second Sign of the Zodiac Being mortal isn’t easy. Being a superhero is even harder. Even mortal, Joanna Archer was nobody’s idea of a victim. But now, infused with the supernatural power to alter the battle between Shadow and Light forever, what she’s become is a target. And when a toxic virus invades the valley, her allies are targets are well. To find the cure that will save them, Joanna must embrace her Shadow side … even if it leads her into an all-out battle with the demons of her past.


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The Second Sign of the Zodiac Being mortal isn’t easy. Being a superhero is even harder. Even mortal, Joanna Archer was nobody’s idea of a victim. But now, infused with the supernatural power to alter the battle between Shadow and Light forever, what she’s become is a target. And when a toxic virus invades the valley, her allies are targets are well. To find the cure that wi The Second Sign of the Zodiac Being mortal isn’t easy. Being a superhero is even harder. Even mortal, Joanna Archer was nobody’s idea of a victim. But now, infused with the supernatural power to alter the battle between Shadow and Light forever, what she’s become is a target. And when a toxic virus invades the valley, her allies are targets are well. To find the cure that will save them, Joanna must embrace her Shadow side … even if it leads her into an all-out battle with the demons of her past.

30 review for The Taste of Night

  1. 5 out of 5

    John

    Can Joanna Archer overcome the desire for vengeance that drives her into defeat after defeat and ultimately her own destruction? I take that to be the theme of this second novel in the Signs of the Zodiac series. The first book, The Scent of Shadows, began with that theme--Joanne putting herself at risk to draw out the man who raped her and just barely failed to kill her when she was a teenager; ten years later, she knows Krav Maga and wants a re-match so she can kill him. But then Joanna's whol Can Joanna Archer overcome the desire for vengeance that drives her into defeat after defeat and ultimately her own destruction? I take that to be the theme of this second novel in the Signs of the Zodiac series. The first book, The Scent of Shadows, began with that theme--Joanne putting herself at risk to draw out the man who raped her and just barely failed to kill her when she was a teenager; ten years later, she knows Krav Maga and wants a re-match so she can kill him. But then Joanna's whole life and identity change drastically; she suffers a terrible loss and is virtually forced to become an agent of Light representing the sign Sagittarius in a universe based on the Zodiac, with a superhero of Light and a supervillain of Shadow for each of the twelve star signs, along with a cast of supporting characters for each side. Remember, the Light troupe welcomed her into their secret base by drugging her and operating on her to transform her body into that of the person who died, all without her consent of course, because that's how the good guys work. All these agents of Light and Shadow live double lives, going out into the world as regular humans, but Joanna must go through the world impersonating her loved one while pretending that she, Joanna, was the one who died. I gave the first book four stars chiefly for Joanna's strength of character in a life situation that constantly triggered her strong emotions and for her independence of mind and spirit that turned out to be a crucial asset within her militaristic Zodiacal troupe. For more about the first book see my review at https://www.goodreads.com/review/show.... So does this book have sequelitis? For me it does. We still have Joanna's first-person narration, with all her thoughts and very intense feelings, but it's a few months later and her daily adventures don't rise to the astounding level of the first book. Life goes on, problems come up, etc. etc., and as expected the Shadow side has a devilish plan to get at the Light side by releasing a strange plague that kills innocent mortals by the hundreds, and of course Joanna may be the one to pluck the cure from the Shadow agents. But Joanna's thirst for revenge dominates her life now. She knows now who her attacker is: Joaquin, agent of Shadow for the sign Aquarius, and she knows that as an older, very powerful supervillain he vastly outmatches her. But she disobeys orders and goes after him again and again, getting herself badly beaten and needing to be rescued. Worse, in her quest for an impossible victory she puts her comrades and even innocent mortals in danger. She is somewhat self-critical, true, and she has rational moments, but her fury overcomes her reason. The dense, rich descriptions of the first book are still here, with emphasis on scents now that her powers have developed, and Joanna is still a strong person living an incredibly difficult life as half Light and half Shadow. Her Shadow side comes from her real father, a being called the Tulpa who seems to run the Shadows (or does he?), and it's the obvious reason the Light agents put restrictions on her (which she keeps violating); and in this novel I admired her intention to use her Shadow side for the benefit of the Light. But, good heavens, she exercises poor judgment again and again (and as real astrologers can tell you, judgment is a Sagittarian virtue!). On the other hand, I definitely liked the ending. It promises a new Joanna and a new, improved set of relationships for all the issues that are forthcoming in the next book.

