Cheat the Grave by Vicki Pettersson
HarperCollins (May 2010)
Mass Market: $7.99
Favorite Lines: “But I took a moment before boarding the bus to look over the city I’d once fought to protect, alongside a bunch of supernatural beings I thought were my friends.
Fuck you–whoever you are–for being an armchair superhero, and standing on the sidelines while I shoulder this mortality. Fuck you for accepting the sacrifices I made for your world and then throwing me away like the trash. Fuck you for bottling your power like it’s your personal supernatural bong while I emptied mine out over this city and its people.” (p. 4)
Las Vegas socialite and otherwordly avenger Joanna Archer gave up everything when she embraced mortality—abandoning her powers and altering her destiny to save a child . . . and a city. Now her former allies are her enemies—and her enemies have nothing to fear.
Yet still she is bound to a prophecy that condemns her to roam a nightmare landscape that ordinary humans cannot see and dare not enter. And a beast is on her trail—an insane killer blinded by bloodlust, who’s determined to rip much more from Joanna than merely her now-fragile life. Survival is no longer an option in this dark realm where good and evil have blurred into confusing shades of gray—unless she can gather together an army of onetime foes and destroy everything she once believed in.
Book five in the Sign of the Zodiac series showcases the changes Joanna has been forced to make throughout the series. Joanna is quick to point out that all she wants is a chance to choose a lifestyle and live for herself. However, she has always had to live up to someone else’s expectations. Now she has lost everything and will find something new in an unexpected place.
The troop of Light shows her exactly where it stands and it really is infuriating. They make it clear that they are not her friends. The saying, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” certainly becomes true in this book. Or maybe I should say, “the group ignored by the good and the bad, is my friend?” Things are not black and white; Pettersson makes it very clear everywhere in her world there is gray.
Expect more life altering revelations, bloody action, sentimental conversations and betrayal. Gosh, I really am enjoying this superhero themed urban fantasy series. Its heroine is strong both with and without abilities. She knows about loss, but is growing as a character. And most importantly, while her first reaction to different revelations is to rush in, she can be made to wait until the moment is right. Sure she needs a little help curbing her initial responses, but she can do it. She deserves a happy ending and if I don’t get one in Neon Graveyard I will most definitely complain.