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

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

by Vicki Pettersson

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061456770
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 05/25/2010
Series: Signs of the Zodiac Series , #5
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 1,270,373
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.30(d)

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).


Las Vegas, Nevada

Place of Birth:

Las Vegas, Nevada


B.A. in English, University of Las Vegas, 1994

What People are Saying About This

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.”

Customer Reviews

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Cheat the Grave (Signs of the Zodiac Series #5) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 195 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
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
sukie More than 1 year ago
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!
Raven_Wrath More than 1 year ago
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!
dreamworld1134 More than 1 year ago
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!
JustinaJC More than 1 year ago
kitkat3ny More than 1 year ago
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.
DarkStarPoet More than 1 year ago
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!
lvlocalgirlSM More than 1 year ago
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.
bibliophileKD More than 1 year ago
Love this 5th installment from the Zodiac series! Action-packed, well-thought of characters and situations and conflict!
Suspensemag More than 1 year ago
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
krau0098 on LibraryThing 3 months ago
After the last book in this series "City of Souls" we were all wondering where Pettersson was going to take the story of her power-stripped heroine. Well in this book she takes us in a new direction; it was pretty well done and made for a good addition to the series.Joanna Archer gave up all of her superpowers to save a child and her home city of Las Vegas. She's been abandoned by the Agents of Light and the only ones who have stood beside her are her (Olivia's) best friend Cher and Cher's mother. Now Cher's mother is getting married to an Indian Price and Olivia/Joanna Archer has a huge event to plan. Unfortunately Joanna/Olivia is being chased by an assassin from Midheaven not to mention the Tulpa may have figured out her identity as well. Joanna needs help if she is going to survive as a mere mortal. Enter the Grey Agents; neither Light nor Dark, they are the conglomeration of rogue agents. They may be just what Joanna needs if she is going to stay alive and get Cher's mother safely through her wedding.This was a pretty good installment in this series. Joanna's life as Olivia take center space for the first half of the book. Now the heir to the Archer businesses Joanna must attend meetings, etc, while still keeping up Olivia's social life. Given this I found the beginning of the book to drag a little bit. Joanna spends a lot of time talking about how alone she is and how no one will help her; she has a point, but I kind of felt that we could have moved through this part a bit faster. Joanna does seem to have matured some in this book, so that was good to see. Some of the new characters introduced with the Grey Agents are interesting and should add some fun to the book.Once Joanna meets up with the Grey Agents things pick up pace a lot. There are numerous fight scenes and we begin to discern the direction that Pettersson is planning to take the story in future novels. There are a couple of wonderful surprises in the second half of the story. Joanna takes a few trips to Midheaven and even Hunter pops into the story a bit more.Overall I thought the book started slow but really picked up in the second half and ended up being an enjoyable read. Definitely a transition book in this series but a good one. I enjoyed it in the end. Now I am eager to read what happens next.
flemmily on LibraryThing 3 months ago
I found this series a little weak at the beginning, but it's becoming stronger. It's a typical paranormal book which borrows a lot from comic books/superhero tradition. Joanna is full of angst and doubt in this installment, but her emotions never quite fall into the pit-trap of whiny-ness which ensnares so many other paranormal heroines. I particularly liked the ending, lots of action.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Must read all six books. This book had 320 pages. On to the next one.
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You have to read the series they are all great books. I cant wait to read the next one.
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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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