  2. 5 out of 5

    AH

    Imagine a world where comic book heroes walk amongst us fighting the age old battle of good vs. evil. In The Taste of Night, the battle is between the Light and Shadow forces, each divided into a corresponding sign of the Zodiac. Their actions are chronicled by two comic book writers who publish manuals for both the Light and the Shadow sides of the Zodiac. Set in Las Vegas, the author built a world that is not out of the realm of possibility. Las Vegas provides a rich and colorful background, fu Imagine a world where comic book heroes walk amongst us fighting the age old battle of good vs. evil. In The Taste of Night, the battle is between the Light and Shadow forces, each divided into a corresponding sign of the Zodiac. Their actions are chronicled by two comic book writers who publish manuals for both the Light and the Shadow sides of the Zodiac. Set in Las Vegas, the author built a world that is not out of the realm of possibility. Las Vegas provides a rich and colorful background, full of sounds, lights, and action. Also a comic book hero would probably not stand out in Vegas. This book picks up right where the last one ended. Our heroine, Joanna Archer is masquerading as her dead sister Olivia Archer. (I shall now refer to Joanna as OJ). OJ is trying to reconcile her mixed heritage as both Shadow and Light. The Shadow leader wants OJ to join their side. The Light side does not really trust OJ, and do not tell her much. OJ also has a need for revenge. She is after her rapist Joaquim, a most slimy character. OJ becomes a bit of a loose canon, and both sides have difficulty with her. Meanwhile, the Shadow side has released a plague on Las Vegas and people are dropping like flies. You’ve got to hand it to those Shadow agents, that was a very creative plague dispersal system. OJ’s relationship with her step-father was often stormy when she was Joanna. As OJ, she shares a quiet father/daughter moment reminiscing about Joanna. I found it amazing that he could not tell that Olivia was really Joanna. When OJ finally meets the Tulpa (head of Las Vegas’ Evil Central and her real father), I was surprised by the “loving” father role he took on. The Tulpa’s goal has always been to get OJ to join his side, and his methods were surprisingly pleasant. I loved the descriptions of the Tulpa. The author really has an interesting sense of humor. There were a few things that bugged me. The Light side behaved a little unrealistically for me. They followed rules of engagement, did not cheat, and just acted a little too purely for my tastes. They did not trust OJ, nor did they tell her the full extent of her powers. OJ was also the only agent able to read both Light and Shadow manuals. Why not use that to your advantage? I found the leader of the Light side to be a wuss. I felt like he had no business being leader. I enjoyed this book way more than the first. I’m glad that I had the opportunity to read it. (Thanks, Steph!) The action was literally non-stop. And, whoa! There were some really good bombshells revealed. I can’t wait to read the next book to find out what happened.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Monique

    Having an attitude and being "tough" are two different things and I don't think that the author or Joanna understand that. You have an "attitude" when you break into someone's house to kill them but then end up having to be rescued... You're "tough" if you can get yourself in to and (more importantly) OUT of trouble. I guess I was hoping for another Rachel Morgan, Mercedes Thompson or Kitty Norville kind of character.(Bad ass!) Joanna talks the talk but can't walk the walk. She's a selfish chara Having an attitude and being "tough" are two different things and I don't think that the author or Joanna understand that. You have an "attitude" when you break into someone's house to kill them but then end up having to be rescued... You're "tough" if you can get yourself in to and (more importantly) OUT of trouble. I guess I was hoping for another Rachel Morgan, Mercedes Thompson or Kitty Norville kind of character.(Bad ass!) Joanna talks the talk but can't walk the walk. She's a selfish character and I think that's what bugs me most about this series so far. I'm not really rooting for her. I don't really care about her because she only cares about herself. After dropping a bomb on us the last book (oh by the way I have kid) Pettersson still didn't even broach the subject again until like 5 chapters in. I especially loved hearing Joanna whine about how her mother abandoned her but HELLO?! She has a daughter she doesn't talk about and doesn't even THINK about! **SPOILER ALERT** Turns out the baby wasn't her rapist's but her ex-boyfriend Ben Traina's. So now what? Is she going to want to try to get her daughter back? Is she going to tell Ben? Once again there is another WTF moment at the end of the book. Oh by the way, did you know you can't fly? You can't leave the city... I understand that Joanna doesn't know who to trust and everyone withholds information from her because they're scared about her gaining power, but geez. If travel is potentially fatal I think that's something that she needs to know. It makes me think that the author doesn't even know the rules to the world that she's created. She's kind of making it up as she goes along and that doesn't give me much confidence in this series...

