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Once she was a soldier for the Light, the prophesied savior who would decide the outcome of the eternal conflict raging unseen 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 forces 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 where the price of admission is her eternal soul. 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.
WLP: Pam & I are glad to have our friend John over to help us discuss Neon Graveyard. John is the Publicity Manager for Houston bookstore Murder By The Book. On Saturday, June 4th Vicki Pettersson will be at MBB signing for the release! Thanks to the lovely people at MBB we have TWO SIGNED COPIES of Neon Graveyard to giveaway! So please welcome John, and trust me he can snark like the rest of us Welcome John!
Spaz: Hooray for John and Murder By The Book! And Welcome, John!
How do I love Joanna Archer? Let me count the ways… Oh wait! Before I get ahead of myself I have to say this series holds a special place in my heart because it is the first series WLP and me read in sync. It started out with a Direct Message last year from WLP telling me, “OMG get this book (The Scent of Shadows) RIGHT NOW!” I did. And the rest of my life responsibilities went down the toilet as I devoured all five of the Signs of the Zodiac books. She was ahead of me so I drove her bananas sending her DMs giving her a blow-by-blow of where I was at in each book. I may have made her want to do murder on me a little bit with the constant updates, but I had so much freaking fun.
And THEN! We scored not only an interview with Vicki Pettersson in which we did our best Justin Bieber fan impersonations, we were given the cover reveal of Neon Graveyard that nobody had seen before!! HEL-LOOO! One of the best memories I have of writing for WLP’s blog even if my hubs was like *yawn* “Yes honey. That’s nice.” I cannot begin to tell you how bittersweet it is to find all three of us here together, writing this review for the final book of the Signs of the Zodiac series, one of the truly most awesome Urban Fantasy series out there. Excuse me, temporarily passing the mic while I blot my eyes real fast –
John: Thanks for the welcome, Ladies! This series also has a special place in my heart because it was one of the first urban fantasy series that I read. I had blown through Kelley Armstrong’s Otherworld series, as well as Kim Harrison’s Hallows books and needed something else to feed my new Urban Fantasy cravings. I picked up The Scent of Shadows because of the Kim Harrison blurb on the front and loved it. I even made it a point to go see the Silver Slipper the last time I was in Vegas.
WLP: Holy, is Pam long winded or what? I’ll keep this short & sweet (for once). I would die to see the Silver Slipper! Okay you two, ready? *Hands out kleenex*
What Spaz Loved: One of the best things about this series is the imaginative grossness that makes an appearance in each book. Without giving too much away with regards to the plot, there is one scene that will have you both gagging and giggling simultaneously. It has to do with what happens when there are shrunken heads, still alive, being exposed to fire. They make noises, my friends…
The dangling heads began to choke, then came sounds like corn kernels popping in hot oil. Something hit my back, dull but hard, and the screams erupted in earnest, followed by more pops. – pg 228
ewwwwwwblarrgggggurlge!! This entire scene was made of major win! There are a few others that will have you barf-giggling, but this was my most favorite. Let’s just say… nothing good can ever come from speaking hanging dangling shrunken heads and fire!
Spaz’s Favorite Part: … that made me tear up (and this is not a normal occurrence for me with books). When Joanna visits her sister Olivia’s grave towards the end of the novel:
“Do you remember telling me that everyone has their own talents? You told me that yours was keeping us together. You said that even though I didn’t trust lot of things or people in this life, that I could trust that.
Anyway, I wanted you to know that a day doesn’t go by that I don’t still think of you, and that altering my appearance hasn’t changed that. Leaving this city, our home, won’t either. I just wanted you to know that I do trust someone else now. I’m more like you when I’m with him too. More, I don’t know, vulnerable, I guess. Anyway… I just wanted you to know.” pg. 319
This was truly a beautiful way to wrap up the series in every way. We have gone through so much with Joanna and in turn with Olivia because of what happens to them both in the very first book, The Scent of Shadows, I can’t say anything more, I’m getting verklempt!
WLP: Uh huh. That was “the” scene for me too. I ugly cried. UGLY CRYING during the reading of an urban fantasy is unheard of for me, but I totally did it without shame. I really loved that part, it was like I was sitting there with Jo. *heart breaks all over again* I also loved the scenes with Hunter, but who doesn’t love Hunter?
John: That scene killed me too, because I’d been waiting for it for six books. I don’t know if I can pick a favorite part of the book. I think my favorite thing is how she wrapped everything up, but didn’t completely close off the world. Knowing this was the last book of the series, I was afraid to start it because was worried about how things would work out, or even if they would. I really loved the way the she gives the reader enough of an ending, but still leaves enough there that you can still imagine what would happen next. In a way, it was like she left it so the characters could stay with us, and we’d still be wondering what they were up to. I couldn’t imagine a better ending for such a great series.
WLP: I hear Boyz to Men – It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye. But I wouldn’t have had it any other way! Neon Graveyard is the perfect send off for the Signs of the Zodiac. Now one of you, hold me. I’m still emotional
Our group rating:
As we said at the start, we have TWO signed copies of Neon Graveyard thanks to John & the awesome folks at MBB. Contest Ends June 6th at 12am EST. US/Canada Only.
To Enter: Tell us how you feel about Signs of the Zodiac ending? Or how do you feel about a series coming to an end?