Reading level: Adult
Mass market paperback: 384 pages
Genre: Urban fantasy
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Release date: May 31, 2011
Series: Signs of the Zodiac #6
Source: Personal shelf
Reviewed by: Jenn
Once she was a soldier for the Light, the prophesied savior who would decide the outcome of the eternal conflict raging in the dark corners of her glittering hometown.
Now Joanna Archer is just another mortal – still born of an impossible union of Shadow and Light … still hunted by both – and carrying the unborn child of a lover held captive by a depraved demon goddess. Joining forced with a band of rogue Shadow agents, Joanna’s ready to storm the stronghold of her demonic foe, risking everything to enter this ghastly, godforsaken realm. Because in a world that has stripped her of her power, identity, and fortune, Joanna has nothing left to lose – except her baby, her future, and the epic war poised to consume the city.
I want to preface this post by saying that Vicki Pettersson writes kick-ass dark urban fantasy. Her books have all of the hallmarks you see in some of the best UF series, plus she’s got a distinct voice and has created a truly unique world for the Signs of the Zodiac books. I gushed about this a bit when I dared you to read the first book, THE SCENT OF SHADOWS, a little while ago, so I won’t do it again now. At least not at length. Instead, I’ll give you the short version: Vicki Pettersson rocks my socks and she’ll rock yours too if you let her. =)
THE NEON GRAVEYARD is the sixth and final book in the Signs of the Zodiac series. I always get a little nervous when series finales roll around, no matter what the medium, because I’ve invested in the characters and the stories and I want a satisfying ending. (**cough** Battlestar Galactica **cough**) It doesn’t have to be a Happily Ever After but I want the last book to be a strong finish that’s true to the series in terms of style and content. And while I’m definitely sorry to see Joanna go, Vicki Pettersson has created a masterful send-off for her characters and I’m so pleased the series wrapped up the way it does.
It’s hard to talk about this book without mentioning events from the previous five novels so this post is going to be short to keep it as spoiler-free as possible. I will say that all of the big questions in the series are answered, though some of the smaller ones remain up in the air. I really didn’t mind, though, because there’s a lot of advancement in terms of the overall plot points in the series — Joanna’s fight against the Tupla, her struggle to save Hunter from Midheaven, her twisty path to figuring out her role in the greater scheme of things — and you get to see how much Jo’s changed since we first met her in THE SCENT OF SHADOWS. There’s also some resolution in terms of where she stands with her former troop and where the greys stand in the emerging scheme of things. You’re left with a clear sense of where things might go for the characters after the end of the book, if you know what I mean.
THE NEON GRAVEYARD is pretty much a perfect finale for Jo and company. I’m very impressed with how Vicki Pettersson brought all of the elements in the series’ dense mythology to a logical and satisfying conclusion. Fans won’t be disappointed!