Cheat the Grave (Signs of the Zodiac Series #5)

( 197 )

Overview

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 ...

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Cheat the Grave (Signs of the Zodiac Series #5)

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Charlaine Harris
“This fourth book in Pettersson’s Sign of the Zodiac is a wild roller-coaster read. With a kick-ass heroine and characters who blur the line between good and evil, this book will have readers panting for more.”
Romantic TimesBOOKclub
"This fourth book in Pettersson’s Sign of the Zodiac is a wild roller-coaster read. With a kick-ass heroine and characters who blur the line between good and evil, this book will have readers panting for more."
Romantic Times BOOKclub
“This fourth book in Pettersson’s Sign of the Zodiac is a wild roller-coaster read. With a kick-ass heroine and characters who blur the line between good and evil, this book will have readers panting for more.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061456770
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/25/2010
  • Series: Signs of the Zodiac Series , #5
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 345,832
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Vicki Pettersson

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).

Biography

Las Vegas native Vicki Pettersson always loved to write, but a post-college stint in public relations convinced her that "working on assignment" was not the career for her; so she did what any self-respecting Vegas girl would do: she became a showgirl by night... and a closet novelist by day. A decade later she also became an instant bestseller with the back-to-back releases in her dark urban fantasy series, The Scent of Shadows and The Taste of Night. She'll appear in November's Holidays Are Hell anthology, and The Touch of Twilight: The Third Sign of the Zodiac will follow in June 2008.

Author biography courtesy of Eon.

Good To Know

Some fun and fascinating excerpts from our interview with Pettersson:

"I used to be a Las Vegas showgirl. In fact, dancing in the Folies Bergere at night was what enabled me to write during the day. It gave me the time and space to learn and grow, and at the end of the day I could pack away the laptop and go hang with my friends in the lights and sequins and feathers. It was a great way to spend my 20s, and the perfect compliment to the sedentary writer's lifestyle. So that's my real advice to aspiring authors: expose yourself nightly to thousands of strangers! It worked for me!"

"I was born and raised in Las Vegas, which I've found is even more interesting to people than my having been a showgirl. (No, I did not live in a hotel growing up!) It was a drastically different scene back then, and rather boring because there wasn't a whole lot for kids to do. Before the Mirage was built in 1989 it was pretty much a small town with a big, bright bulge in the middle, like a snake that'd swallowed a light bulb. Like other locals, I can still reach down past the glitter and the fast pace, and trace the remnants of that small town like the lines on my palm. It's still there, if you know where to look."

"Being a mother has made me a better writer. My baby has made me faster and bolder and smarter, and taught me I can do things I might never have attempted before. An odd fact of motherhood is that you'll do things for your child that you'd never do -- or ask for -- for yourself. Isn't that strange? So I was determined from the get-go that I wasn't going to blame my child for my own professional failures. Whatever I do or don't accomplish lies squarely on my shoulders. So there are sacrifices I have to make right now -- getting up at 4:30 in the morning is one of them -- but that's nothing compared to the rewards, and I know this time is fleeting. So I'm careful not to squander it. Being a mother is a wonderful asset!"

"I've recently begun getting into Mid-Mod Century culture and design. I've suddenly become conscious of all the small affinities I have for the '50s and '60s: I love Hepburn-esque dresses, cocktail culture, and I've always romanticized the Rat Pack days (I used to say that I was a showgirl 20 years past my time). I'd really like to buy one of the older Mid-Mod homes, with their sharp angles and clean lines and cinderblock patterns and butterfly roofs, but the areas these homes are in (in Las Vegas) need to be revitalized a bit before I jump on board with that."

"I used to daydream that Elvis was really my father. (Yes, such are the dreams of a child raised in Vegas!) But he was performing in town around the time I was born and my mother was totally cute -- and I can do the lip thing, 'Thank you very much' -- so I thought it entirely feasible!"

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 197 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(121)

4 Star

(49)

3 Star

(20)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 197 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 14, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    terrific entry

    In Las Vegas Joanna Archer knew what she was giving up when she rescued a child to save the light. Her sacrifice is her superpowers and her allies.

    Although she swears she would do it again Joanna has nagging doubts. Her destiny not only radically altered by her good deed, her friends deserted her; in fact they want to kill her. Feeling alone but forced by her revised destiny to act if the prophecy is to occur, Joanna travels through a nightmare in which everyone is her enemy, but one particular psychopathic predator plots to kill her. Joanna knows only her former foes give her a chance to survive and fulfill the prophecy.

