Deadtown by Nancy Holzner
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Ace (December 29, 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.
A good cover is important because it creates a first impression. This cover says: action, adventure and bad ass heroine, all the ingredients I like in my Urban Fantasy adventures. This one caught my eye the moment I saw it and I knew this was must read.
Nancy Holzner’s Deadtown is based in Boston, in a section specifically designated for the area’s paranormal population. Holzner’s world is interesting, with a few unique twists to the usual zombie, demon, shifter sorts.
Vicky comes from a family of shape shifting demon slayers and was trained by her Aunt from an early age in the art of demon hunting. As a teen, Vicky accidentally conjured a demon from hell and inadvertently caused her father’s death. When the demon reappears years later, Vicky has a score to settle with the Hellion.
Although Vicky’s love interest, Alexander Kane is deeply involved in politics and working for basic rights for paranormals, Holzner’s urban fantasy world is not overly saturated in intricate paranormal politics that sometimes happens in the first book in a series. She gives us just enough to set a good base for her world development without feeding the reader so much information to bog down the story.
I liked Vicky but I never really felt the romantic connection between her and Kane and I half expected some sort of betrayal or underhandedness from the werewolf. The secondary romantic connection between Vicky and Daniel had potential and I suspect that we may see some sort of love triangle in the next book, or at least I hope so. Sometimes a sexy ‘blood bag’ is just the thing to stir things up and make a werewolf sit up and pay attention in the romance department.
Vicky’s teenage-zombie-demon slayer-apprentice was cute and comical and managed to create some real problems for Vicky with her mischievous teenage ways. I would have liked to have heard more from her and I hope her character is more fully developed in future novels.
The story flowed well but the real action gets going in the last few chapters. I was a little surprised in the final showdown in how it all played out. I can’t say why since I don’t want to spoil the ending for you, but I can say that it wasn’t what I expected at all. The fiery sword talked about in the book and featured on the cover didn’t come into play in the final showdown with the hellion and for some reason I expected it would. I was a little let down in the lack of actual hand to hand combat but enjoyed the unexpected twist.
Deadtown is a good Urban Fantasy debut full of mystery, fantasy, and magic. I look forward to the future adventures of Vicky Vaughn and the residents of Deadtown.
Book was provided by the publisher