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Crimson Romance
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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

City of Souls (ARC) ~ The Fourth Sign of the Zodiac by Vicki Pettersson

Publisher: EOS Books, Harper Collins
Pages: 352

Release date: 6-30-09
(image and blurb from Harper Collins)
From the Cover: In Sin City, a little girl suffers from a strange and terrible malady. If she dies, the Light will die along with her.

Warrior, avenger, Joanna Archer has survived countless otherworldly terrors—and has found her rightful place among the agents battling the all-pervasive evil of Shadow . . . even as she struggles against the darkness within herself.

A war is raging for Las Vegas—a city without a heart—one that catapults Joanna into a new world hidden from mortal sight. In this lethally seductive alternate dimension the lines blur between good and evil, love and hate, and here lies the last hope for the Light. But Joanna's price of admission is a piece of her own soul—and the odds of her escaping are slim . . . to none.

Joanna Archer, the Archer of Light and Shadow annihilator, is called into action once again. In this incarnation, she has taken the form of her beloved lost sister, Olivia. It's the only way Joanna can remain alive with the Tulpa hot on her tail, Joanna must be thought of as dead. The Warriors of the Light are trying to maintain their hold over Las Vegas as the Shadow scum seem to know their every zones are gone. Only the Kairos can save them now. Joanna is the Kairos of the legends, but a simple mistake may cost not only her life, but may others. In an attempt to save the changeling, Jasmine, Joanna split her Chi causing the balance between the Light and the Shadows to become unsteady, now the fourth sign of the zodiac remains hidden. She must figure out how to right this wrong all while staying one step away of the Shadows who would love the opportunity to exploit the imbalance. It is Jasmine's turn now to move to adulthood, and her younger sister, Li, to become the new changeling, to allow the legends to be written. Manuals to continued, power to be given. But Jaz doesn't want adulthood and Li is dying....

According to Warren, the squad leader of the Las Vegas warriors, the only way to right the balance is to head to Midheaven, but it's a very dangerous seductive place where the strong become weak and the weak go to die. Entrance can only be bought with a piece of your soul. As Joanna/Olivia makes her way to this god forsaken place, she begins to wonder who is helping her and who is trying to kill her...and why. She has been given orders to find Jaden Jacks, but who is this mysterious agent with the ability to move through Midheaven and the knowledge to correct this imbalance. Hunter, the weapons master of the Light, seeks the truth as well, but he is also living with a lie...but it the one the Joanna has learned of or is it something far worse. But Joanna knows about lies, she hiding one of her own.

City of Souls by Vicki Petterson is paranormal fantasy at it's best. All the agents of the Light are Superheroes and the agents of the Shadow are dastardly villains. Charlaine Harris has a blurb across the front of this beautiful cover "Read at your own risk" and she's right, but it's worth the risk and then some. As the story unfolds for the reader, enough background information is given that although it's preferable to read this series in order, you can pick up any of the books and read. Once you do, I know you'll want to pick up the rest of the series. Vicki Petterson moves the reader through the pages and into her world where Light and Shadow have been battling, and so far, it's a draw. But with the balance upset, the Shadows begin to make advances. The Manuals that are being written are graphic novels or comic books read by mere mortals that give the legend and life as it is occurring in the secret society. The problem is that until the balance is set right, the Light legend cannot be completed, but the Shadow legend is trying to come to fruition, overcoming the Light to bring despair, chaos, death and destruction in it's wake. Joanna/Olivia, our heroine, has lost everything that she at one time valued. Her mother, Zoe, is gone, hiding from Tulpa as he desires her death as well as being Joanna's true father. Her sister is dead and Joanna has to live Olivia's life to hide from Tulpa. Xavier, not a nice person, is dying but he's Olivia's father and Tulpa's soul giver. Ben, her one time love, has had his memory cleansed and no longer remembers her. The fourth sign of the zodiac cannot be release due to Jaz not relinquishing her changeling status. Our hero, Hunter, is a mystery. Jo's one time lover which she left for Ben, is distant, secretive, almost untouchable. He knows something that Jo does not. He should know Jaden Jacks, but no one seems to know him. Hunter is tortured by his past, by his present, and by what may or may not be his future. He wants to believe in the Light and Warren, but too many things have come unraveled for him. In fact, Jo begins to wonder if anyone knows the truth or if Warren is making them all believe what he wants to be the truth. City of Souls was an excellent read. I'll give you a warning, read in the morning because at night, you won't be able to put it down. This was a fast fun read, urban fantasy and paranormal rolled into one tasty little package. To find out more information about Vicki Pettersson's great books, please visit her website or her blog.

