October 19, 2010

Review: The Touch of Twilight by Vicki Pettersson

The Touch of Twilight
Author: Vicki Pettersson
Publisher: EOS
Series: Signs of the Zodiac, Book 3
ISBN: 0060898933
Purchase Information:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Borders | Indiebound | Powells

For more informations visti Vicki Pettersson's website.

On the surface she's a sexy, sophisticated socialite, at home among the beautiful people of the Las Vegas upper crust. But Joanna Archer inhabits another world: a place ordinary humans cannot see . . . a dangerous dimension where an eternal battle rages between the agents of Light and Shadow. And Joanna is both.

Stalked by an enigmatic doppelganger from a preternatural realm, Joanna can feel the Light failing—which is propelling her toward a terrifying confrontation with the ultimate master of evil, the dark lord of Shadow: her father.

Vegas is all about winning big . . . or losing everything. To save her friends, her future, her worlds, Joanna Archer must gamble it all by fully embracing the darkness inside her.


This story starts off with a bang. Often that would be construed as a good thing, but this time the action falls flat making it merely chaotic. Even to an avid reader of the series such as myself, I was disconcerted trying to follow the threads of action as they ricocheted off each other from one situation to the next. The fluidity, or rather the lack of, made this a hard one to get into.

Even as a fan of the series, I was also disappointed to find that it was hard to reconnect to the characters. Often, I didn’t want to. Joanna seems pettier in this novel, content to taunt those around her while not really doing much else. But, she isn’t the only character that is antagonistic. It seems that everyone is either on the giving or receiving end making them all seem childish, far from the super heroes that they are suppose to be.

The storylines even seem to reflect the attitudes of the characters, becoming worn-out and only serving to annoy. Jo’s inability to let go of her mortal love, Ben and grow as a character is tiring. She still puts him above all else, while not exactly taking care of him either making her come across as selfish in her need to cling to the last tie of who she was while not accepting truly accepting who she is. Also, the taunting between herself and Regan is a continuous loop within the story, neither really gaining any ground. This storyline only serves to play up the childish nature of them both and taking too much focus away from the main plot. It also seems to me that the action never really progress regardless of how many subplots Pettersson kept adding. Instead Joanna remains indifferent to all of them choosing to only concern her self about her past love. While true there is a lot of potential in the storylines she sets forth it just never really culminates. There is far too much fluff where the main character ruminates about her feelings towards Ben and grumbles about her situation including how she feels her team distrusts her, when to me it seems like they have ample reason if she is always focusing on her past and not the bigger picture. While this book series has always captured me with its action and unique take on the super hero genre, this addition was lacking on both fronts.

However, while I didn’t enjoy this book as much as the previous ones in her Signs of the Zodiac series, I cannot deny that she is a talented writer. At times I didn’t enjoy the actions of the characters nor their thoughts in this particular novel, but they are also well developed and encompassed a sense of tarnish about them, like old super heroes forgotten but destined to return. For that reason alone I can’t help loving the world that she has created. From the changelings and Master Comics to the Shadows and the heroes of Troop 175, this world is the epitome of Las Vegas splendor. The mythos of her super heroes is likewise impressive and a must read.
Even if though this novel was slightly disappointing I can’t help but want to see what happens next. As I mentioned before, Vicki Pettersson is an extremely talented writer capable of creating amazing worlds. My only hope is that the heroes of the Light can once again regain the grandeur they achieved in the earlier novels.

My Rating: 3.5 out 5 Scars.

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