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Monday, May 24, 2010

Deadtown by Nancy Holzner

Deadtown by Nancy Holzner
Publisher: Penguin
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full (326 pages)
Heat: Sensual
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Fern

If you were undead, you'd be home by now...

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.

In the mood for a dark, sexy, urban fantasy? Then step into Deadtown, the first story in a series that is as refreshing as it is complex. It’s been a long time since I’ve been swept away by a story, and I can assure you that once you delve into the world created by Nancy Holzner, you will be eager to return for a visit.

Vicky was a heroine I liked immediately. She’s a shapeshifter -- a Cerddorion -- one of the rare few who can take on the forms of any shape they wish. She’s also a demon hunter, believer in zombie rights, and all around kick-ass chick who can take on the forces of darkness in all of their many forms. I enjoyed the new spin Ms. Holzner created, her dream worlds, as well as her world building. A city of the dead, a literal Deadtown, where zombies were housed and all kinds of creepy crawly things exist among the living is something I’ve never seen before. The story itself is carefully constructed but intricate. There is a lot going on here, including a kinda-sorta romance between Vicky and Kane (a sexy werewolf, attorney, and paranormal American rights activist) and a human police detective Daniel, who she is attracted to despite the fact that he’s unavailable. Adding to this is the tension that arises when a Hellion shows up in her town, eager for a taste of her soul. As the interlocking subplots come together, you build up to the big-reveal, and boy is it big.

The writing is wonderful, with a refreshing dash of humor to keep things lively. Although there were portions of the story in which I felt information overload was impending, it was soon followed with action, sharp dialogue, or scenes that made you slip right back into the story. I’d hoped the romantic portions would have been a bit more prominent but Deadtown is without a doubt urban fantasy and not a romance. Fortunately, there is enough of Kane and Daniel to keep you interested, as they are both intriguing characters that you want to know more about. I’m hoping we get more in the second story in the series and will be sure to read if only to see how those relationships progress.

Fans of urban fantasy will love Deadtown. It’s something new in a genre saturated by more of the same. If you’re in the market for something different, be sure to place this title on your TBR list.