Here's a peek at Vicki Pettersson talking about the Signs of the Zodiac Series.


Cecile Smutty Hussy said...

Dottie~ First let me say... I love your couple... they fit each other rather well!!! Love the wings, Tink is proud of you!

Awesome review... You always do a wonderful job of driving me to book-addiction class!!! LOL! Will be jotting this little series in teh great book of TBB!! Thanks!
Hope you are having a great day!

Blodeuedd said...

Hi Dottie,
Great review! :D
The book sounds great, I so need some paranormal in my life now. I think I overdosed on chick-lit ;)

Unknown said...

Hi Cecile!

Thanks, I love my lovely couple, winged being that they are. I kind of love superheroes, big fan of comic books here when I was a kid, and if the kids get some, I inevitably pick them up and read them.

If you pick up Vicki Pettersson's book, start with the first one, it's not necessary, but I recommend it. Scent of Shadows is the first book.

Thanks Cecile!

Dottie :)

Unknown said...

Hi Blodeuedd!

Never too much chick-lit! But paranormal/urban fantasy is one of my favorite. Lots of really good stuff out there in the genre. This is an excellent paranormal fantasy series. Scent of Shadows is the first in the series. I hope you give it a try!

Dottie :)

Lea said...

Hey Dottie!

Wonderful review my friend!!

I love the video, Ms. Pettersson is lovely.

Man, I need more reading time. lol

I hope your day is going great Dottie.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts.


Unknown said...

Hi Lea!

Vicki Pettersson does sell her series well, and she is lovely.

I actually ended up with two of these books. EOS was asking for advanced readers, so I emailed them. Never heard anything back. I entered a contest and won a signed copy.

What turns up in the mail? A manuscript of City of Souls from EOS and a signed copy from Vicki Pettersson, about a day apart. LOL

Dottie :)

Anonymous said...

Hi, Dottie!! I really enjoyed your review. I'm always amazed at how authors come up with characters and plots. In a book as complex as fantasy, I find it even more astonishing.

Unknown said...

Hi Barbara!

It is amazing how well authors can build a world, and then get others to believe in that world too.

It would be incredibly hard to write.

I really enjoyed this book, it was exciting and different.

Dottie :)

SciFiGuy said...

Cool you got an ARC! This is a great series. I love all the comic book mythology "the manual" that she has created and Joanna in particular. I guess it's redundant for me to say "its on my list" LOL

Unknown said...

Hi Doug!

I really, really like this series, but I have to say it takes some unexpected twists...that's all I'm going to say. I think you'll like it though.

Dottie :)

Michelle Greathouse said...


I love this series and I am looking forward to this installment. :) Thank you for the wonderful review.


Unknown said...

Hi Michelle!

Isn't it a good series, I love it! I really love when an author can create a world and draw the reader in along with her. This has some twists and turns, hard to put down.

Dottie :)

VampFanGirl said...

Great review Dottie!

I almost picked up this series way back when the first novel released but something held me back. Unfortunately I'm still not interested.

Thanks for the recommendation!

:) VFG

Unknown said...


Well, I can say it's an excellent series, but you have to like urban fantasy as well as paranormal. And it can't be everyone's cup of tea.

Thanks VFG!

Dottie :)

SciFiGuy said...

This is such a great series. Urban fantasy with superheroes. I am reading Black and White by Kittredge and Kessler which is also a superhero story. Love this stuff.

Unknown said...

Hi Doug!

I would love to read Black and White, I'll probably try to pick it up maybe next week, I've been swamped with reviews that I've agreed to do. Read like four books this week, which is more than I like in one week, lolol...I also ended up an extra ARC of City of Souls. I won one in a contest and EOS sent me a copy.

Dottie :)

Ladytink_534 said...

I've been meaning to pick up this series or actually anything from this author for awhile now but I still haven't gotten around to doing so...

Unknown said...

Hi LadyTink!

This story was great, I think you'd really like it.

As a bonus EOS is offering her first book, The Scent of Shadows as a free read. Just go to their site and read for free!

Dottie :)

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