"The Neon Graveyard" book 6 in the Signs of the Zodiac series by Vicki Pettersson is a dramatic conclusion to the exciting take no prisoners' series. The fight between the heroes of light against the villains of shadows is about to take a startling turn as a touch of gray is added to the mix.
Looking back at the previous 5 installments, the Neon Graveyard is a culmination of one woman's awakening to a destiny of her own choosing. Ms. Pettersson's character development of Joanna Archer is amazing. In each installment of the series Joanna assumes the persona best suited to her needs as circumstances evolve. It's been a pleasure to watch her evolution from the embittered victim in "The Scent of Shadows", to her sister's doppelganger in "The Taste of Night" and "Touch of Twilight", to a fractured soul in "City of Souls" and lastly to a Phoenix in "Cheat the Grave "and "the Neon Graveyard". Ms. Pettersson style of writing perpetuates a seamlessly natural character growth and development. Joanna Archer a.k.a The Archer, a.k.a Olivia Archer embodies the conviction and strength required of a no-nonsense heroine, yet the vulnerability of a woman. It's extremely easy to embrace the character, to feel the sorrow and loss along with the anxieties facing so many obstacles.
The book is a bit slow in the beginning there are a few times when a reader may find themselves lost inside some of the more detailed dialogue. That being said the book does reach the equivalent fever pitch as Joanna embarks on her latest quest. A quest that while is decidedly ill advised by her fellow gray troop members, is a task that she must undertake if she has any hope of rescuing Hunter and the other rogue agents' trapped within Solange's clutches in Midheaven. Mingled in Joanna's list of things to do, is the ever present threat of the Tulpa. Though his presence is a breathing entity within the minds of both the Light and the Gray, it is the confrontation with Joanna that really stands out.
The book eloquently sees that all bets and markers are paid in full; some with a dash of poetic irony. It also successfully answers all the burning questions left unanswered from the previous installments lays bare all the inner doubts and discords that have maligned all of the principal players; masks are removed and intentions are revealed.
The climax and the final confrontations are full of excitingly vivid descriptions, character angst and emotional choices; all of which makes for an outstanding conclusion to a wonderful adventure and leaves the possibility of something more. Ha! That's wishful thinking on my part.
If you're a fan of the series, "the Neon Graveyard" is an excellent summer read and I highly recommend it.
At long last, the dramatic finale, as "New York Times" bestselling author Vicki Pettersson returns with her sixth explosive supernatural Zodiac novel of superheroes and dark adventure set behind the scenes of Sin City.