I barely made it in time for this book to come out! The Touch of Twilight should be in bookstores tomorrow – May 27th. This is the third book in the Sign of the Zodiac series and I got an ARC from Eos books for promising to review it.
Book 1 – The Scent of Shadows
Book 2 – The Taste of Night
Short Story in this world - The Harvest
The signs of the Zodiac series is a dark series with a comic book, Frank Miller feel. The rules of the world are many, and there is a lot for the reader to accept, but I think that once you do, you have a gritty and compelling story that's enjoyable to read, if you can handle an angsty tale.
I would not recommend reading any of the books in this series out of order because the world and plot is quite complex. Actions that happen in earlier books have consequences two books down, so someone reading the series in the middle will find themselves lost.
The Touch of Twilight continues the story of Joanna Archer, new member of the Las Vegas Zodiac Troop on the side of Light. She's found out that she's a superhero but she's come into the knowledge much later than her peers. This means she's constantly learning about the supernatural world and making a lot of mistakes. And with a bloodline of both the Light and Shadow, Joanna is being courted by the Shadow troop who believe that the third sign of the Zodiac is the rise of her Shadow side. Meanwhile, Joanna is still dealing with the manipulations of Shadow member Regan, and the reprecussions of her decisions in book 2. Thrown into all of this is the sudden appearance of an otherworldly entity that is after Joanna and who scares even the Tulpa, leader of the Shadows.
As I've said before this is a dark urban fantasy series – it often pulls me emotionally when I read these books, because there is a lot of death and loss involved. I think it speaks volumes about the writer that these books can affect me emotionally it is as much the development as Joanna's character as the writing.
Joanna Archer is an imperfect heroine who does a lot of unlikeable things and makes decisions that I felt were wrong. It's the fact that she keeps trying to make up for her mistakes and her ultimate goal is to do good that keeps me reading. I want there to be a good resolution to her story, but it's a dark story, so I'm not sure if that's going to happen, but in book 3, I felt like Joanna is slowly making progress. She's more comfortable with the world of the Zodiac and all the rules involved with her new powers and she's learned from some of her earlier mistakes. For instance this time she stops trying to hide things from her troop, which was the cause of a lot of distrust and problems before. As with earlier books Joanna's past is also a huge part of her life – a traumatic event when she was a teenager makes it understandable why she can't let go of certain people in her past. Her childhood sweetheart, her sister's memory, her missing mother, her emotionally distant "father" are all people who have an influence on Joanna even during their absence. So I think that because I felt Joanna start to move forward from this past in book 3 (even though it is slow), that I found The Touch of Twilight to be my favorite Zodiac book so far. Not to say that everything is resolved and to my satisfaction – but some things do start to fall in place. I'd like to see Joanna at a point where she can move on from her past and I think it's happening. There is also some interesting developments on the ongoing love triangle (I know who I'm rooting for, but I don't expect Joanna to make a decision soon). I can't wait to read book four, but I'm not sure when it will be out! Next year I suspect.