1. Deadtown (2009)

1. Deadtown (2009) by Nancy Holzner, art by Don Sipley

Deadtown series is written by Nancy Holzner.  

Genres and Sub-GenresEdit

Urban Fantasy for adults

Series Description or Overview Edit

The paranormal world is dominated by zombies in the aftermath of a recent worldwide plague, which affected humans, but not supernaturals.

Lead's Species Edit

  • Cerddorion Shape Changer (not shifter) and demon hunter

Primary Supe Edit

  • Demons, Zombies

What Sets it ApartEdit

Narrative Type and Narrators Edit

  • First person narrative told by Victory “Vicky” Vaughn.

Books in Series Edit

Deadtown series:

  1. Deadtown (2009)
  2. Hellforged (2010)
  3. Bloodstone (2011)
  4. Darklands (2012)
  5. Hellhound (2013)
  6. Firestorm (2017)

Shorts, Anthologies and GuidesEdit

none yet

World Building Edit

Deadtown 101 | Nancy Holzner, author

Setting Edit

Deadtown, a quarantined section of Boston that is the legally designated permanent home for all paranormal residents


  • New Combat Zone
  • Massachusetts
  • Wales

Supernatural Elements Edit

Shape Changers, demons, zombies, vampires, shape-shifters, Hellion, demon hunter, harpy, suspicious research facility, mad scientist, demon-killing dagger (an athame), evil demi-demon wizard, hellhound, , , ,


  • Cerddorion: entire race descended from Ceridwen through Taliesin. Can change their shape to any sentient creature up to 3 times per lunar cycle. Since their beginnings, they've battled demons. They can choose to shift, or sometimes very strong emotion can force a shift.
  • Goon Squad: paranormal crime suad, has some zombies on it. 
  • Glitches: Demons that infest computers
  • Humans First: anti-supe group
  • Paranormal Americans: or PA for short—politically correct term for supes
  • Hellion: a personal demon of the genus Eversio. They exist to destroy. Boston is protected from Hellions by a shield erected by Boston's witches. Different Hellions kill in different ways, according to their nature.
  • Morfran: evil crow spirits
  • South End Reaper: serial killer using a curved blade to carve up his victims
  • Old Ones: powerful ancient vampires
  • Darklands: dark realm inhabited by the spirits of the dead as they go through a period before they are either regenerated as spirits or reborn as humans
  • Night Hag: walk in the dreams of others; affinity for nightmares.
  • White Falcon: a relic the Night Hag is demanding as payment— falcon is possessed by the spirit and voice of her long-dead father, and second, the bird is part of a prophecy that foresees that it is vital to defeating the demons in the coming Apocalypse
  • Blood Bag: undead slang for human.
  • Active Shapeshifter: shapeshifters who can shift. They are given no rights.
  • Inactive demi-humans: a half-human, half-paranormal, but could not use their paranormal abilities (i.e. inactive shapeshifter, has the genes for shapeshifting but could not shift), they are given the same rights as humans.
  • Drudes: demons that are the source of most nightmares.
  • Eidolons: demons that attack from the inside. Guilt brought to life.
  • Harpies: demonsa that attack from the outside. They have vulture bodies and Medusa heads, with snakes for hair and a beak for a mouth. They smell like garbage and their screeches could drive a person insane.


  • Human-Paranormal Joint Task Force: dubbed The Goon Squad, they are the task force that the Boston Police sends for when the police needs to deal with citizens in the Deadtown.
  • Gravett Biotech: a company specializing in paranormal biology. Recent work include mapping of warewolf DNA.

World Edit

Victory Vaughn is a shapeshifting professional demon hunter living in Boston’s mandatory ‘paranormal reservation’ known as Deadtown. In Deadtown, things that go bump in the night (werewolves, vampires etc.) have always been around but the world at large has only just learned of their existence. And the coming out process has been anything but smooth. Zombies, or Previously Deceased Humans, are a different story. A few years ago a plague hit Boston instantly killing a couple hundred thousand people and then reanimating them a la Night of the Living Dead (except without all the mindless “Brains! Must eat brains!” mantra). The initial happiness of the living having their loved ones back from the dead didn’t last long. Blood red eyes, green/gray flesh in varying levels of decay, and a tendency to go a bit stereotypically zombie around fresh blood will put a damper on even the most open-minded human. The result? Deadtown was created, the only legal place for the non-human monsters, or Paranormal Americans, to reside. ~ All Things Urban Fantasy

The zombies in this series are not the evil, brain-sucking monsters of The Walking Dead. Instead, these zombies are relatively normal (except for their physical rot and attraction to human blood), and they hold many of the service jobs in Boston (e.g., janitors, waitresses, doormen, cab drivers). Some of them even serve on a branch of the Boston Police Department called the Goon Squad, which specializes in paranormal crime. Other types of paranormals in this world include vampires, shifters, and demons, with the demons being the evil villains. Holzner has, however, contributed to the humor of the series with demons like Glitches, which infest computers. (Didn't you always suspect that glitches were demons?) ~ Fangtastic


