Sunday, June 27, 2010

Review - Cheat the Grave (Fifth Sign of the Zodiac) by Vicki Pettersson (4/5 stars)

After the last book in this series "City of Souls" we were all wondering where Pettersson was going to take the story of her power-stripped heroine.  Well in this book she takes us in a new direction; it was pretty well done and made for a good addition to the series.

Joanna Archer gave up all of her superpowers to save a child and her home city of Las Vegas.  She's been abandoned by the Agents of Light and the only ones who have stood beside her are her (Olivia's) best friend Cher and Cher's mother.  Now Cher's mother is getting married to an Indian Price and Olivia/Joanna Archer has a huge event to plan.  Unfortunately Joanna/Olivia is being chased by an assassin from Midheaven not to mention the Tulpa may have figured out her identity as well.  Joanna needs help if she is going to survive as a mere mortal.  Enter the Grey Agents; neither Light nor Dark, they are the conglomeration of rogue agents.  They may be just what Joanna needs if she is going to stay alive and get Cher's mother safely through her wedding.

This was a pretty good installment in this series.  Joanna's life as Olivia take center space for the first half of the book.  Now the heir to the Archer businesses Joanna must attend meetings, etc, while still keeping up Olivia's social life.  Given this I found the beginning of the book to drag a little bit.  Joanna spends a lot of time talking about how alone she is and how no one will help her; she has a point, but I kind of felt that we could have moved through this part a bit faster.  Joanna does seem to have matured some in this book, so that was good to see.  Some of the new characters introduced with the Grey Agents are interesting and should add some fun to the book.

Once Joanna meets up with the Grey Agents things pick up pace a lot.  There are numerous fight scenes and we begin to discern the direction that Pettersson is planning to take the story in future novels.  There are a couple of wonderful surprises in the second half of the story.  Joanna takes a few trips to Midheaven and even Hunter pops into the story a bit more.

Overall I thought the book started slow but really picked up in the second half and ended up being an enjoyable read.  Definitely a transition book in this series but a good one.  I enjoyed it in the end.  Now I am eager to read what happens next.

This book goes towards the following reading challenge:
- The 100+ Book Reading Challenge

Cheat the Grave (Sign of the Zodiac, Book 5) 


  1. I need to catch up with this series. It is definitely one of my faves. I have City of Souls waiting to be read on my shelf.

  2. Have not read this series but your review makes it sound like one I would enjoy. Thanks for the review,

  3. It's been an interesting series and I love the superhero bent that it adds to a paranormal world. It's very creative and an intriguing read!
    - Karissa