  4. 4 out of 5

    Marcy Jo

    This book was freaking fantastic. As much as I liked the first book in this series, this on just blew it out of the water. There is still a lot of mythology being built around what you're reading, and sometimes you have to pause to think about what is really happening, but it doesn't take take away from the story at all. The characters are so relatable. You just want to hug/pat their head/kiss/beat the crap out of them. And the end? Sheesh. The END. I can't WAIT to read the third book. In fact, This book was freaking fantastic. As much as I liked the first book in this series, this on just blew it out of the water. There is still a lot of mythology being built around what you're reading, and sometimes you have to pause to think about what is really happening, but it doesn't take take away from the story at all. The characters are so relatable. You just want to hug/pat their head/kiss/beat the crap out of them. And the end? Sheesh. The END. I can't WAIT to read the third book. In fact, I think I WON'T wait. *leaves to go read*

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jim son of Jim (formerly PhotoJim)

    So I keep telling myself that I'm not going to read this as the world just doesn't make as much sense as it should. Then I pick it up and read another hundred pages and wonder what my problem is. I'm not overly fond of the characters. I don't like the writing style very much. And I particularly hate that people don't figure out the whole Jo/Olivia thing. And yet there is something compelling about it. I really want to know what happens next. Will I get the next book and read it too? Yep. So I keep telling myself that I'm not going to read this as the world just doesn't make as much sense as it should. Then I pick it up and read another hundred pages and wonder what my problem is. I'm not overly fond of the characters. I don't like the writing style very much. And I particularly hate that people don't figure out the whole Jo/Olivia thing. And yet there is something compelling about it. I really want to know what happens next. Will I get the next book and read it too? Yep.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Seth

    This is 100% better than the first in the series, making it about as good as the average first novel. The major plusses are some actual spine in the main character, a nice (if transparent) plot by the Bad Guys(TM), some deus ex machina that fits the comic genre very well, and an attempt to clean up some of the absolutely horrible holes in the world setup. Our heroine, the superhero with no discernable special powers other than the body of a playmate (a real playmate--she was in the magazine about This is 100% better than the first in the series, making it about as good as the average first novel. The major plusses are some actual spine in the main character, a nice (if transparent) plot by the Bad Guys(TM), some deus ex machina that fits the comic genre very well, and an attempt to clean up some of the absolutely horrible holes in the world setup. Our heroine, the superhero with no discernable special powers other than the body of a playmate (a real playmate--she was in the magazine about 6 months ago in the book's continuity), finally stands up to the "allies" who drugged her, gave her all-body plastic surgery, and tell her what to do and when she's allowed to leave the house. She still does what they say, but she sits on the porch without permission. Which turns out to be a problem. She also makes some poor decisions to make some deals on her own, which works out to actually give us a plot and not a protagonist watching a plot. The attempt to patch the world holes is nice. We get some backstory on the kids at the comic shop who seem to know everything and who write up what they do. We also get a brief explanation of why different cities' hero and villain teams don't cooperate (although it's inconsistent with some information we have about rogue agents). The love story/ies is/are handled nicely, and no mediocre sex scenes to waste pages. The "kiss to transfer power" trope is continuing, and I find that intriguing. Sadly, we perpetuate the seemingly-inconsistent cosmology regarding the Kairos (why Las vegas? Why is the supposed First Issue there? Just how *does* this fit into an actual *world* instead of a city?). As a 4-color comic book themed story, we have to ask: how are the action set pieces? There is a chase/battle that starts in an orgy; the anticipation is well-handled and fun. there isa chase and battle at the start with a few good surprises. We get some maze chases and short fights that work pretty well. I still want to see a heroine with some backbone (hint to the author: read the Kitty series of werewolf books to see a spineless character grow nicely and believably). I give it 2.5 stars. It's a chicklet of a book; you'll read it in an evening. it's entertaining enough. Maybe read it before the first.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ithlilian

