Book Review: The Scent of Shadows by Vikki Pettersson


“If they sucked in a deep breath off the same wind, fresh from her flesh, they might perceive another emotion. One belied by that delicate body. A sentiment as strong as any elemental fury. And one that cast all shadow into light.”
The Scent of Shadows, Vikki Pettersson

The shadows and light of people’s characters cast a scent. The putrid, foul rotting smell’s that emanate from the shadows, and the distinctive aromas from the light inside of us. The protagonist of the story, Joanna Archer has to cope with the shadow and light inside of her. The shadow from her father and the light from her mother are both a part of who she is and the choices she makes.

The scent of shadows, which is Vikki Pettersson’s debut novel and the first of a trilogy, has some interesting ideas with a very strong beginning. Some of the details in the story are well written but there is also a lot of sloppy, overwritten description that gives this book a commercial feel.

Vikki creates a world showing the good and bad side of a city like Las Vegas, the development of the shadow and light of characters and bravely brings up story arks of rape and childhood neglect. But then she took the story to a world of superheroes, of an alternate reality built on the ridiculous notion of astronomy being important to your birth and life. If Vikki had kept the story in the gritty reality of the world she had begun to develop in the lights of Las Vegas the book may have been far better.

The ending was very gripping. Joanna’s battered body is magically and instantaneously healed by the shadow as she walks out the door at the end of a long corridor. How many times have I been at the door myself, my body battered and exhausted from the walk down that long corridor, and yet as you open the door your mind is more alert and stronger from the journey.

“I do dream, the scent would tell them. I dream in fierce colour. And the hue is always red.”
The Scent of Shadows, Vikki Pettersson

 Written By Amanda FitzRoy

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