The Scent of Shadows (Signs of the Zodiac -1) by Vicki Pettersson

The Scent of Shadows (Signs of the Zodiac #1) by Vicki Pettersson

Signs of the Zodiac series written by Vicki Pettersson

Genres and Sub-GenresEdit

Urban Fantasy

Series Description or Overview Edit

Joanna Archer is a photographer and multibillionaire heiress. The story follows Joanna from the time her life changes. Her childhood trauma led her to train herself to be a warrior Joanna eventually entering the battle between Light and Shadows agents.

Lead's Species Edit

  • the Kairos, Agent of Light

Primary Supe Edit

  • Super beings

What Sets it ApartEdit

  • Super heroes in an Urban Fantasy

Narrative Type and Narrators Edit

  • First person narrative told by Joanna Archer.

Books in Series Edit

Sign of the Zodiac series:

  1. The Scent of Shadows (2007)
  2. The Taste of Night (2007)
  3. The Touch of Twilight (2008)
  4. City of Souls (2009)
  5. Cheat the Grave (2010)
  6. The Neon Graveyard (2011) ~ Final

Shorts, Anthologies and GuidesEdit

Other WritingsEdit

Celestial Blues Trilogy:

  1. The Taken (2012)
  2. The Lost (2013)
  3. The Given (2014)

World Building Edit

Setting Edit

Las Vegas


  • Valhalla: a casino
  • Chinatown
  • Valhalla
  • Midheaven

Supernatural Elements Edit

Agents of Light and Shadow, superhuman powers, demon goddess, prophecy

Glossary: Edit

  • Light Zodiac: Agents of Light—another branch of human evolution
  • Shadow Zodiac: Agents of Shadow—another branch of human evolution
  • Rogue Agents:

Groups & Organizations:Edit

World Edit

Behind the flashy face of Las Vegas lies is hidden a battlefield between the Shadow Zodiac and the Zodiac of Light. There are twelve agents on either side are supposed to fill a star sign on each Zodiac. Each agent has a special lethal weapon. This is a world of superheroes who can heal fast and possess their own special mythology.

The Light warriors try to keep the Shadow warriors from causing death and chaos and to protect the humans.

Protagonist Edit

Sidekicks Edit

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

Characters Chart Edit

Characters What About
Joanna Archer the Kairos Agent of Light
Olivia Archer human Joanna's sister;
Ben Traina Cop, human soul mate;
Warren Commander of the Zodiac leader of Zodiac troop 175, division of anti-evil, Las Vegas
Xavier Archer shadow Zodiac Olivia's father. Poster boy of the shadow Zodiac
Chandra Light agent now runner-up for the Archer position
Micah Doctor for the Light
Hunter Light agent Zodiac
Butch Lewis Shadow Agent
Vanessa Valen Light agent Zodiac
the Tulpa leader of the Shadows evil creature
Gregor Light agent Zodiac
Gregor Light agent Zodiac
Ajax Sands Shadow agent
Tekla seer, Light agent Zodiac
Zoe Archer Olivia and Joanna's mom
Greta psychologist Zodiac-Light's
Rena Light surrogate mother
Joaquin Shadow agent

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.

Vicki Pettersson

Vicki Pettersson

Author Edit

Vicki Pettersson

Bio: After ten years with the Tropicana's Folies Bergere, Las Vegas native Vicki Pettersson traded in her sequins for a laptop. But she still knows all about what really happens behind the scenes in Sin City. ~ Fantastic Fiction

Cover ArtistEdit

  • Artist: Chris McGrath — books: #1, 2, 3
  • Artist: Tony Mauro — book #4
  • Artist: ______ — book #5, 6 - not listed at ISFdb

Publishing InformationEdit

  1. The Scent of Shadows: Paperback, 455 pages, Pub: February 27th 2007—ISBN 0060898917
  2. The Taste of Night: Paperback, 440 pages, Pub: March 27th 2007—ISBN 0060898925
  3. The Touch of Twilight: Paperback, 416 pages, Pub: May 27th 2008—ISBN 0060898933
  4. City of Souls: Paperback, 368 pages, Pub: June 30th 2009—ISBN 0061456780
  5. Cheat the Grave: Paperback, 368 pages, Pub: May 25th 2010—ISBN 0061456772
  6. The Neon Graveyard: Paperback, 372 pages, Pub: —May 31st 2011ISBN 0061456799

Book Cover Blurbs Edit

BOOK ONE BLURB—The Scent of Shadows (2007): When she was sixteen, Joanna Archer was brutally assaulted and left to die in the Nevada desert.

By rights, she should be dead.