    The Scent of Shadows was one of the first urban fantasies I read, but I knew it was different even then. Many people said the first book was too much setup and not enough follow through, and that it was confusing. I saw it as exciting, unique, and interesting. It was not the typical butt kicking ultra powerful super perfect girl that everyone loves running around killing bad guys. The Taste of Night simplified things a bit, but was still interesting. The best part: the characters. Joanna Archer i The Scent of Shadows was one of the first urban fantasies I read, but I knew it was different even then. Many people said the first book was too much setup and not enough follow through, and that it was confusing. I saw it as exciting, unique, and interesting. It was not the typical butt kicking ultra powerful super perfect girl that everyone loves running around killing bad guys. The Taste of Night simplified things a bit, but was still interesting. The best part: the characters. Joanna Archer is trapped in another body and has to live two lives. She isn't perfect, and is more interested in revenge than helping her fellow Zodiac members. She isn't sure who she can trust, isn't sure if she is being used, and is still strong and determined. Her love interest Hunter is equally intriguing. Everything seems realistic and plausible, and that is something I appreciate in urban fantasy. The story here is decent, but it's not the focus of the book. The plague takes up a few pages, and the solution to the problem takes a few more. It is interesting, but the interactions between the characters and the world building is much more exciting. I can't wait to find out more about the signs of the zodiac, and I think this series has staying power. Hopefully, the momentum can be maintained.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Steph

    The Taste of Night picks up where The Scent of Shadows left off. Joanna (in the body of her sister, Olivia) is still trying to adjust to her life with the merry band of superheros who battle the Shadow Zodiac. She continues to hunt down her rapist Joaquim, a big baddy with the Shadow. Meanwhile in Gotham City Vegas, the Light is chillaxin' in their hideout with the belief that things are quiet because the Shadow must regroup and all is well. Joanne doesn't agree and does what she does best - diso The Taste of Night picks up where The Scent of Shadows left off. Joanna (in the body of her sister, Olivia) is still trying to adjust to her life with the merry band of superheros who battle the Shadow Zodiac. She continues to hunt down her rapist Joaquim, a big baddy with the Shadow. Meanwhile in Gotham City Vegas, the Light is chillaxin' in their hideout with the belief that things are quiet because the Shadow must regroup and all is well. Joanne doesn't agree and does what she does best - disobey orders to stay put. When a super deadly plaque is released on Vegas killing thousands, the Light try to find a way to stop it and save those who are sick. This series is so different from any others that I find it a fun read. The action was non-stop and there were some major revelations in this one. I enjoyed this book more than the first and hope the series continues to improve with each book. (Thanks to AH for joining me for a buddy read!)

  9. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This series really annoyed me. I enjoyed the background of the main character and the build up of book one, but I thought Scent of shadows was better organized, it seemed like a second draft. This book was a bit more sloppy for a few reasons. It really irked me when Warren basically said Regan is a puppet for the 'king of shadows' but apparently Joanna forgot this because of her shock when her dad told her that he knew Regans schemes. I didnt like that Warren is more like the dictator of their lit This series really annoyed me. I enjoyed the background of the main character and the build up of book one, but I thought Scent of shadows was better organized, it seemed like a second draft. This book was a bit more sloppy for a few reasons. It really irked me when Warren basically said Regan is a puppet for the 'king of shadows' but apparently Joanna forgot this because of her shock when her dad told her that he knew Regans schemes. I didnt like that Warren is more like the dictator of their little group of light, instead of the leader. I understand the space is (i hope) made for character development (or a part to be explained later. Maybe Warrens a bad guy after all) but his character comes off as a brazen teen, not as an experienced adult. Warren just bugs. The disadvantage of Joanna joining so late is understandable but Warren came off as a hustler. He gives Jo a false ultimatum to either join the light in 24 hrs in the first novel in order to manipulate her to rush to a decision she isnt committed to making and that is understandable in some respects (although arguably not very "light" of him, it makes him seem as though he places mortals and the troop above Jo even tho he needs her bc shes the Kirios or w/e) but then in book 1 and 2 he has the audacity to bitch and moan that Jo isnt putting everyone else above her when the light hasnt really proven to be worth it in respect to the way they treat her as a tolerable frenemy. Ive come to the conclusion Warren is a crappy leader that really doesn't care about his troop (i mean the author says he doesnt, even. You know this fool would distroy everyone just to. Take down the Tulpa!). I also dont like how he seems to be the leader bc of his star sign (dont get me started on the "zodiac" obviously the author is allergic to research), not because he really cares about his team. A real leader isnt Warren. A real leader owns their mistakes and if a team member makes a huge mistake, a leader takes it as their own fault. But no, warrens too busy scape goating on the back of Jo and throwing around blame to hide his misdeeds. Jo's character really bugged me as well. I liked that shes still deciding who she is through the choices she makes but she's really not as clever as she thinks she is. I was appalled when she risked that little girls aura to "give her ex the cure", which wasnt done for the right reasons. It felt more like an obsession with her ex than actually needing to save lives. I hate how she calls her self a hero when shes not doing it because of a need to protect others. Instead, she runs around trying to accomplish personal goals at the expense of everyone else. Its good that she finally is beginning to get it at the end of book 2, but it still bothered me. The hugest issue, i think, was the authors writing. The world isnt really "clear", not enough setting description, and its not written clearly. This book is even worst than the first and seems like a rough draft that needed editing. A lot of editing. Dont even get me started on Jo's rape as a child. The way the author writes it in the first book was very vague. I dont want details, but she fails to show the true horror of rape, of birthing a child from the assault (tho we learn differently). She tells us, instead of showing us. She failed in making Jo identifiable and relatable bc of this. It just made the work seem sloppy and partially completed. She fails to really give the light a cohesive ideology as well. Theres just not enough build to the group and "following along" with the comics doesnt help bc in this book she doesnt read us any! Idk if ill continue the series..,

