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The Scent of Shadows (Signs of the Zodiac #1)

3.50  ·  Rating Details  ·  8,978 Ratings  ·  507 Reviews
The Barnes & Noble Review
Vegas showgirl-turned-novelist Vicki Pettersson's debut novel is sure to be an instant hit with readers who enjoy authors like Laurell K. Hamilton, Kim Harrison,and Charlaine Harris. Blending dark fantasy and hard-boiled mystery with elements of romance and apocalyptic thriller, The Scent of Shadows -- the first installment of the Signs of the
ebook, 464 pages
Published February 27th 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jan 22, 2008 Seth rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Desperate readers and people willing to handle major problems in the faint hope of a better tomorrow
It looks good. New author, first novel, recommendations on the cover by Kim Harrison, Charlaine Harris, and Diana Gabaldon(2). Woman becomes a Super-Powered Heroine fighting forces of darkness and it's supposed to have non-stop action, some hot sex scenes, and it's set in Las Vegas, always a great setting for supernatural action.

But look more closely. The back cover has a big, glossy picture of the author: an atractive brunette with a decidedly Linda Carter look. Large pictures of the attractiv
Mar 08, 2008 Lorena rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paranormal
This was an odd book for me...on the one hand, there are more plot holes than you can shake a stick at, and they're all big enough to drive a fleet of trucks through. It was one of those that kept me up at night after I finished it, thinking "WTF was [plot point X] all about? That makes no freakin' sense! And then there was [Y]! What was THAT?" On the other hand, the main character was very compelling, and the writing generally very good, so I'm giving the second book a try.
Kavita Ramesh
A different kind of an urban fantasy, in which the author creates her own universe of heroes and villains. It's imaginative, if a little long-winded.
Jamie Collins
Nov 10, 2007 Jamie Collins rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-urban
I've started this, but so far I don't like it very much. There's something about the writing that bugs me - too much exposition, maybe.

I gave it up 100 pages in. The story didn't capture my interest and the writing was too melodramatic for my taste. I mean, the heroine seriously says things like: "The knowledge of violence is my playmate."

I also don't like the details of a character's psyche to be spelled out so explicitly. I prefer to get to know a character in a more subtle way as the
Scent of Shadows has some intriguing ideas. The book pits comic book hero type characters in a battle between Light and Shadow using the symbols of the Zodiac. Each Zodiac sign has a corresponding fighter in both Light and Shadow. There is a prophecy that the Kairos will come, and the Shadow forces are hunting him or her down.

The Light and Shadow heroes track each other by scents. They each have their own specialty weapon exclusive to themselves. If they are killed by their own weapon, the kille
Pat Patterson
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nikki  Peterson
Oct 18, 2012 Nikki Peterson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Holy crap, where to begin without just mindlessly babbling about all the good parts and giving up all the goodies? Hmmm...Let me think... Have you ever read a book about super heroes that wasn't a comic? This is pretty much it. It has it's own little twists and turns. There are comics involved... But not how you would think. It is so sweet how it all ties in together, but I can't really tell you without letting the "cat" out of the bag. I'm just having a hard time trying to put into words what I ...more
Jim son of Jim (formerly PhotoJim)
Finished this today. Well, first of all, for a 450+ page book, it went really fast. There are some definite cool parts. There are some definite not so cool parts. The scent thing? cool. The comic book shop kids? Not cool. The characters are pretty good. The plot is decent. The world makes no sense whatsoever. I just don't understand parts of this world/mythology.

A decent character face-off with decent dialog is followed up with a scene where a characters bones are melted and eyes bleed when they
Err....potential here in setup. Not the best execution, but I want to read the second.
Haralambi Markov
Feb 03, 2013 Haralambi Markov rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: uf-pnr
“The Scent of Shadows” by Vicki Pettersson for me is probably one of the best books I have had the pleasure to read in a while. It can be described as gritty, dark, violent and one of the more captivating Urban Fantasy titles on the market. A lot can be said about the book, the ideas it conveys and the quality of the writing. By my rating standards this novel exceeds the maximum ten points and skyrockets far in the distance.

