The signs of the Zodiac series is a dark series with a comic book, Frank Miller feel. The rules of the world are many, and there is a lot for the reader to accept, but I think that once you do, you have a gritty and compelling story that's enjoyable to read, if you can handle an angsty tale. Joanna Archer is an imperfect heroine who does a lot of unlikeable things and makes decisions that I felt were wrong. It's the fact that she keeps trying to make up for her mistakes and her ultimate goal is to do good that keeps me reading. I want there to be a good resolution to her story, but it's a dark story, so I'm not sure if that's going to happen, but in book 3, I felt like Joanna is slowly making progress. I would not recommend reading any of the books in this series out of order because the world and plot is quite complex. Actions that happen in earlier books have consequences two books down, so someone reading the series in the middle will find themselves lost.
This is the third book in the Sign of the Zodiac series by Vicki Pettersson. This book was a strong addition to the series, a lot happens, and many things from the last book are resolved.
In this book Joanna Archer is struggling with a number of things; one of the Shadow Agents (under cover as Rose) has her sights set on Joanna's childhood sweetheart Ben, Joanna is being hunted by a mysterious doppleganger, something has happened to the changeling that protects Joanna, the Tulpa is still trying to woe Joanna to the "darkside", and on top of all this the third sign of the Zodiac is imminent. Of course there is also the issue of Joanna's daughter, Joanna's lack of a relationship with Hunter, and Joanna's missing mother. When you take it all in, there is a lot going on in this book.
For the most part it was a very good book and I enjoyed it. I loved the addition of the doppleganger. I loved that more depth was added to Zane, the comic book store owner. I also liked that Joanna is learning more about her powers and finally taking a bit more responsibility for her actions. It was a very interesting book. I also liked that Pettersson is trying to take this a bit beyond most paranormals by adding a deep Mythos behind her characters and adding interesting theories of vibrational frequencies behind the power of the super heros.
There were a few things I didn't like though. For a lot of the book I feel like Joanna is confused and just has two much going on. It is almost like Joanna has horrible ADD and can't focus long enough to complete anything. It makes me wonder if maybe Pettersson is having some trouble focusing on what the point of the story is; maybe she's thrown too much at Joanna for this character to get things done in some symblance of order. Joanna's fixation with Ben and blindness towards him is irritating, as is her reluctance to accept her new life. Joanna's lack of training and knowledge is also irritating, usually in this type of story you would have at least a small period where the hero learns what their capabilities are and Joanna doesn't do that; she just stumbles through the story. Also, even though I liked the inclusion of scientific theory behind the special super hero powers, I felt like the vibrational theory explanation was a bit contrived. It felt like Pettersson was making up these theories on the fly and hadn't really thought them though.
Even though this wasn't the tightest most well put together story that I have ever read, and the main character seemed unfocused and scattered at times, it was still a very good book. Joanna has a lot of depth as a character and the story is wildly creative and interesting. Joanna does redeem herself at the end, showing that she is growing as a character and making progress in accepting who she is. This isn't quite the book I had hoped it would be, but I have high hopes for the next novel. These books are just a hair away from being something really extraordinary.
Okay, this book really is better than the second one. First, you must read them in order or it simply won't make any sense whatsoever.
The upsides. The series is set in Las Vegas which is really fun. I've never been there and it's cool to see it from a behind the scenes sort of way. It really does seem like the perfect setting for a showdown between good and evil. Also it's a good story along the lines of trying to find your way through a life that is far more complicated than you ever imagined. It's very relatable in the way. No ones life turns out the way they think it will and it's even larger when played out against a superhero backdrop.
The downsides. I cannot get past the "superhero" thing. It doesn't remind me of comic books. It just seems weird and mildly pathetic. Maybe i'm too cynical but superhero seems passe to me. And the other downside is the terrible angsty foot dragging of the main character. All the mooning over her poor lost love who left her when the chips were down.
But this book seems to have helped put her past that. So i'm looking forward to the next book when she can move onto the next phase.
All in all a good and interesting book, but not a keeper.
Kathy G. (tinkykat) - , reviewed The Touch of Twilight (Sign of the Zodiac, Bk 3) on
Great 3rd book in the series. A lot of things are resolved from earlier books, and the turns are great. I really love the world of the Zodiac Troop. it's very creatively written and interesting. I am on to the 4th!
Carlie (carliej) - , reviewed The Touch of Twilight (Sign of the Zodiac, Bk 3) on
Well, I'd say this series has me. There are actually several things I didn't like about this book, but I can't stop reading! Most of the time, I want to slap some maturity into Olivia, but I still like her for some reason. I have a feeling this series isn't going to go the direction I'd like it to, but I bet I'll keep reading to find out!
I was patiently waiting for the next book in this series and it does not disappoint. Joanna/Olivia is still struggling in her role as "superhero" but she is only trying to do what she thinks is right. Though sometimes her judgement is clouded by the events of her past and controlling a hair-trigger temper.