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kay

    Ok , I'll admit it. Maybe I was just expecting too much after The Scent of Shadows. Because even though I know this was a well-written, cleverly plotted book - I couldn't help but be disappointed. Before I get into why, I just want to reiterate that this is an amazing series. Vicki Pettersson has created a genuinely unique universe in an already saturated market. I guess these next comments could be considered the nit-picking of a fan. My trouble was with the main character, Jo. While I had quite Ok , I'll admit it. Maybe I was just expecting too much after The Scent of Shadows. Because even though I know this was a well-written, cleverly plotted book - I couldn't help but be disappointed. Before I get into why, I just want to reiterate that this is an amazing series. Vicki Pettersson has created a genuinely unique universe in an already saturated market. I guess these next comments could be considered the nit-picking of a fan. My trouble was with the main character, Jo. While I had quite enjoyed her scary-yet-vulnerable character in the first novel, she looses all sense in The Taste of Night. She goes back and forth from rational to reactionary. The plot required conflict within the Light Troup, which lead to Jo needing a massive personality overhaul for half the book. It really felt forced - a change contrived solely to fit the action - and was inevitably disappointing. One thing that I absolutely loved in this book, however, was Hunter. Pettersson took the tension between him and Jo - noticeable from the very first time they beat the crap out of each other - and really rolled with it. Although he was a relatively prominent character in the first book, I hadn't felt too strongly either way about his involvement in the story. In The Taste of Night, he became the sole voice of reason and logic, piercing through Jo's muddled narration. That alone had me wanting to jump into his unfortunately fictional arms. So, considering that, Jo's continued infatuation with Ben Traina is pretty friggin annoying. He is made out to be the love of her life, when all they had together was a few months as teens. I mean, really? That, along with an annoying revelation towards the end, made this a book I am never going to re-read. There were actual chapters that made my eyes glaze over - no doubt in the vain hope that when I refocused, the page would have magically altered. Which is kinda depressing, when I think about it. Bottom line? I wish I could tell you to skip it, but you'd be missing out on a great universe. Hopefully The Touch of Twilight will return the series to its former glory... http://deadbookdarling.blogspot.com/2...

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ambre

    After initially quitting this book in disgust, I went back to it out of desperation- I read a lot faster than the library acquires. Anyway, I was able to get through it after letting my initial reaction fade a bit. I think I have determined that I really wouldn't like this author much if I met her in person. Why? Well, even her "good guys" are entirely willing to throw friends under the bus to get what they want. Everybody in these books resorts to back biting eventually. And, well,the heroine wo After initially quitting this book in disgust, I went back to it out of desperation- I read a lot faster than the library acquires. Anyway, I was able to get through it after letting my initial reaction fade a bit. I think I have determined that I really wouldn't like this author much if I met her in person. Why? Well, even her "good guys" are entirely willing to throw friends under the bus to get what they want. Everybody in these books resorts to back biting eventually. And, well,the heroine would let an entire city, as well as the people charged with protecting it (people who have gone out on a limb for her) perish before she'd allow her ex boyfriend to move on. Pretty scary stuff. The heroine is also pretty typical of a certain subset of this genre- she is the one who constantly needs to be rescued. She is so determined to be rescued that she even breaks her own rules. I re-read this immediately after a Nora Roberts book. I though Nora Roberts would write old school female leads, but her heroine was a determined feminist. This heroine thinks she is a feminist, but can't control her impulses enough to stay out of trouble- so of course she requires rescuing. It is annoying!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lorena

    A little better than the first one - I still like the main character and the writing, and there are some good, lyrical moments. Fewer plot holes added in this story, but some of the old ones haven't really been cleared up, and the author has the tendency to pull crazy explanations for stuff out of her butt on a regular basis. Still an entertaining read, all in all, and I'll probably read more in the series and hope some editor or pal helps this author with tying it all together. A little better than the first one - I still like the main character and the writing, and there are some good, lyrical moments. Fewer plot holes added in this story, but some of the old ones haven't really been cleared up, and the author has the tendency to pull crazy explanations for stuff out of her butt on a regular basis. Still an entertaining read, all in all, and I'll probably read more in the series and hope some editor or pal helps this author with tying it all together.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sammi