“The Scent of Shadows”, which actually is only the first installment of
The writing wasn't bad, the story was kind of interesting, but most of the characters pissed me off.
Blodeuedd Finland
What's up with rape and UF. I know UF is PNRs darker sister but all the rape, must we?

So yes Jo was raped at 16 and is all messed up cos of that. Also suddenly after almost 10 years she sees her former BF and wants to do something about it. Why wait that long? Ok so that was not my point. What is my point?

One messed up heroine who knows krav maga. She has a bimbo smart sister. She has a dad who hates her. She has painful memories she can let go of.

But she is also special, but the road there was
Feb 16, 2010 Kay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pettersson throws us straight into the action - leaving us to work out the universe as Joanna does. It is a complicated one too, as we have zero frame of reference to go on. Put simply, this series is about a war between two superhero factions: the forces of Light and Shadow. Their battles are depicted in comic form after the fact, then sold to humans as fiction.

Had I understood this before starting, I likely wouldn't have continued. While I appreciate the whole superhero thing, it just wouldn't
Jul 11, 2009 Paula rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Overall: 3.5

The Scent of Shadows introduces us to multi-billionaire heiress Joanna Archer. We meet her sister Olivia, who is the epitome of the Paris Hilton-type wealthy heiress to the outside world, but she has a big heart and is Joanna's best, and only, friend. While Olivia is loved and pampered by their father, Joanna and he are like oil and water. They tolerate each other, but only just.

When Joanna was sixteen, she was assaulted (OF NOTE: the assault and rape are not described in detail), ra
Shelley aka Gizmo's Reviews
Storyline: When she was sixteen, Joanna Archer was brutally assaulted and left to die in the Nevada desert. By rights, she should be dead. Now, a photographer by day, she prowls a different Las Vegas after sunset, a grim, secret Sin City where Light battles Shadow; seeking answers to whom or what she really is and revenge for the horrors she was forced to endure.

On the eve of her 25th birthday, she finds it in the form of a peculiar date who looks like a gaunt banker one moment and like hell sp
Mrs. Badass
This book was intriguing enough that I want to read the next, but there were plot holes and some dragging pages.
Joanna Archer has been through hell, and is about to be dragged into the burning pit. I felt really bad for Jo during this whole book. The parts with her and Ben were Sad and hopeful and then...I want to learn more about Ben and what is happening to him.
I thought parts were confusing, but I'm glad I stuck with it. This is more Urban Fantasy and less romance, which as fine with me.
May 14, 2012 Kathryn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book up at a Vicki Pettersson book signing. I was quite impressed, and that doesn't include the fact that she lives here in my home town. It was very interesting reading her take on the town and as the main character traveled through the casinos and the city.

The series is a bit of a "lengthy" read. Sometimes the author gets stuck and has a hard time moving forward but it is a well done series.

This book, tells the story of Joanna Archer and her life now and previously before she k
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Laura the Highland Hussy
I am officially done with this book. BUT I am not rating it or adding it to my d-n-f shelf because I couldn't make it past page 30. I tried, I really tried.

Maybe when I'm in the mood for a dark and gritty UF I'll come back to it-that's the advantage of books-they're always there waiting for me.

The premise sounds super interesting, and the fact that it takes place in my hometown is awesome! But I'm shelving it for a while, and I will come back to it, just for now, I'm moving on.

(can you tell I f
Aug 05, 2007 Janon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like supernatural, stong female protagonists without massive quantities of porn
I read this book on the recommendation of some invisible friends online. I liked that the heroine was fairly strong, but with flaws, and flaws that I could understand and empathize with. One challenge I have with the later Anita Blake novels is that I really, really don't like her.

The only thing I really didn't like about this novel is the physical transformation that happens midway, because again - what a surprise, the heroine is a mega-babe. Jeez, aren't there any just ordinarily pretty women
Mar 27, 2013 Ami marked it as dnf
I know that I should've given it a chance, at least until I get into 100 pages or so. But really ... a girl who is raped and beaten to death when she is 16 and now her motto is "to never say no"?!? I mean, WTF? And I took a peek at the ending ... I guess I would just be more confused and pissed off with it. I have encountered feeling confused with other UF books before but this one will just not do for me.

