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

The Scent of Shadows (Signs of the Zodiac Series #1) - Courtesy of Smash Attack Reads!What a dark, edgy new heroine we have here! Joanna, amateur photographer, has grown up in a wealthy family in fabulous Las Vegas. Unfortunately, her dad's a complete asshole, she endured a horrific event as a teen and now her future is looking pretty damn grim. Joanna, lucky gal that she is, finds herself in the middle of a war of the signs of the Zodiac. Yes, that Zodiac. Think Horoscrope, or Horrorscope, in Joanna's case. The war is between the Light and the Shadow, signs at opposite ends of the spectrum. Once Joanna hits her 25th birthday, she transforms into one of them. Comprised of equal parts Light and Shadow, no one truly trusts her, and she damn sure doesn't trust herself. However, there is much buzz about a foretold savior...So, which side will she choose?Joanna is an interesting character. She has a broken spirit and psyche (some serious psychology occurs in this book!) and she's in a constant battle with who and what she is in this war between good and evil. Joanna ends up in some dark places, at times, from the tragedy she has endured and the ultimate choice she needs to make. However, as typical with our book heroes, Joanna uses that dark misfortune to unleash a can of whoop ass upon the evil bastards. Her character is the epitome of the struggle between good and evil that takes place inside people. And for this, she is very relatable. While most of us aren't sadistic murdering fiends like Joanna's nemesis, Ajax, we do struggle with not-so-angelic thoughts. Joanna's issues are a bit heavier than how-am-I-gonna-write 5-massive-papers-this-week?, but you get my drift. I can relate to her, and I like her for feeling real. Plus, we share some very serious heartache with her, of various degrees. Darn it - this girl deserves a break!Pettersson includes some really cool abilities of the Agents of Light and Shadow. There is some sort of genetic 'scent' that each person possess and they have an intense sense of smell, which they use to track one another. This unique scent makes it pretty damn hard to hide! However, they can mask and change these smells through various techniques. This sense also serves other purposes, as Joanna learns when she finally awakens. Conclusion: Is there new a Vicki Pettersson fan out there? Why, yes - yes there is! Kudos to Pettersson's ability to write some original content/world/magic/plot. I can't wait to get my grubby little hands on the next book. Once again, a huge shout out to Brooke over at Brooke's Reviews for letting me borrow the best books that PNR/UF has to offer. She is my book supplier. ;)