    Like the first book in the Zodiac series, this book kept me involved and intrigued from the beginning. I had dreams about the storyline and the characters, I wished I had two sets of eyes and two brains so that I could read while at work, read while driving, read while in the shower... I even wanted to skip sleep altogether just to finish this book! I highly recommend it. It shows that even superheroes have faults and make mistakes.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Chad

    Took this on vacation as an emergency book - it was really bad. Couldn't finish it. I really wanted to like it - I really did and I admire the author for creating a heroine and new world. I just can't get beyond a hero that continually puts people in dire straits (her troop, a little girl, a would-be boyfriend, an old boy friend...) Took this on vacation as an emergency book - it was really bad. Couldn't finish it. I really wanted to like it - I really did and I admire the author for creating a heroine and new world. I just can't get beyond a hero that continually puts people in dire straits (her troop, a little girl, a would-be boyfriend, an old boy friend...)

  15. 4 out of 5

    Theresa Materazzi

    A world of comic book characters from both sides good and evil how could you go wrong?! You can't! Progressing through this series keeps me hanging on as I get to learn more and more about each sign. Fabulous! I can't wait to read the next book! A world of comic book characters from both sides good and evil how could you go wrong?! You can't! Progressing through this series keeps me hanging on as I get to learn more and more about each sign. Fabulous! I can't wait to read the next book!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I enjoyed the second book as much as the first. Action packed and sexy with enough plot to keep you interested.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Adrielle

    This is a fabulous world. Light and dark, good vs evil involving comic book like characters in real time. Love it! I am actually going to reread this series.

  18. 4 out of 5

    ☀Rachael☀

    I do like Jo but there is something missing from this to stop me from loving it!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ladawn Bowling

    i think im glad kim harrison is so awesome about posting on facebook when her fellow authors books are on sale. i never would have picked up the series otherwise but now im really into it.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Vicki

    I love this series. So glad I bought all of them!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Pendlebury

    Here's the thing. Urban fantasy can go well and can go wrong. In this book, the setting was interesting, the characters and storyline were pretty fresh. Then the main character acted like she'd had a frontal lobotomy at every turn and acted like she was 15 and not 25. Marked DNF at the 80% mark. I was that close to finishing and just went, yeah- nah. Here's the thing. Urban fantasy can go well and can go wrong. In this book, the setting was interesting, the characters and storyline were pretty fresh. Then the main character acted like she'd had a frontal lobotomy at every turn and acted like she was 15 and not 25. Marked DNF at the 80% mark. I was that close to finishing and just went, yeah- nah.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Juli

    Joanna's character development is coming along almost too slowly. The plot holes and poor editing bothered me. (If I have to read the phrase "swallowed hard" every other page or so in the next book I'll be done.) However, I enjoyed the behind the scenes information about the comic book store, the dark humor, Hunter, Tekla and Ben. Joanna's character development is coming along almost too slowly. The plot holes and poor editing bothered me. (If I have to read the phrase "swallowed hard" every other page or so in the next book I'll be done.) However, I enjoyed the behind the scenes information about the comic book store, the dark humor, Hunter, Tekla and Ben.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Red Lace Reviews

