The Scent of Shadows - Vicki Pettersson
This is another of those occasions where bookswapping has saved me from wasting my money on a book Amazon recommended to me but which is nothing like the kind of thing I want to be reading...

The basic premise of The Scent of Shadows is that it's about Joanna, daughter of a Las Vegas billionaire, who somehow survived a vicious attack when she was a teenager and now discovers a much darker side to reality than she had ever thought existed. She's dedicated the last few years to becoming a fighter rather than a victim, mastering martial arts and honing her weapons skills.

Now Joanna finds out that she is meant to be part of an organisation that fights evil (yes, really!) where all the signs of the zodiac have their dark and light (or should that be Dark and Light, given the nature of randomly occuring capital letters to imply importance?) personifications. Where it starts to get dumb is when Joanna is attacked and her sister is killed, only for Joanna to wake up and discover the organisation has used plastic surgery to turn her into her sister. Who is, of course, a busty blonde that nobody would expect to be kicking arse when she could be maxing out her credit cards.

The main problems I had with The Scent of Shadows were that the worldbuilding was so sledgehammered home that we were treated to regular chunks of exposition masquerading as plot, and then the whole MarySue nature of Joanna herself. Clearly all she needed to be the perfect warrior was bigger boobs and a bottle of peroxide, as suddenly she's the dogs bollocks. I gave up about two thirds of the way through, tired also of the wangst over Joanna and her former boyfriend who she got to shag once before she had to lie to him about who she really was. *yawn* The series continues in The Taste of Night, but there's plenty, much better written urban fantasy out there and that's what I'll be reading instead!