The Scent of Shadows is Vicki Pettersson’s first book in the sign of the Zodiac series. There are supposed to be six books in the series, and Pettersson reeled me in with book one like I was a fish on her fishing line.
Joanna Archer was attacked as a teenager in the desert outside of Vegas. She barely survived the superhuman speed and brutality of her attacker. She lost herself, her innocence, and the love of her life that night.
Flash forward to the present and we meet Joanna on the eve of her twenty-fifth birthday. She is heiress to her father’s empire and a photographer of the underside of Vegas. She has become accomplished at a martial arts form that focuses on surviving attacks. Unfortunately, her life is about to change again. She is nearing the end of her second life cycle and is about to become a ‘superhero’, if she can survive until she receives her power.
This book is listed as fiction. I think it leans closer to dark fantasy, but I’m not going to argue with the marketing people. The book takes us into the Archer family dynamic. There is much more to the story than what we’re given in the first few chapters. I know this sounds cryptic, but I can’t go too much farther into it without hitting on plot spoilers.
Jo’s sister is the most important person in her life and is everything that Jo isn’t. This book is full of people who aren’t what they seem. One telling thing is the scents; by scent you can often tell if a person is who they appear to be. Thus, the scents described in the book are detailed. There are alternate realities that I never fully understood. (Well, I thought I did until I read the second sign of the Zodiac.)
The book is 455 pages and I flew through them on Saturday before gulping down Pettersson’s second book. Obviously, I enjoyed the book and couldn’t wait for more. Tomorrow, I’ll be posting my review of Pettersson’s The Taste of Night.