    Joanna Archer, representing the Light-side Sagittarius sign in the Zodiac troupe of Las Vegas, continues to juggle her new-found life in her sister's body. Not only does she have to keep up appearances of being the sole progeny to the richest man in the city, she also has to protect society from the Shadow organisation hellbent on terrorising the innocent. Finding herself in a rather peculiar predicament, Joanna reluctantly makes a deal with a Shadow initiate; one that she might come to regret. ( Joanna Archer, representing the Light-side Sagittarius sign in the Zodiac troupe of Las Vegas, continues to juggle her new-found life in her sister's body. Not only does she have to keep up appearances of being the sole progeny to the richest man in the city, she also has to protect society from the Shadow organisation hellbent on terrorising the innocent. Finding herself in a rather peculiar predicament, Joanna reluctantly makes a deal with a Shadow initiate; one that she might come to regret. (WARNING: This review contains spoilers.) I've always been fond of the good ol' fight between good and evil, so the aspect of superheroes was definitely refreshing to return to. Whilst finding The Scent of Shadows to be rather average as a whole, I believed this instalment (Signs of the Zodiac series is six instalments long) to be a large decline - primarily because of the heroine herself, Joanna Archer. I personally love the first-person perspectives that dominate the genre; it gives an in-depth and intimate picture of the character, however it can be especially unforgiving if that character happens to be someone you dislike. And boy, did I dislike her. I'm a firm believer that characters should be flawed, because people are flawed, however there's only so much I can take when I can find very little redeeming qualities. Joanna repeatedly made the exact same error and refused to learn from it, instead putting herself and her troupe at risk over and over. I'm legitimately shocked how anyone could find her actions reasonable, and how anyone could consider her a good protagonist. Being vengeful is one thing, but being stupidly selfish is another thing entirely. Let me give a rundown of her transgressions; the ones that bothered me the most. 1: She kept going off alone after the bad guy, with the knowledge that her enemy was stronger. Thus, he would obviously get the better of her and she would need rescuing by her team. This happened three times, if I remember correctly. 2: The gateway to the Light side's secret hideout, she compromised it twice (the second time she was well aware of her actions), and so put the safety of her group, not to mention children, at risk. 3: Due to jealously, she couldn't allow her ex-boyfriend to move on, so she forced herself back into his life, when he was just beginning to be happy again. And she spent a night with him, then disappeared again. The third one bothered me the most, I think. This is a woman whose identity needs to be kept a secret, yet as soon as she caught a whiff of a new woman in Ben's life, she didn't waste any time to metaphorically urinate all over him. The fact is, she can't have any sort of relationship with him, she can't even allow him to see her physical appearance unless she uses a prepubescent's shield-mould-thing. Am I the only one that found it creepy, that she had sex with Ben whilst using that little girls essence or whatever it was? I'm going to end the rant about our dear Joanna there, if I can bring myself to it. I can't say I favoured any of the other characters either, except maybe Regan. She really did play her role expertly, and I daresay she'll be one hell of a villain for the team to battle in the future. I'm looking forward to seeing what she has in store for the Light side. Sometimes you just have to root for evil, because in this case, the Light doesn't exactly offer anything substantial. I mean, what do we have? Hunter? Well, he took a page from Joanna's book; his selfishness actually resulting in someones death. I'm not a fan of love triangles anyway; I'd much rather he or Ben be removed from the equation altogether. Warren and Tekla's frustration throughout was understandable - they were definitely the adults of the situation. The plot itself could've been better. I honestly expected the plague to have more of an impact, but it didn't even occur until a hundred plus pages. The focal point seemed to be Joaquin, and because of such the tone of the book was needlessly dark. Joaquin was portrayed badly; his entire thought process being about rape, despite him apparently being an avid collector of the comics. It was basically telling us he had depth, yet every time he was on-page he was constantly sexually abusing and / or harassing women. At one point he even yelled: "I will rape you, Joanna!", which in itself summed up his character perfectly. In conclusion: I like the premise of this series, I do, but I got pretty sick and tired of Joanna's mess. I dearly hope she'll develop into something better. The Touch of Twilight is the third book in this series, and was first published in 2008. Notable Scene: "Uh... good doggie?" I said, taking in the sight of an animal with the muscle of a bear and the angular ferocity of a wolf. He let a warning rumble loose in his throat, and the deep reverberation jarred through my immobile bones like a jackhammer through concrete. © Red Lace 2018 Wordpress ~ Booklikes ~ Twitter

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kristine

    Definitely one of the best books I've read in awhile. And the writing is so perfectly amazing, I felt as though I was right there the whole time. It's a must read for anyone into the paranormal and/or paranormal romance!! Definitely one of the best books I've read in awhile. And the writing is so perfectly amazing, I felt as though I was right there the whole time. It's a must read for anyone into the paranormal and/or paranormal romance!!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Stan

    The main character is an idiot. She always disregards the advice of others and does what she wants endangering her life and others.. I hate heroes/heroines like this. The second book in this series was series killer I will probably not be reading this series any more.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Adrielle

    Still a 4 star read. Jo is learning to be a hero still, overcoming her stubbornness. She still isn't quite heroic yet though, doing stupid things and getting herself caught. She is tough but a bit self absorbed. Makes for good character development. Still a 4 star read. Jo is learning to be a hero still, overcoming her stubbornness. She still isn't quite heroic yet though, doing stupid things and getting herself caught. She is tough but a bit self absorbed. Makes for good character development.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Anna Marie

    The Archer is still learning and growing in her powers. Can she stop her biological father's plans? Will she learn what they are before it's too late? Will she get her vengeance against the Shadow who attacked her? The Archer is still learning and growing in her powers. Can she stop her biological father's plans? Will she learn what they are before it's too late? Will she get her vengeance against the Shadow who attacked her?

