Cheat the Grave (Signs of the Zodiac #5) by Vicki Pettersson
As I mentioned the last time I wrote about one of Vicki Pettersson’s books, I have big love for this author. I think she’s an amazing writer. There are no words for how much I adore her books.
In Cheat the Grave, Joanna Archer is mortal, having given up her powers to save a child at the end of City of Souls. However, she still has to deal with the Tupla (her extremely powerful, extremely evil father) and stay out of sight from the Shadows, now without her allies of the Light. The situation is further complicated when Sleepy Mac escapes from MidHeaven, on a mission to steal the last third of her soul for his mistress Solange, who just so happens to be the wife of Jo’s ex-lover and ex-teammate Hunter. (Remember that he went to MidHeaven to be with Sola at the end of City of Souls.) Jo’s only recourse is to band together with other independents and take a stand.
This story was incredible. Jo has to figure out what to do with herself now that she’s no longer a superhero, and it’s immensely difficult for her; up to the end of City of Souls, Jo had been on a very different kind of journey. Vicki Pettersson has, as always, done an amazing job of showing Jo’s conflict and emotions while weaving a layered and nuanced plot. I never knew what was going to happen next; Cheat the Grave takes the reader on a windy journey and Jo ends up in an incredible spot at the end of it. Plus there are some fantastic reveals towards the end of the novel and I’m eager to see how these revelations play out in the future. This fifth installment in the Signs of the Zodiac series is definitely a game changer and I wish we didn’t have to wait a whole year to find out how the events in Cheat the Grave will impact the balance between Light and Shadow.
Finally, I’d like to say how much I liked this cover. While it’s not as eye catching as the covers for the first three books in the series by Chris McGrath, it’s a definite improvement over the City of Souls art. This cover, by Don Sipley, is much more in keeping with the tone of the series. (He also happens to be the genius behind the Spiral Hunt cover.)