Evil Geek Book Report – The Deadtown Series
Have you figured out that Lilith has got a lot of time on her hands yet? Yup, recovering from surgery means I have a lot of extra time to watch incredible movies and TV shows, read wonderful novels, and write to all you slobbering geek fans. It’s the way the world would be in a different time and a different place. So in less than a week since my last suggestion to you, today I bring you an evil book review that I have very much come to enjoy and hope you will too. The Deadtown series by Nancy Holzner, featuring Victory Vaughan, are a kick-ass way to spend your down time, especially if you are looking for a strong female role model to whip some serious supernatural butt. Unlike last week’s post, I will warn you that this week’s post will have some spoilers. Continue on at your own risk!
I picked up the first Deadtown novel, of course titled Deadtown, with relatively low expectations. After all, we have been inundated by countless short novels about humans with some special quality that ends up getting them stuck in the supernatural world, from Bella to Sookie, Elena to Olivia. I figured it would be a fun read, but I wasn’t expecting to be completely enthralled with all the new ways this storyline that could have easily been predictable went.
The series features Victory Vaughan, who goes by Vicky, who is a shapeshifter species from Northern Europe that has been trained as most of her species have in the art of demon slaying. To make a living she sells her services to clients who need help ridding themselves of dream demons or other devilish spirits, but of course higher powers and forces seem to follow her.
There are a lot of fun things about this series that are a bit unique compared to previous fantasy novels. Yes, it does feature the classic supernatural species including demons, werewolves, shapeshifters, vampires, and sorcerers as well as many other supernatural species. But it approaches them differently than many other fantasy stories I have read. First and foremost though, one of the reasons I fell in love with this series was that it takes place in Boston. It is a couple years in the future, and a zombie virus hit Back Bay specifically, which resulted in it becoming quarantined and a haven for outed supernatural creatures. Hence the nickname for the city of “Deadtown”. The creatures can come and go somewhat, but only with permits and the proper authorization, so as to protect the non-supernatural population outside of the city. Being someone who lived in Boston for 4+ years of my life, it is always enjoyable to read stories taking place in these places that are near and dear to your heart. There are great descriptions of various hangouts that only true locals might know, and the novel is very easy to visualize if you too are familiar with the layout of Beantown.
Back to the creatures themselves: Vicky’s creature, she is a shapeshifter, and specifically a Cerdorrion. The book does not explain if there are other shapeshifter species, but this species is very rare and special. In particular, only the females of the species can shift, and in particular you can only shift three times per lunar phase. If you skip out on shifting then your energy will get bottled up and you run the risk of spontaneously shifting when you are emotional, but Vicky never runs in to that problem since she has to use her shifting to save her skin or fight demons on a regular basis. The other thing is that you can give up shifting permanently, and it is rather easy to do so: you just need to get pregnant and have a child. This of course is something that deters Vicky from the thought of motherhood even more than the usual fear felt by a strong, successful woman. And the last aspect of this species is that many of them have been trained in demon hunting. It’s an old tradition taken on by both the men and women of the species even though the men don’t have the ability of shapeshifting.
Another species that is a bit different than the usual in this series is the zombie. It does come to late in later novels how the zombie virus was caused, but in the first novel we are introduced to several undead characters. They are slightly decaying and very sensitive to UV light as their flesh is dead, but they are pretty much the same person they were before the virus with one exception: an insatiable hunger. Yes they do have an incredible urge to chomp on human flesh, but only when they smell a fresh wound. Otherwise they deal with their hunger by constantly noshing on an inordinate amount of junk food. In the first chapter one of our main character zombies, Tina, a teenage ditzy corpse, eats 3 dozen donuts and 5 bags of chips in one sitting. This of course does nothing to the putrid figure of the zombie, much to their chagrin.
The werewolves in the series are relatively similar to those you have read about previously, of course with the main werewolf character Kane being excessively handsome and only interested in our leading woman. And the vampires are pretty predictable too, though the main vamp is none other than Juliet. Yes, the famed Juliet from the play with Romeo Naturally she is a bit of a Shakespeare aficionado.
So far Nancy Holzner has written 6 Deadtown novels: Deadtown, Hellforged, Bloodstone, Darklands, Hellhound, and Firestorm. I have read the first 4 and loved each of them.
In Deadtown Vicky faces down an old foe: the hellion demon that killed her father. In this novel Vicky realizes how powerful she is and a side story about New Hampshire scientists experimenting on young shapeshifters and other supernaturals will get your blood boiling. In Hellforged Vicky faces a new opponent whom in some ways is ten times worse than the hellion. Her cousin Pryce, a half demon, is the epitome of evil and seems to think that raping and enslaving Vicky is an important part of his scheme for world domination. This novel lets us learn more wonderful things about some of the side characters like aunt Mab and the love interest Kane. Then in Bloodstone we get to delve in to the mysteries of the vampire species, as well as a subtype of vampires known as The Ancient Ones that have very apocalyptic ideas about the future. And in Darklands Vicky travels to the underworld in an attempt to thwart another plot of her cousin Pryce’s, and gets to reunite with her father in the process. All of these novels are fun, touching, and mysterious. You can definitely get your fill of the supernatural with them. I personally can’t wait to devour the latest two books in the series, hope you get some time to enjoy them as well!
All images and characters depicted are copyright of their respective owners. Please click on the “About Us” tab for our takedown policy.
Posted on August 26, 2014, in Books, Evil Geek Book Report, Reviews and tagged Boston, Deadtown, Demons, fantasy, Nancy Holzner, novels, shapeshifters, supernatural, The Deadtown Series, Zombies. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.