    The latest Sign of the Zodiac is a terrific entry that centers on Joanna in a twisting of the coming of age theme. Urban fantasy readers will enjoy the fast-paced thriller that wastes no time by moving out from the onset. Joanna is terrific as she struggles with a myriad of emotions with the changes to her. She makes Cheat the Grave a great novel and though the story line can stand by itself, it is enhanced by reading the previous books to see how far the metamorphosis occurred.

    Harriet Klausner

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 5, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Vicki Pettersson Just Keeps Getting Better!

    I loved this 5th installment of the Sign of Zodiak series. I love Joanna and her alter ego, Olivia and I can't wait to read the next book. I read a lot of books and I can say that this is one of the most original story lines I've seen in a very long time. Cheat The Grave is definitely funnier than the last book, City of Souls. We get to see how Joanna copes with becoming mortal again and she looks very deeply into her psyche, figures out how to be an independent and powerful woman with only her wits (and very mortal friends) to help her in her battle against the Shadows. This book will tie up a lot of loose ends from the series and brings absolution to the readers who hoped for Joanna to be the character we knew she could be, i.e. strong, determined, resolved and complete. :) Absolutely Fabulous!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 26, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Action, Emotion and FULL of incredible revelations

    A jaw-dropping read!
    After the heart-breaking events in the previous book, Joanna attempts to bounce back. She manages to do so, in ways we may not have imagined.
    Stronger in her mortal skin, she's out for justice and answers.
    WOW.
    Even though this is book five in a series and I highly recommend you read all five, this book would actually do well on its own. It's written so well you could read it alone and not feel lost.
    But the author doesn't spend half the book explaining past books, which sometimes loses loyal readers either.
    It's quite a twist from the old Zodiac books. You won't see alot of Shadow versus Light in this one.
    But you will see the evolution of Joanna, which was a long time coming.
    A masterpiece. As always, Ms. Pettersson leaves you craving more as soon as you finish the book.

    Fans of the series, don't miss UNBOUND- an incredible anthology that explains alot of what happens after book 4!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 13, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    great cliff hanger

    I always recommend reading books in order and this series is a must! I picked the first book up on a whim and I am so glad I did. within the week I bought and read all of them. I had no idea of how petterson was going to on with the series when joannas superhero status was no more. she really surprised me! joanna has gone through so many changes in her life and has been struggling to find out who she is and find a balance within her sisters life and her own.especially since she made life changing sacrifice that caused her to become a mortal (just like her mother). so many people in her past seems to have abandoned her when she needs them the most. in this book she realizes that a couple of these people have always been there and loved her and always will. on the way to her discovering who she is she discovers who the people around her really are. the deceit of her former troop members keeps unraveling. her love and connection to jaden jacks becomes clear and complicated at the same time. her quest to find her mother zoe archer is still very strong. maybe more so now that she is a mortal. her quest to destroy her father the tulpa becomes stronger now that her life is more at stake than it ever has been. the last couple of chapters left me saying "holy #%@$! I need to know more!" I have no idea when the next book will be coming out but I WILL be keeping my eye out for the next sign of the zodiac!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 13, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The Hunter Becomes the Hunted!

    I strongly recommend you read the previous books in the series (The Scent of Shadows The First Sign of the Zodiac, The Taste of Night The Second Sign of the Zodiac, The Touch Of Twilight, The Third Sign of the Zodiac and City of Souls and check-out from the library, the short story "the Harvest" in the Holidays Are Hell anthology) prior to reading this book.

    It's nice to take a break from the usual vamps and demons and to curl up with a book that is one of the most creative series I have ever read! This series just keeps getting better and better. If you have been a Joanna Archer fan but were disappointed in the last couple of installments, it's time to come back; major secrets are revealed! For every secret revealed the plot grows thicker and thicker. In the last installment Joanna was budding into a mature adult, in this installment she is a full grown women; with no signs of the reckless, brattiness that grew so tiresome. The action was plentiful and the plot was explosive! I didn't think it was possible to top the last installment but Vicki pulled it off and this installment left me salivating for more.

    I highly recommend this book to fellow dark urban fantasy readers and can't wait for the next book and also Vicki Pettersson's short story in DARK AND STORMY NIGHTS "Shifting Star" due out 7/20/10.
    I also recommend J.A. Saare - Dead, Undead, or Somewhere in Between for some reason B&N does not carry this title.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    one of my top 5 books in any series

    ok let me start off by saying i am currently involved in many series in unison. some of the series include signs of the zodiac, sookie stackhouse, night huntress, dark days, dark bretheren, the hollows, skinners, dark forgotten, dante valentine, jill kismet, kitty norville, eragon, vampire academy, and evernight are the ones i have the full series up to this point.