Now a photographer by day, she prowls a different Las Vegas after sunset—a grim, secret Sin City where Light battles Shadow—seeking answers to whom or what she really is . . . and revenge for the horrors she was forced to endure. But the nightmare is just beginning—for the demons are hunting Joanna, and the powerful shadows want her for their own. ~ Goodreads | The Scent of Shadows (Signs of the Zodiac, #1)

BOOK TWO BLURB—The Taste of Night (2007): Equal parts Light and Shadow, Joanna Archer must fulfill a destiny she never wanted. Once a photographer and heiress to a casino fortune, she is now dedicated to the cause of good . . . but susceptible to the seductions of evil. A deadly virus is descending on Las Vegas—a terrifying plague unleashed by the powerful overlord of Zodiac's dark side: Joanna's father. Chaos and panic grip Sin City as agents of Light fall prey to the terrifying epidemic. Death reigns supreme—and Joanna stands at dead center of an epic and terrible war long foretold, the last hope of a damned world. But first she must somehow conquer the malevolence that grows all around her . . . and within. ~ Goodreads | The Taste of Night (Signs of the Zodiac #2) by Vicki Pettersson

BOOK THREE BLURB—The Touch of Twilight (2008): The Third Sign of the Zodiac. Joanna Archer has reluctantly accepted the roles destiny assigned her: Avenger, Savior — Destroyer. 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 can’t see and could never enter … a dangerous dimension where an eternal battle rages between the agents of Light and Shadow. And Joanna is both. She never asked for the mantle that’s been thrust upon her, but she will not abandon it now that it’s hers. Stalked by an enigmatic doppleganger 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 will now have to gamble it all by fully embracing the darkness inside her. ~ Goodreads | The Touch of Twilight (Signs of the Zodiac #3) by Vicki Pettersson

BOOK FOUR BLURB—City of Souls (2009): The Fourth Sign of the Zodiac. Joanna Archer, Agent of Light, has survived a violent initiation into the paranormal world lurking behind the seedy seams of Las Vegas. She’s found a home, friends, and even the chance for a new life and love. But evil never rests, and to save her beloved city, and herself, Joanna must venture into a new world hidden among the shadows, one where the line between good and evil is barely visible, every agent is a rogue … and each breath could be her last. ~ Goodreads | City of Souls (Signs of the Zodiac #4) by Vicki Pettersson

BOOK FIVE BLURB—Cheat the Grave (2010): Las Vegas socialite and otherwordly avenger Joanna Archer gave up everything when she embraced mortality—abandoning her powers and altering her destiny to save a child . . . and a city. Now her former allies are her enemies—and her enemies have nothing to fear. Yet still she is bound to a prophecy that condemns her to roam a nightmare landscape that ordinary humans cannot see and dare not enter. And a beast is on her trail—an insane killer blinded by bloodlust, who's determined to rip much more from Joanna than merely her now-fragile life. Survival is no longer an option in this dark realm where good and evil have blurred into confusing shades of gray—unless she can gather together an army of onetime foes and destroy everything she once believed in. ~ Goodreads | Cheat the Grave (Signs of the Zodiac #5) by Vicki Pettersson

BOOK SIX BLURB—The Neon Graveyard (2011): The Final Sign of the Zodiac. Once she was a soldier for the Light, the prophesied savior who would decide the outcome of the eternal conflict raging in the dark corners of her glittering hometown. Now Joanna Archer is just another mortal–still born of an impossible union of Shadow and Light … still hunted by both—and carrying the unborn child of a lover held captive by a depraved demon goddess. Joining forced with a band of rogue Shadow agents, Joanna’s ready to storm the stronghold of her demonic foe, risking everything to enter this ghastly, godforsaken realm. Because in a world that has stripped her of her power, identity, and fortune, Joanna has nothing left to lose—except her baby, her future, and the epic war poised to consume the city. ~ Goodreads | The Neon Graveyard (Signs of the Zodiac, #6) by Vicki Pettersson

First Sentences Edit

  1. The Scent of Shadows — He didn't look dangerous, not at first glance.
  2. The Taste of Night — It's funny how a name can change the world's perception of you.
  3. The Touch of Twilight — The country-western bar rocked on its pilings with music and conversation, laughter and line dances -and an obscene number of ten-gallon hats- all competing with the glint of the club's lights to obscure my sightline.
  4. City of Souls — Hanging out in the perfumed, puke-inducing dressing room of an overpriced boutique was hardly my idea of a good time, but right now it was the only place I could get a moment to myself.
  5. Cheat the Grave — Dying isn't as painful as you might think.
  6. The Neon Graveyard — "Gil! Your team takes the right flank."

~ Source: Signs of the Zodiac Series

Quotes Edit

Read Alikes (suggestions) Edit

Awards Edit

Trivia Edit

Notes Edit

See Also Edit

External References Edit



World, Characters, etc:



Other writings


Community, Fan Sites:

Gallery of Book Covers Edit

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