Monday, October 29, 2007

The Scent of Shadows - Vicki Pettersson

Here we have an out and out superhero story that presumably is packaged to look like a paranormal romance.

Those who have to have heaps of the romance stuff and follow the rules for that may well be disappointed, as there is not a lot of this here.

It seems each US city has two superteams, one good, one bad, each structured around the signs of the Zodiac.

A rich girl in Las Vegas that doesn't want to be a socialite like her centrefold sister or be involved in the casino business like the rest of her has a strange encounter :

"“You ever read comic books?” he asked, straightening suddenly, all signs of ill health vanishing with the movement.

I wiped my hand on my pants. “You mean like Donald Duck?”

“I mean like Superman, Wonder Woman…Elektra.” He said this last word with all the panache of a seasoned lounge act, fingers splayed in the air with theatrical introduction.

“No.” This whole conversation was getting stranger by the moment. I took a step back, muttering to myself, “What do I look like? An adolescent boy with cystic acne and bondage fantasies?”

“Not fantasies,” he said, overhearing me. “History. Research. The truth multiplied by the collective consciousness equals fact stranger than fiction.” He began chuckling again.


“I’m a superhero!” he announced, raising his arms like a competitor in Mr. Olympia. “Hero to the superheroes. Command leader of Zodiac troop 175, division of anti-evil, La-as Vegas!”"

For Jo Archer, it all gets crazier from there, as she is a child that is a result of a union between superhumans from different sides.

Very entertaining book, indeed. There is a bit of sort of literal comic relief, as their adventures are chronicled very very loosely in a comic series run by some guys in town. If you think the two guys fulfilling a similar role in the movie 'Lost Boys' you will get the idea.

Well worth a look. There is no bending vampires over desks, werewolf hunting, zombie raising or congress with fairies, or any of that to be found here, so hero fans not interested in that can happily pick it up.

4 out of 5

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