  28. 4 out of 5

    Izzyabelle M

    I got really bored with this booth like halfway through and took a long break in it. I just came back today and finished it and I'm glad I finally got it done. I'm not sure if I will pick up the next one. The first two have been kinda meh so we will see. I got really bored with this booth like halfway through and took a long break in it. I just came back today and finished it and I'm glad I finally got it done. I'm not sure if I will pick up the next one. The first two have been kinda meh so we will see.

  29. 5 out of 5

    David Norris

    I liked it as much as the first in the series, I am immediately moving into book 3. It feels like I am there.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Haralambi Markov

    After reading “Scent of Shadows” by Vicki Pettersson I was left ecstatic with the Urban Fantasy genre as a whole even more as it was my fourth book into the genre. While “Stray” offered great amount of sexual tension and feline shapeshifters, “Halfway to the Grave” lots of action and sarcasm and “Touch the Dark” mix from mythology, magic and intrigued, it was “Scent of Shadows” that defined the genre for me. Vicki Pettersson pulled out a whole new world out of the nothing, relying on almost noth After reading “Scent of Shadows” by Vicki Pettersson I was left ecstatic with the Urban Fantasy genre as a whole even more as it was my fourth book into the genre. While “Stray” offered great amount of sexual tension and feline shapeshifters, “Halfway to the Grave” lots of action and sarcasm and “Touch the Dark” mix from mythology, magic and intrigued, it was “Scent of Shadows” that defined the genre for me. Vicki Pettersson pulled out a whole new world out of the nothing, relying on almost nothing known to human lore apart from the zodiac and comic books. “Taste of Night” grabs your attention immediately and by the time you are finished with it, the Zodiac world is richer, more fully developed and as hell more real. The story is too complex to lay here in short. I tried and it turned out as an essay rather than a review, so I will keep it simple. It follows Joanna Archer as she has to manage to save Las Vegas from a lethal virus, which is activated sexually; kill Joaquin, the man, who ruined her life; maintain her fake identity as Olivia Archer, her dead sister and regain her position in the Zodiac Troop, after being kicked out for disobeying orders and bringing the virus into the sanctuary. Of course much more happens in between the 400 pages. Old characters are further developed like Hunter, who is bound to Joanna after she passed the aureole to him in the first book. Tekla, who spent the first book as a mental patient, is now in her full power and the readers learn more about her personality and abilities. New characters are introduced in the face of Marlo, Riddick and Jewell, who fill the missing star signs. The newest elements introduced in the book come in the shape of the changelings, who appear to be preteens. They know about the war between Shadow and Light and through their belief do the Zodiac troops actually exist. The changelings also appear to be separated into two camps, Light and Shadow, and morph into hideous monsters, when they sense an agent from an opposite troop. One of their other powers is to grant their own auras to agents in order to shield the agent’s identity. The original manual seems to be the most important manual for the Zodiac troops as it contains how the prophecies about the Kairos aka Joanna will turn out. However as much as these answers are needed, the original manual seems to be lost at least in the Las Vegas valley. However Joaquin collects many manuals from across different towns, trying to find clues leading to the original manual. In the end after Joaquin’s death Joanna takes up that task. Now although I found this book to be quite excellent, I have one huge issue, which is the cause of all the other problems. Joanna is stubborn and stupid when it comes to her actions towards the shadow agents especially Joaquin. Her motivation is crystal clear and understandable and I accept that, but seeing how she failed the first time with the attack and knows the consequences if she worked before her troops back, she does it again and fails, because of her angst moments. Seeing how the thought of that man makes her unstable, it is not advisable to go out again and again to hunt him down. Then comes the love triangle between Hunter and Ben. I would definitely like to see her in relationship with Hunter, since they know more intimacies about each other because of the aureole exchange. She knows she can trust him and yet she says no, but regrets it and longs for him at points. Joanna then risks compromising herself as she returns from the dead with her own face through Jasmine, her changeling, and has sex with Ben in order to give him immunity, even though she knows that only a kiss can do pretty much the same. If you ask me, having Joanna kiss him in Olivia’s skin would set the ground for a really interesting triangle, having Ben fall for Olivia. But that is only me on that matter. As a conclusion I have to say that this book rocks immensely and its flaws with Joanna are only minor ones that are defined mainly through personal tastes in preferences.

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