WLP, Spaz & John Talk Neon Graveyard – Vicki Pettersson

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • List Price: $7.99
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager (May 31, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061456799
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061456794
  • Vicki Pettersson’s Website

Buy Neon Graveyard at:

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!

John: The thing that got me in this book was the chimera.  I don’t want to say too much either, because I don’t want to spoil it, but the chimera is a create that’s so disgusting I could feel my face scrunching up into a scowl when I was reading about it.  I don’t completely grossed out when reading, but the image of the chimera just stayed with me.  Even thinking about it now, it gives me the creeps.  The fact that Pettersson could create something so yucky and make it that vivid is a testament to what a great storyteller she is.  And now that I’ve thought about the thing again, I’m probably going to have nightmares tonight! 
WLP: Yep, I’m right there with you two. I damn near dropped my E-Reader during the chimera scene, it haunts me. And the pop noises from the lil heads, AHHHHH. Popcorn popping will never sound the same again. Ms. Pettersson, you are kinda scary I have you know. Vivid is the best description for this entire book, especially those two scenes.

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?

  • Crystal ♥ May 31, 2011 at 10:37 am

    I love this series, it is the best UF out there in my opinion. I’m sad to see it end, it was like saying bye to a good friend because readers have been through so much with Joanna but I think VP did a great job with it. The main questions and issues were wrapped up and it ended with a note of hope for a happily ever after for Joanna and Hunter but no promises, which is VP’s style and VP stayed true to her characters throughout the series which I admired. Maybe we will get a few short stories in the future with the gang, fingers crossed.

  • Bethany C. May 31, 2011 at 11:01 am

    I’m really sad because this is one of my favorite series. But I also like knowing sometimes that there is an end in sight so I know how everything turned out. Some series have gone on a little too long and I just want to know ‘who does so and so end up with?’ or ‘how does she ever figure x out?’. And it just drives me crazy.


  • SJ Drum May 31, 2011 at 11:27 am

    Even though I’ll miss the characters, I’m happy to see the series end here. As George Castanza said in Seinfeld, it’s better to leave on a high-note. It’s the difference between being torn apart by a shark at the age of 35 and slowly dieing in your sleep of old age while wearing urine soaked pajamas… like the Sookie Stackhouse series.

    Ending the series here ensures it will be memorable. It takes a lot of strength for an author to resist dragging a series out too long. That being said, I will miss Hunter and the Tulpa horribly!

  • Mandi Mundt May 31, 2011 at 11:28 am

    Signs of the Zodiac is the best adult series I have read. I’m sorry to be saying goodbye to Joanna Archer, the most awesome, kick ass character ever created. But I’m very glad Vicki Pettersson knows when to end things. Endings are good too. I’m very much looking forward to the next series.

  • Mimi May 31, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    i haven’t read this series yet, but it’s in the TBR pile!
    I even have them ready to go!!

  • Alycia May 31, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    I haven’t got to this series yet but I have heard so much good things about it that I have added some that I have found to my TBR pile and they are actually next in my pile! I’m excited for this series. Authors usually have a really good sense of when to end a series but it is always sad to see them end even though you know they can’t go on forever.

  • Pamk May 31, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    if they end well I an okay with it but am always looking to see what the author has planned for me afterwise.

  • Jessica (Spinecracker) June 1, 2011 at 10:34 am

    I always feel a little douche-y entering into one of my friends’ giveaways, but I can’t stop myself. I heart Vicki Pettersson. And the extra letters in her name.

    I actually always assumed that the series was going to be 12 books (12 signs of the zodiac) so when VP announced a while back here on WLP, that Neon Graveyard was going to be the finale I cried. And a little piece of me died. Um, too dramatic?!

    But now that the series is complete, I’m actually kinda relieved. It never gave the series an opportunity to jump the shark. So for that and that alone I’m happy that it ended. I hate when series continue after their expiration dates.

    But I’m still sad to see it end. *sobs*

  • Traci June 3, 2011 at 12:57 am

    It’s always sad to see a series end, but hopefully the characters will have their HEA and that makes me feel a little better. And occassionally, I think, that some series get drug out beyond what is entertaining and just become tedious, so it’s good when an author has an entire storyline in mind for a series and a definite end after a certain number of books.

  • Sarah June 3, 2011 at 10:20 am

    I’m sad to see the series end, but also really excited to see how it all wraps up. This has been one of my favorite series to read!

  • JGuldy June 3, 2011 at 10:26 am

    I have mixed emotions about series’ ending. I’m sad because I’ll miss the characters, but sometimes it’s a relief to move on to other great series too!

  • Melissa Mason June 3, 2011 at 10:40 am

    I am sad when a good series ends. But it will be nice to read how the author wraps up the characters and the plots.

  • Mel Thomas June 3, 2011 at 10:47 am

    Having a series you love come to an end is always bittersweet. You get really excited to read the book but regardless if the book is good or bad you’re gonna be sad it’s over. Sometimes you’re satisfied and sometimes you’re left wanting more; really depends on the writing.

    I loved the novella Vicki had in the anthology, Unbound, and have all of the books up til this one but haven’t gotten around to reading them yet. My TBR pile is huge. I’d love to win a signed copy of Neon Graveyard. Thanks for the opportunity.

  • Andrea Thompson June 3, 2011 at 11:40 am

    Thanks for a great giveaway! I always hate to see a great series end, but I would rather see a series end on a high note than just drag on & on w/no story left to tell.

  • Cameron June 3, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    Like with any series, it’s always bittersweet to see something you enjoy come to an end. On the one hand I feel excited to see where the characters are going to end up and on the other hand I I kind of want them to keep right on going into another book and another. But in the end, all good things must come to a conclusion. I only hope that it is a satisfying one.

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