Victory “Vicky” Vaughn is a Cerddorion (pronounced ker-THOR-yon), a shape-shifter (shape-changer) who specializes in killing demons. She lives in Deadtown, a quarantined section of Boston that is the legally designated permanent home for all paranormal residents, all of whom have very few civil rights in Massachusetts and no rights at all in most of the other forty-nine states. There is, of course, an anti-supernatural group, Humans First, that rants continually against the paranormal community. Politically correct people use terms, like "paranormal Americans" (PA) instead of "monsters" and "previously deceased humans" instead of "zombies," but most humans are just plain fearful of all supernaturals. If a paranormal travels between human and paranormal zones in Boston, he or she must complete reams of paperwork and be subjected to several intrusive checkpoints along the way.

Vicky’s Cerddorion talents include the ability to shape-change into any sentient being, but her shifts are limited to three per month. As is true of most UF heroines, Vicky has had an unhappy childhood during which she accidentally called forth a powerful demon (Difethwr, the Destroyer) that killed her father and left its mark on Vicky. That mark has caused Vicky to succumb to mind-blowing rage at emotional times during the past ten years, severely limiting her social life. Vicky is demon exterminator: she gets rids of people's personal demons—the ones who haunt their nightmares. Most of Vicky’s clients are norms (i.e., normal humans, aka bloodbags), so Vicky must walk a thin line between the human world of greater Boston and the craziness of Deadtown. Vicky’s sister, Gwen, has adopted a norm life. She turned her back on her Cerddorion heritage by marrying a human and having children. Giving birth banishes a Cerddorion’s demon-killing abilities ~ Fang-tastic Fiction: Nancy Holzner: DEADTOWN SERIES

Sidekick Edit

  • Name: / What: / Sidekick-to: / About: / Book First Seen:

Characters Chart Edit

Characters What About
Victory “Vicky” Vaughn Cerddorion, shape-changer specializes in killing demons
Alexander Kane werewolf, activist lawyer One of Vicky's love interest
Daniel Costello human Boston Police Department homicide detective One of Vicky's love interest
Maria Gwen's daughter kidnapped by a mad scientist who wants to experiment on paranormals; may develop Cerddorion characteristics
Axel owner of Creature Comforts bar in the safe zone that caters to supernaturals
Juliet Capulet Vicky's vampire roommate she is the original Juliet—from Shakespeare's play
Gwen Cerddorion Vicky's sister, married, had a baby, lost her abilities, lives like a norm
Mab powerful Cerddorion Vicky's aunt who lives in Wales and has been Vicky's mentor and teacher since she was a child; communicate both in person and in her dreams; gave Vicky special demon-killing dagger (an athame)
Tina zombie Vicky's teen-age zombie apprentice
Difethwr Hellion demon aka the Destroyer—Vicky's Nemesis;
Pryce distant cousin enemy;
Myrddin Wyllt evil demi-demon wizard
Butterfly guilt demon Vicky sommons for info; follows her, making her feel a lot of guilt;

To expand the table, in Edit–Visual mode, right-press on a Row of the table or Column (Control-press on a Mac)—choose add Row or Column.


Nancy Holzner

Author: Edit

Nancy Holzner

Bio: Nancy Holzner grew up in western Massachusetts with her nose stuck in a book. This meant that she tended to walk into things, wore glasses before she was out of elementary school, and forced her parents to institute a “no reading at the dinner table” rule. It was probably inevitable that she majored in English in college and then, because there were still a lot of books she wanted to read, continued her studies long enough to earn a masters degree and a PhD. She began her career as a medievalist, then jumped off the tenure track to try some other things. Besides teaching English and philosophy, she’s worked as a technical writer, freelance editor and instructional designer, college admissions counselor, and corporate trainer. Most of her nonfiction books are published under the name Nancy Conner. Nancy lives in upstate New York with her husband Steve, where they both work from home without getting on each other’s nerves. She enjoys visiting local wineries and listening obsessively to opera. There are still a lot of books she wants to read. ~ About Nancy

Contributors Edit

Cover ArtistsEdit

  • Judy Murello - Cover Type Design
  • Edwin Tse (Cover Artist) - Cover Type Design

Other Contributors:Edit

Jessica McDonnell (Editor) - Copy Editor

Publishing InformationEdit

Publishers: Ace

  • Author Page:
  • Bk-1—Deadtown: paperback: 326 pages, Pub: Dec 29th 2009—ISBN: 0441018130
  • Bk-2—Hellforged: paperback: 340 pages, Pub: Dec 28th 2010—ISBN: 0441019803
  • Bk-3—Bloodstone: paperback: 323 pages, Pub: Sept 27th 2011—ISBN: 044102100X
  • Bk-4—Darklands: paperback: 324 pages, Pub: July 31st 2012—ISBN: 1937007707
  • Bk-5—Hellhound: paperback: 320 pages, Pub: Oct 29th 2013 —ISBN: 0425262804
  • Bk-6—Firestorm: paperback: 336 pages, Pub: May 16th 2017—ISBN: 0425262812