So yeah. ABANDONING SHIP! (and move on to different book, my life is to short to get frustr
Carolyn Crane
Nov 05, 2010 Carolyn Crane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Smart, multi-layered, and thrilling with good meaty psychological drama. The Zodiac books have everything I love in an urban fantasy! The main character, Joanna Archer, is into photography and has a thing with darks and lights, and this theme echoes through the series in a hugely cool way. These days, Zodiac is one of my favorite UF series along with Armstrong's Otherworld.
Jan 28, 2016 Angela marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy, kindle
28 January 2016: $3.99 on Kindle

3 July 2015: $2.99 on Kindle
10 February 2015: $3.99 on Kindle
Kelly ~Bibliophile~
3.5 stars - but since I cant give it that Ill go with 4 since it was a pretty cool idea.

So, This book was a really interesting idea!
"Light Zodiac Troops" keep watch over the big cities all over the world. 12 people, one chosen for each star sign, that attempt to counteract and stop the evil-doings of their Shadow counterparts.

The book was a very fun read, though I had a few eye roll moments.
I love the idea of "superheros" keeping an eye on the world but I wish that in the book they called th
Aug 25, 2011 Keysha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Para mi esta novela fue como un coctel ya que tomo un poco de las historias de los súper héroes, más un poco de la historia detrás de los signos del zodiaco, más una pinta de la eterna lucha entre la luz en la sombra y por ultimo una joven capaz de patear traseros sin remordimiento alguno pero con un gran corazón y ¿cuál es el resultado? E l comienzo de la historia de Joanna Archer.

Al empezar a leer esta novela al principio no estaba muy segura de que me iba a gustar pero mientras leía me di cue
 ♥ ♥Lynn ♥ ♥
We first meet Joanna Archer on a blind date. Needless to say, this date is a date from hell, or at least from the Dark. Ajax tells Joanna he is there to kill her. When he tries, a man from her past steps in and lends a helping hand.

Ben and Jo have loved one another since they were in the 5th grade. At the age of 16, Jo was raped, beaten, and left for dead. Ben is shocked to see Joanna on a date with a man he and the police have been tracking.

Joanna soon learns she is the first sign of the zodi
Jun 21, 2010 Lesley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow. This was different than anything I've ever read - the magic system, the types of supernatural people - ok, those were really the big differences. No vampire or werewolves, thank god. That has been beaten to DEATH. In this case, it was agents of Light and Shadow. But they aren't demons. Or anything else. The can smell each other and chase their enemies down by scent. They fight with weapons, not magic. They are sort of superheroes with secret identities. They aren't human, but sort of anothe ...more
Feb 12, 2013 Cindy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had the whole set of Vicki Pettersson's Zodiac series sitting on my to be read shelf. For some reason I kept passing over them. I don't know why...I just did. Now I'm mentally kicking myself for doing that...these books, at least book one, are wonderful!

Joanna Archer has had a troubled time all her life, when she was a young teen she left her boyfriends house, and as she cut through the desert, returning home, she was raped, beaten and left for dead. As she lay in the hospital the boy she love
Cathy (cathepsut)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Vicki Pettersson is a NYT and USA Today bestselling author of ten novels, most set in her hometown of Las Vegas. Though she'll ever consider that glittering dustbowl home, she now divides her time between Vegas and Dallas,Texas, where she's learning to like good Tex-Mex (easy) and the Dallas Cowboys (easier than you'd think).

Her most recent release is SWERVE, aptly titled as it's both a chase boo
More about Vicki Pettersson...

Other Books in the Series

Signs of the Zodiac (6 books)
  • The Taste of Night (Signs of the Zodiac, #2)
  • The Touch of Twilight (Signs of the Zodiac, #3)
  • City of Souls (Signs of the Zodiac, #4)
  • Cheat the Grave (Signs of the Zodiac, #5)
  • The Neon Graveyard (Signs of the Zodiac, #6)

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“Just because someone tried to make you into a victim didn’t mean that’s what you had to be.” 19 likes
“Looks can’t hide your true identity. It’s the eyes that give you away…the soul behind them. The intent. The Shadows.” 18 likes
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