AH's Reviews > The Scent of Shadows

The Scent of Shadows by Vicki Pettersson
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May 15, 2010

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bookshelves: first-in-series, chubby-chunkster, ebook, free-downloads, zzxread-jan-2011
Read from January 18 to 22, 2011

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 killer gets to have 12 hours of “unscented” time where they are virtually invisible to their enemies.

A little confusing, but it is a clever idea, and one I haven’t seen before.

The setting for this book is in Las Vegas, which was perfect for this type of book. I can just imagine a TV series made with this book in mind. It could work.

The main character Joanna/Olivia was a kick-ass heroine, but I felt that she wasn’t as strong as some of the female characters out in urban fantasyland. She was tough, but not the most likable character out there. Her merry band of Light Zodiac heroes were not the most welcoming out there, although I did like Hunter and Warren the best.

I had a few things that I disliked about this book. I did feel lost at times, waiting for an explanation, a clarification, or further development of a plot point. There were large expanses of slow moving activity. I never did understand the principle of metamorphosis or why it happened. There was a tiny bit of romance, and even though I didn’t expect it, it just was not enough.

The last 100 or so pages did get exciting. I may look into the second book, but not right away.
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Reading Progress

01/18/2011 page 4
1.0% "I Spy challenge"
01/18/2011 page 53
11.0% ""But Olivia linked her arm in mine as we continued walking, making it hard to cross my arms over my chest, and utterly defeating my snarl. Damn it, she was like PMS kryptonite. She instinctively knew how to sap a bad mood of all its energy." PMS Kryptonite - sounds handy!" 7 comments
01/19/2011 page 230
50.0% "This is a very different book." 7 comments
01/19/2011 page 234
50.0% ""Note to self: side benefit of being a superhero? Getting to know other superheros.""
01/21/2011 page 334
72.0% "I'm beginning to have ambivalent feelings towards this book. On the one hand, great ideas. On the other hand too much woe is me on the part of Olivia/Joanna." 11 comments
01/21/2011 page 387
83.0% "Now this book is getting exciting. I had to wait 385 pages for some real excitement."
01/22/2011 page 464
100.0% "Wow. The last 100 pages were good. I may actually look for the sequel one day." 18 comments
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Comments (showing 1-19 of 19) (19 new)

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The Flooze See! It's so different that you want to like it, but there are not enough details to solidify the whole thing.

message 2: by AH (new) - rated it 3 stars

AH The Flooze (Michelle M.) wrote: "See! It's so different that you want to like it, but there are not enough details to solidify the whole thing."

Isn't that weird? I checked reviews for the rest of the series and aside from book 3 which was ok, the rest seemed to score meh reviews. Too bad. It would have made an awesome tv series.

The Flooze One where most of the focus was on the action action action...yes, it would make a good one.

The Flooze The fourth book has this strange plot point that failed spectacularly for me because of the poor worldbuilding. It required understanding how the kids in the comic book store relate to the Light and Shadow's powers. Without enough detail, their relationship to the world seemed forced and plopped in, so the idea fell apart for me.

message 5: by AH (new) - rated it 3 stars

AH I loved the comic store kids. Too bad they couldn't be in a scene somewhere just drawing on the side.

The Flooze Then maybe you'll actually like that book more than I did! I didn't have any particular feelings towards them in the beginning, so perhaps there was some detail I missed that would've made the later plot more coherent?

message 7: by AH (new) - rated it 3 stars

AH No, you didn't miss any details. It was a missed opportunity to either use the comic people to explain things or to have them in the background drawing - kind of like in the TV show Heroes, one of the characters (can't remember the name) would get those white eyes and draw the next scene. I guess it would have been hard to put that in words.

The Flooze Isaac! Yes, I liked his ability. And he wasn't too bad to look at either, if I recall correctly. :)

There are apparently people all over the world in the same position as the store owner and the kids. That's another thing I wasn't sure of: How many teams of Shadow and Light are there, scattered all over the world? It's not just isolated to Las Vegas. The different groups don't seem to have too much interaction though. Ugh. So many questions, so little information!!

message 9: by AH (new) - rated it 3 stars

AH I think there was one team of Shadow and Light per city. But then what constituted a city? 100,000? 50,000? 1 mil +?

She needed us as her beta readers, huh?

The Flooze Exaaaacccttlllyyy. :)

Laura the Highland Hussy I've had this book for a while. I think I want to read it now so I can discuss w/you

message 12: by AH (new) - rated it 3 stars

AH No problem. Michelle also has some great comments about this book too.

message 13: by Andrea (new) - added it

Andrea Caro Definitely sounds intriguing. I'm attracted to anything with a heroine that isn't a bonehead, plus the plot sounds really interesting, too!

message 14: by AH (new) - rated it 3 stars

AH Andrea wrote: "Definitely sounds intriguing. I'm attracted to anything with a heroine that isn't a bonehead, plus the plot sounds really interesting, too!"

It is interesting but a little frustrating - see all the comments in the updates. But that last 100 pages...

Greta is Erikasbuddy That does sound interesting but I think I'd rather watch it on tv :)

Awesome review!

message 16: by AH (new) - rated it 3 stars

AH Thanks, Greta. It would be better on TV.

Desperado Great review, AH! I think I read around 100 pages before I gave up. I couldn't get into the whole "scenting" idea, among other things. I'm glad you liked it, though. I look forward to reading your review of The Taste of Night whenever you get around to reading it. Maybe the series will get better.

message 18: by AH (new) - rated it 3 stars

AH Thanks, Lethal. It was one of those books that had me interested for the first part, bored a little in the middle, so I stuck it out and it was OK. I've added the next book to Mt. TBR, but I don't see myself running out to get it in the near future.

Desperado *Lethal nods* Well that sucks.

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