Book Cover Blurbs Edit

BOOK ONE BLURB—Deadtown (2009): 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. ~ Deadtown | Nancy Holzner, author

✤ 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. ~ Goodreads | Deadtown (Deadtown, #1)

BOOK TWO BLURB—Hellforged (2010): 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. ~ Hellforged | Nancy Holzner, author

✤ A demon is stalking Vicky's dreams-just as several of Deadtown's zombies are viciously attacked and become really dead. And when Vicky realizes she is the only connection between the victims, she suspects that the demon is somehow working through her dreams to become Deadtown's living nightmare.  ~ Goodreads | Hellforged (Deadtown, #2)

BOOK THREE BLURB—Bloodstone (2011): 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… ~ Bloodstone | Nancy Holzner, author and Goodreads | Bloodstone (Deadtown, #3)

BOOK FOUR BLURB—Darklands (2012): They call it Deadtown: the city’s quarantined section for its inhuman and undead residents. Most humans stay far from its border—but Victory Vaughn, Boston’s only professional demon slayer, isn’t exactly human… Boston’s demons have been disappearing, and Vicky’s clients are canceling left and right. While fewer demons might seem like a good thing, Vicky suspects foul play. A missing Celtic cauldron from Harvard’s Peabody museum leads her to an unwelcome conclusion: Pryce, her demi-demon cousin and bitter enemy, is trying to regain his full powers. But Pryce isn’t alone. He’s conjured another, darker villain from Vicky’s past. To stop them from destroying everything she loves, she’ll have to face her own worst fear—in the realm of the dead itself. ~ Goodreads | Darklands (Deadtown, #4) by Nancy Holzner and Darklands | Nancy Holzner, author

BOOK FIVE BLURB—Hellhound (2013):  Boston’s zombies have suddenly become inexplicably violent—horror movie-style—resulting in a catastrophic all-out battle against humans. More troubling to Vicky is that she’s had dreams and visions of herself fighting alongside the demons. At least, she hopes they’re just visions—otherwise, that puts her on the front lines of the wrong side of the war. Vicky’s not surprised to discover that Pryce, her demi-demon cousin and loathed adversary, is behind the outbreak of the zombie plague, having formed an unholy pact with the Old Ones. Now, as the violence escalates and alliances shift, Vicky knows she’s the only one who can stop the plague. Unless the pack of hellhounds on her trail finds her first. ~ Goodreads | Hellhound (Deadtown, #5) by Nancy Holzner

BOOK SIX BLURB—Firestorm (2017):  When Vicky allowed an ancient goddess to possess her, she had no regrets—it was the only way to protect the people she loved. But now Ceridwen, locked in a power struggle with the Hellion that long ago claimed Vicky with its mark, refuses to leave. Both beings believe controlling Vicky is the key to winning the coming war for the human realm. Despite the forces pulling her apart, Vicky needs all her wits about her. The demons of Hell are growing bold and she can barely keep up with the attacks plaguing the city: sirens in the Mystic River, goblins snarling traffic on Storrow Drive, imps tearing the gold from the State House dome. As the signs of war multiply and Hell threatens to overrun its boundaries, Vicky finds herself torn between her duty to save the world and her desire to save something of herself. ~ Goodreads | Firestorm (Deadtown, #6) by Nancy Holzner 

First Sentences Edit

  1. Deadtown — Two rules I live by: never admit to being a shapeshifter on a first, second, or third date with a human.
  2. Hellforged —  There are few places creepier than a deserted computer lab in the middle of the night.
  3. Bloodstone — Bayside health club, a former gym angling to go upscale, is where Bostonians go to pump some iron, get sculpted, and trade in their beer bellies for the sexier kind of six-pack.
  4. Darklands — If there's one thing I hate, it's speaking in front of a group.
  5. Hellhound — A phone that rings just before dawn never brings good news.
  6. Firestorm — Her dark instincts in the plaguing for a price of itself.

~ Source: Deadtown Series ~ Shelfari

Quotes Edit

Goodreads | Nancy Holzner Quotes (Author of Deadtown)

Read Alikes (similar elements) Edit

See Category links at bottom of page

Awards Edit

Trivia Edit

~ ranked #74 on Goodreads | Best Urban Fantasy Series (181 series)

~ on Goodreads Best UF List

Notes Edit

See Also Edit

Category links at bottom of page

External References Edit




The World, Characters, etc:



Author, Misc:

Community, Fan Sites:

Gallery of Book Covers Edit

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