    i must say that this is one of my 5 favorite books that i have read in any of the above mentioned series that i have up to this point. about the only other book i put up with it is the latest rachel morgan book in black magic sanction as far as how deep i got pulled into the story. this book pulled me in and no matter what i did i could not put it down. believe me i tried. i kept reading this morning and would get to the end of the chapter say just one more. i did that all the way til 6am this morning when i ran out of book. this book has got to have a nomination for best single book in the fantasy/supernatural book of the year hands down. if you look back through my reviews i rarely even review a book and this is the first book i have talked so highly about.

    i can't wait til book 6 and see if jo can finish her business even without all of the powers she no longer has. awesome book and awesome series and will not be dissappointed in either!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 1, 2010

    An Unlikely Hero

    Of all of your friends, if you had to choose one to gift with super powers who would it be? Who would you think deserves super powers? Who would you trust? Everyone knows a 'Joanna Archer'. She's the friend that has 'issues'. You like hanging out with her but she tends to lean toward the negative. Got a confrontation? She's your girl. Want a fun night of movies and popcorn and painting toes, you know to leave her out.

    We tend to expect our heroes to be true blue, dignified, centered, unflappable, selfless and focused. Bad guys beware! We want them larger than life; better than life. We don't expect them to be 'Joanna Archer'. That's what makes these books so maddeningly fun. Joanna has had a rough time of it starting quite early in her life. Give her a minute and she'll let you know how pissed she is about that, how it has changed her, how she wishes for the person she might have been. Don't we all?

    Then life just keeps on coming. We want our heroes to take it all on the chin, stiff upper lip, rise above, but Joanna Archer is a real person with real pain and is hoping for just one day that doesn't involve fighting for her life. Sure super powers sound great in theory, but really consider what that would mean and I dare you to come through it better than Joanna Archer.

    In this 5th book Joanna faces everything that has made her who she is. She stares into the truth of herself and does not back down. She makes her choices for herself alone. The worlds she travels, the things she sees, the things she is forced to do would unravel you or me. But she is Joanna Archer. She is resolute, stubborn, focused, selfless and against her better judgment, a true blue hero. Bad guys beware.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 29, 2011

    Love it!

    Love this 5th installment from the Zodiac series! Action-packed, well-thought of characters and situations and conflict!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 23, 2010

    Jam-Packed

    A jam-packed novel filled with characters who are strangely similar yet vastly different. Each one has its own powers and side it's loyal to.

    Joanna/Olivia born of both Shadow and Light has been blacklisted and forgotten by both groups. She gave up her powers to save a mortal child; because of that, she lost everything including healing and speed as well as countless other "gifts".

    Joanna herself was on the side of Light, until she became mortal herself in the form of her sister Olivia. She never dreamed of pairing up with anyone from the Shadows, but finds herself in need of protection when many-from both sides-want her gone.for good.

    People from her "superhero" past still haunt her.

    Pettersson's use of adjectives and analogies is very catchy and unique giving her story wings. By far, my favorite analogy is, 'Her mouth was rimmed in crimson, like she'd been smoking blood.' A crystal-clear picture of the woman's lips came to me immediately; as far as I'm concerned being able to do such a thing is a rare talent that Pettersson possesses in spades.

    She also gave an apt description of another character named, Lindy Maguire when she said, '.humans were walking squeaky toys to her.' Pettersson's expertise is profound and delightful to say the least. Her vast talent surpasses any other fantasy novel I've read. Give yourself a gift and pick up this latest installment from Pettersson; you won't be sorry.

    Reviewed by: Terri Ann Armstrong for Suspense Magazine
    www.suspensemagazine.com

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 16, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    I'M IN LOVE

    I'M CRYING, I CAN'T WAIT FOR THE OTHER BOOK. THIS SERIES IS ABSOLUTELY UNIQUE. I LOVE IT! I RECOMMEND TO ALL, READ THE ENTIRE SERIES.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2014

    Kevin

    Yeah baby talk dirty to me baby i groan. (Id make you so sor baby)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2014

    Very good

    Must read all six books. This book had 320 pages. On to the next one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2013

    Great book

    You have to read the series they are all great books. I cant wait to read the next one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2013

    Not worth reading

    I read the entire series...very disapointing. Things are one way in one book then those rules arent in another...i read a lot of fsnasty and this just didnt make sense

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2013

    Julie not Julia!!

    Im a different person))))))) Cries her head in a pilliw.

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  • Posted May 30, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Little Slow This Time

    I didn't really enjoy this book as much as I have others in the series. While it did help Jo's character evolve, it seemed to take forever to do it. I found my self thinking, please stop your whining and nut up already. The book sets up some interesting plot lines, but that's pretty much it, all set up. Overall I'm looking forward to the next book so I can see how the story lines progress, and back to a book where Jo kicks some ass.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 197 Customer Reviews

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