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Cheat the Grave (Sign of the Zodiac, Book 5) Mass Market Paperback – May 25, 2010


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager; First Edition edition (May 25, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061456772
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061456770
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 4.2 x 6.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #875,710 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

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.

About the Author

Vicki Pettersson is the New York Times bestselling author of the Sign of the Zodiac novels, a six-book urban fantasy series set in her hometown of Las Vegas. Though she'll always consider that glittering dust bowl home, she now divides her time between Vegas and Dallas, where she's learning to like good Tex-Mex (easy) and the Dallas Cowboys (easier than you'd think).


More About the Author

Vicki Pettersson is the New York Times bestselling author of the 'Signs of the Zodiac' series, which features reluctant superhero, Joanna Archer, and is set in her hometown of Las Vegas.

Her Celestial Blues 'para-noir' series features a P.I/angel from the 50's who pairs up with a modern-day rockabilly reporter. Together, they fight crime. Those books are The Taken, The Lost, and The Given (out in 2014).

Though she'll always consider Sin City her home, she now divides her time between Vegas and Dallas, Texas, where she's learning to like good Tex-Mex (easy) and the Dallas Cowboys (easier than you'd think).

For more information on Vicki's books, please visit: http://vickipettersson.com/

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 31 people found the following review helpful By KindleVixen on May 26, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have a confession, I am a VPeep, yes that's right. I am a Vicki Pettersson fangirl. It's partly because she is a Vegas girl and I love that connection in her stories, but also because she writes dark urban fantasy and I love it. She isn't afraid to torture her characters or break the rules for the sake of the story. The last book in the series was shocking and turned the series upside down on its head. The main character, Joanna, was forever changed to the point that many thought the series was over with.. Yet, the series isn't over and Pettersson returns to torture us, and Joanna, in the fifth installment of the Signs of the Zodiac series, Cheat the Grave.

The Signs of the Zodiac series feature not vampires, or werewolves, or any other typical supernatural character.... but instead modern super heroes. The world is made up of Agents of Light and Shadow, battling to keep the world balanced with the events being recorded in comic books, known to the agents as manuals. Our main protagonist is Joanna, an Agent of Light, mostly. Her mother was Zoe Archer, the Sagitarrius Agent of Light while her father was the Tulpa, the evil genius in control of the Shadow Agents in Las Vegas.

Joanna Archer is tough, hard, bitter, angry, battle worn, and alone. Abandoned by her mother and practically disowned by her assumed father, she started off this series all of these things and more. When I read the first book I wondered where she could possibly go from there? Over the last 4 books she has found companionship and family through her troop and some unexpectedly inherited friends and family. She has been trained to be a deadly weapon, but she has also softened in her judgment and acceptance of those around her.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By S. Steele on May 27, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'll keep this short and light to avoid any spoilers... and leave the other reviews already here to handle the summary of this book, and merely just add my two cents on why this is, hands down, the best series ever.

book 5 is exceptional, and the best so far. i usually find, that with time, a series can become a tad stagnant. and although you love the characters you're following year after year, sometimes they can become a bit irritating because there often isn't any growth, and the story lines can seem a bit recycled. Vicki has the most original story i have had the pleasure of reading. you are doing yourself a disservice by not picking up all 5 books at once (trust me, you'll be THAT pissed off at yourself for having to waste precious time to stop at a book store again to pick up what you left behind... i did that after i started book 1 last year). every book gets better, and like i read in an early review, this is a real game changer.

i rated this book 5 stars because it's just the best of everything: writing, plot, character development, etc.

if you're new to the series, please start at book 1. if you've already read through 1-4, you gotta pick up 5. eagerly awaiting book 6... and by eagerly, i mean agonizing over the many months we have to wait for it.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on May 27, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Cheat the Grave is stellar addition to one of the most unique, ambitious and vivid urban fantasy series on the market.

Following the portent by trying to avoid it; "Fifth Sign: the Shadow binding with the Light," Joanna Archer discovers what happens when you blend light and shadow to create a new, more balanced reality in shades of grey. Masks are stripped away. Agents shift alliances and grandstand for relevance and there is a new cast of characters including an exceptional individual with wholly unique powers and purpose the like of which I don't think has been seen before.

Cheat the Grave is the most philosophical installment in the series and perhaps that is part of the reason I found it so satisfying because it afforded readers the chance to truly weigh and consider all of the elements that have brought Joanna to this point. One of the mantras in Cheat the Grave is "Losses aren't bad things in themselves. Not as long as you remain open to new sensation." For much of her life Joanna has been a survivor, shaped by events and the choices of others - in the past, the answer for Joanna would have been live up to the destiny that others say is her raison d' etre but now her fate is clearly driven by her own free will and in making this choice, we have a heroine whose power springs from the well of free choice and Joanne owns it all.

Readers should know that there are elements in this installment that link back to Zoe Archer's short story The Harvest which was published in the anthology Holidays are Hell. While the events in that short story are not absolute required reading to follow some of the developments in Cheat the Grave, they do enhance the content and I strongly recommend reading it as a supplemental to contextualize and add dimension.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By SciFiChick VINE VOICE on June 7, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Joanna Archer is now a mortal, having given up her powers to save a young girl. Her troop has abandoned her. Now, all she has are her socialite friends, from her late sister's life. But when she left the Netherworld, she made enemies that don't care if she can't fight back. They want her dead. Her only hope lies in a rogue group of former shadow and light troop members, the gray that both sides despise.

Jo/Olivia has grown and changed incredibly through the course of this series. Though, this latest change has left her feeling worthless and helpless. Another big change is that Jo has come to care for her sister's friends that Jo used to despise. She discovers that they are true friends, loving her for who she is, not what she can do. There are also some shocking revelations involving some of Jo's other relationships that were the highlight of the story for me.

Because Jo is without powers, she doesn't get to do the butt-kicking in this installment. And the focus is more on drama, relationships, and staying away from those trying to kill her. That's not to say the story ever slows. There is no haven or safe place for Jo any longer, so she's constantly on the move, taking help from whomever she can. And along the way she makes some self-discoveries that change her perception. Ending in a big showdown, with a big surprise, Pettersson certainly delivers in this latest exciting installment.
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