Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Scent of Shadows: Sign of the Zodiac by Vicki Pettersson
Released: February 2007

The Scent of Shadows is the first book in the "Sign of the Zodiac" urban fantasy series by former Tropicana showgirl-turned author Vicki Pettersson. Check out Vicki's picture. Isn't she pretty?

I first read this novel in 2009 when I was contemplating moving to Las Vegas (the series takes place in Vegas). I wish I had read it after moving to Vegas, so I could better appreciate the setting, but I'll compensate by reading the books in the series that come after The Scent of Shadows.


Joanna Archer has a troubling and violent history. When she was only 16 years old, Joanna was brutally assaulted and left to die in the middle of the Nevada desert. Since then, Joanna has become quite the tough bad-ass and very capable of defending herself.

When Joanna's sister Olivia has a terrible accident, Joanna takes drastic steps to avenge her beautiful, sweet and beloved sister.

My review

The Scent of Shadows is one of the first urban fantasy novels I've ever enjoyed because it's easy to read and lacks the annoying "elvish" and other hard-to-pronounce lingo that is often prevalent in fantasy novels.

I appreciate how Pettersson keeps the underlying story and background of the characters super mysterious. It makes me want to read the next novel in the series just to learn more about the characters' histories and back-stories. What a clever writing strategy, especially for a series!

The Scent of Shadows is relatively long at over 400 pages, but you'll hardly notice. You'll be sucked in and finished with it in no time.

Now that I actually do live in Las Vegas, I'll be walking the Strip looking out for secret superheroes. No joke.

The books that follow The Scent of Shadows in the "Sign of the Zodiac" series are The Taste of Night, The Touch of Twilight, City of Souls, and Cheat the Grave.

Click on any of the images below to learn more about these books on

What do you think about Vicki Pettersson's series? What are your favorite urban fantasy novels? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!

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