Book Review: The Neon Graveyard

The Neon Graveyard
Sign of the Zodiac, Book 6
Paperback | Kindle Edition
by Vicki Pettersson
HarperCollins Voyager
Release Date: May 31, 2011
Cover Price: $7.99

The Neon Graveyard marks the end of a six-book series, which started with The Scent of Shadows, all about the agents of Light and Darkness and their eternal battle. Figured prominently in the midst of all of this is Joanna Archer, someone who is traditionally thought of as The Kairos, or the only successful blending of Dark and Light, born out of a union of an agent of the Light who needed to get close to a the primary antagonist of the series, the Tulpa, also known as Joanna’s father.

This book steers us in a different direction from that belief at first, but gradually builds to an epic conclusion that answers all questions fans have had about this series since its outset.

Joanna is no longer a soldier for The Light. Not only that, but she’s mortal. And pregnant. Despite such an obvious physical setback, she needs to break in to the fortress of the Shadow agents, and she has some rogue Shadow agents to help her.

Some of this offering’s highlights include Joanna’s dialogue which is, as always, one of the higher points of the books. And she’s definitely her usual sharp-tongued, foul-mouthed self, but it’s exacerbated by her pregnant condition, which gives her something of an excuse to be bitchy.

From The Scent of Shadows to The Neon Graveyard, I’ve always liked Joanna and that has remained a constant, because there’s a sense of urgency to everything she’s ever said or done, and her narrative voice is great. I also like that she’s not the usual whiny, annoying brat with a gun and a huge rack, hung up on some ridiculously, unrealistically good-looking guy, which is what seems to be lining most urban fantasy and paranormal romance shelves these days.

The action scenes are well done and exciting, and since we’ve been waiting for the whole series for the Tulpa to go down, it’s something worth fighting against and helped invest me in the overall storyline. All of Joanna’s combined experiences over the course of the books have helped shape her into the woman she is today and help her face the battles she needs to go through, and boy, are there a lot of them (the Tulpa is only one of many enemies she has to vanquish). Her confrontations with the Tulpa, particularly the first one, are strong and very enjoyable to read. Pettersson’s inclusion of soul sacrifices is a component that adds to the coolness factor. Joanna even has an unexpected run-in with someone we haven’t seen since the first volume in the series.

Exciting and fast-paced, The Neon Graveyard is a thrill ride with a satisfying conclusion that will leave fans feeling good. It ties up all loose ends and gives the story the ending it deserves.

4/5 Stars.

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