Review: Deadtown by Nancy Holzner
Author: Nancy Holzner
Series: Deadtown # 1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Pub. Year: 2009
Purchase: Amazon/ B & N
Blurb from Goodreads:
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
Thoughts to ponder on: I can eat anything I want if I become a zombie but I have to avoid the sun. So tempting…..
I’m not entirely impressed with Deadtown. It was a good book but it didn’t wow me away. More than likely, I’ll end up picking the second book in the series since I own the third book. Scratch that out, it turns out that I have the third book in a different series. My bad. I will still pick up the second book, Hellforged.
Vicky Vaughn was a strong protagonist throughout the book. She kicks ass, isn’t afraid to break a few laws, and has pretty cool shifting abilities. She doesn’t appear to be as damage as some leading protagonist; she is more scarred from life but not irrevocably damage. She has a complex relationship with her past and her family. A Hellion, a demon called the Destroyer, murdered her father and in some way, she is connected to him. Her sister, Gwen, is playing the Suburban Housewife in order to deny that she is a shifter or that she has any relations to a shifter. Gwen has deep issues with what her bloodline can produce; she self-loathes which is really sad. No one should hate themselves for things out of their control and genetics is one of them. To be a shifter or to not be a shifter is something that drives a wedge between the sisters but for the sake of a family, Vicky and Gwen do try to overcome it.
The love interests, Alex Kane (werewolf lawyer) and Detective Daniel Costello, I suppose, were likable enough. Not sure who to root for but I didn’t really care for them. Both relationship felt tame and not passionate enough.
I loved the setting of Boston and the intricacies of the city. We have vampires, vampire junkies, zombies, shifters, werewolves, and regular humans all in one city. Paranormal Americans don’t have rights in the USA so they are actively fighting for the same rights that normal Americans have. I believe Holzner did a good job in showing the discrimination and the standards of living that Paranormal Americans have. If the series explores the political dimensions of this new world, I may just fall in love with it. Holzner did a fantastic job in letting the world create itself though passing information and dialogue.
OMG, I hated Tina the Zombie. What an annoying character that only served to irritate Vicky and the reader. She pull idiotic stunts that nearly killed Vicky and wasn’t that charming as a character. At least Holzner had an interesting explanation for the existence of zombies which I won’t spoil. Why zombies require large amount of food (since they cannot process it) is still a mystery to me. The sun-avoidance, I totally understand. Zombies are dead so prolong exposure to the sun makes their skin blotchy and rots their body faster. Not the best time to be around a rotting zombie.
Deadtown earns 3.5 black butterflies. Vicky Vaughn is a fantastic protagonist, the setting has great potential to discuss social issues, and there is an eclectic mix of paranormal creatures. The use of Welsh mythology is also interesting. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have the “oomph” or that particular excitement that I’m looking for. Its good storytelling but there needs to be more passion. It was very close to 4 butterflies.
7th book in the 150+ Reading Challenge
Also qualifies for: 1st in a Series, Where are you reading? Boston, Massachusetts