The Scent of Shadows – by Vicki Pettersson

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For a book that centers on signs of the zodiac with “superheroes” attached to each one, this a surprisingly dark fantasy in which there is no guaranteed happy ending. The story’s heroine, Joanna Archer, (can you guess what her sign is?) has survived a brutal attack at age 16 and has spent the last few years becoming proficient at a unique form of martial arts and photographing the grittier, seedier underside of Las Vegas. On her 25th birthday, she finds herself introduced to a whole new world where Agents of Light battle their Shadow counterparts to protect both worlds. Joanna, much to her dismay, is recognized as a prophesied warrior made up of both Light and Shadow. This book grabs the reader and never lets go. Joanna is a wonderful mix of vulnerability and steely determination. Her fellow agents are your typical superheroes either. Warren, the leader, masquerades as a homeless man, and others are missing limbs. Be prepared for graphic violence however. This book is definitely not for the squeamish. The sequel: “Taste of Night” has just been released.

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