Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Review of Deadtown series by Nancy Holzner
They call it Deadtown: the city’s quarantined section for its inhuman and undead residents. Most humans stay far from its borders — but Victory Vaughn, Boston’s only professional demon slayer, isn’t exactly human…
Vicky’s demanding job keeping the city safe from all manner of monsters is one reason her relationship with workaholic lawyer (and werewolf) Alexander Kane is in constant limbo. Throw in a foolhardy zombie apprentice, a mysterious demon-plagued client, and a suspicious research facility that’s taken an unwelcome interest in her family, and Vicky’s love life has as much of a pulse as Deadtown’s citizens.
But now Vicky’s got bigger things to worry about. The Hellion who murdered her father ten years ago has somehow broken through Boston’s magical protections. The Hellion is a ruthless force of destruction with a personal grudge against Vicky, and she’s the only one who can stop the demon before it destroys the city and everyone in it.
After Vicky banished her demon nemesis to the fiery depths of Hell, she thought life would return to normal. But considering she has a werewolf lawyer boyfriend, a zombie apprentice who’s angling to become a pop star, and an eccentric vampire roommate, what is normal, anyway?
Then the supposedly banished Hellion starts to trespass in Vicky’s dreams—just as several of Deadtown’s zombies are viciously attacked and become really dead. When Vicky realizes she’s the only connection between the victims, she suspects that the demon is somehow working through her dreams to become Deadtown’s living nightmare.
What she doesn’t know is that her old enemy brings with it a force more terrifying—and deadly—than anything she’s battled before.
Boston’s diverse South End is known for its architecture and great restaurants, not its body count. So when mutilated human corpses begin turning up in the area, the entire city takes notice. The killer—dubbed the South End Reaper—uses a curved blade for his grisly work. And even though there’s no real evidence pointing to a paranormal culprit, the deaths are straining the already-tense relations between Boston’s human and inhuman residents.
As the bodies pile up, Vicky, her formidable aunt Mab, and her werewolf boyfriend Kane investigate, only to find that the creature behind the carnage is after something much more than blood…
My review for the series:
I've never tried to review a series before but it just makes more sense than doing one review at a time, especially since I read them all as a group anyways. In fact, I couldn't put them down! I'll never look at Boston in quite the same way.
Deadtown introduces us to Victory Vaughn, aka Vicky, a Cerddorion (shapeshifter) that happens to be the only demon slayer in town, while throwing us head first into a world where zombies, vampires and werewolves are all trying to establish equal rights while living in a quarantine zone complete with checkpoints and guards. The worldbuilding alone would keep even the most seasoned urban fantasy reader fat and happy, so much imagination and vivid details, with characters that are equally unique. The mythology is amazing and I never had that feeling like I had read this story before. The action pretty much starts on page one and just keeps on going. Vicky has a snarky attitude that I love and she absolutely kicks ass. The secondary characters are interesting and fun (Juliet the vampire roommate might be the real Juliet from Shakespeare, and Tina the teen zombie will make you crazy). I only wish we were treated to more Alexander Kane, but I'll try to be understanding since he is busy defending Deadtown citizens and crusading for equality. Instead we just get a glimpse of how hot he is, and I ended book 1 predicting more hotness in the future. Vicky is a lucky lady.
Hellforged begins with Vicky once again slaying a demon, only this time the demon she's battling is a Glitch, so of course I just kept picturing Scooby Doo and the Cyber Chase. This kind of Glitch causes massive chaos and I will never look at flying quite the same way. What does that have to do with anything? Read the book. Anyhow...this book dealt more with Vicky's heritage, which means that we get page-time with Mab. Mab is Vicky's aunt, mentor, and overall fascinating woman. She has secrets and skeletons in her closet, and as is the case with most wise women she doles out advice Yoda style and no answer is ever the easy one. I love her! Learning more about Welsh mythology, the Cerddorrion, and The Book of Utter Darkness was a highpoint of the story and really added to the conflict that Vicky faces. Pryce made a great villain (totally had the maniacal take over the world attitude) and I enjoyed watching Vickie really kick his ass. He definitely deserved it.
Bloodstone, the latest and in my opinion the greatest Deadtown novel, was turned loose in bookstores everywhere on September 27th. If you haven't started this series then you are missing out on one of the most original urban fantasy settings to date. Book 3 brings us more Mab, more with Gwen and Maria (Vicky's ex-shifting sister that hates Mab and her soon to be shifting niece), and more Kane (in wolf form too). And I haven't even mentioned The Old Ones, Myrddin, and Pryce! There is so much going on in this one and you really get a chance to see what kind of person Vicky has become in such a short amount of time. The action is fast paced and suspenseful, never a dull moment in Deadtown, but it was the mixing of professional and personal that made this book a step above the rest. I'd recommend this series for anyone that enjoys Jaye Wells, Devon Monk, Ilona Andrews and Kim Harrison, all authors that excel at urban fantasy writing.
Nancy Holzner website: