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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Book Review: Hellhound (Deadtown #5) by Nancy Holzner

Hellhound (Deadtown #5) 
by Nancy Holzner
They call it Deadtown: the city’s quarantined section for its inhuman and undead residents. Most humans stay far from its borders—but Victory Vaughn, Boston’s only professional demon slayer, isn’t exactly human…

Boston’s zombies have suddenly become inexplicably violent—horror movie-style—resulting in a catastrophic all-out battle against humans. More troubling to Vicky is that she’s had dreams and visions of herself fighting alongside the demons. At least, she hopes they’re just visions—otherwise, that puts her on the front lines of the wrong side of the war.

Vicky’s not surprised to discover that Pryce, her demi-demon cousin and loathed adversary, is behind the outbreak of the zombie plague, having formed an unholy pact with the Old Ones. Now, as the violence escalates and alliances shift, Vicky knows she’s the only one who can stop the plague. Unless the pack of hellhounds on her trail finds her first.

This is book #5 in a fabulous urban fantasy series. Jumping in now probably isn’t the best thing to do. Holzner does a great job of recapping the last book for those of us who have waited a year for this one, but there is also some basic series arc and world building information given that will help those rebels who don’t care when they jump into a series. I won’t give any spoilers for this book, but I might talk about things that happened in the past 4 so if you don’t want the series spoiled grab the one you want to start with and go read while the rest of us talk.

Kane *sigh* can you be any more perfect? I think not! The man is flawless. He proves to Vicky how much he loves her over and over. Even when she does stupid things like keep secrets to protect him. She is still full of self-doubt and makes some real big mistakes in Hellhound, but by the end she is finally getting it. Kane and those close to her have her back and she can trust them.

The night hag is holding one hell of a grudge against Vicky and she plans on using Kane for payback. As if that wasn’t enough on her plate her aunt shows up and drops a bomb about Vicky’s destiny. The cheeky Eidolon demon, Butterfly, that lives in her gut and looks like a giant maggot, wants to be friends. Can demons be “good”? Butterfly is opening up a whole new dilemma for Vicky. Her dad is a falcon and the Hellion Difethwr is back helping her cousin Pryce and the old ones try to bring demons into the human realm and burn our playhouse down! They have also been experimenting on the zombies of Deadtown. And then there is a goddess who has her sights set on Vicky.

The next book is going to be interesting. The story has taken a new turn and Vicky must decide between the demon she knows and the goddess she doesn’t. Vicky’s life has changed forever and the next book will show us the consequences of her choices.

Nice solid edition to the series to transition into a new series arc. If you are looking for a rock solid urban fantasy with skillful world building and a nice mix of drama and humor then give this one a try.

Some of my favorite quotes:

“Still, it would be dark soon, the time when demons are free to enter in the human plane, and you never know when one might materialize in your face, waving its claws and spewing its sulfur-and-brimstone halitosis.”

“If you’ve ever gotten a dirty look from a zombie, chances are it took…oh, about a week before the possibility of a good night’s sleep returned.”

“It was impossible to read The Book of Utter Darkness like a normal book. For one thing, it was written in the language of Hell--a language forbidden to anyone outside the infernal regions. Google translate doesn’t do Hellish to English.”

“That mark raged with fire that raced up my arm. It ignited my heart, my brain. There would be death—and I would bring it.”

Deadtown (book #1) review
Darklands (book #4) review

4.5 “rubbery neon pink” Sheep


About the Author:
Nancy Holzner grew up in western Massachusetts with her nose stuck in a book. This meant that she tended to walk into things, wore glasses before she was out of elementary school, and forced her parents to institute a “no reading at the dinner table” rule. It was probably inevitable that she majored in English in college and then, because there were still a lot of books she wanted to read, continued her studies long enough to earn a masters degree and a PhD.

She began her career as a medievalist, then jumped off the tenure track to try some other things. Besides teaching English and philosophy, she’s worked as a technical writer, freelance editor and instructional designer, college admissions counselor, and corporate trainer. Most of her nonfiction books are published under the name Nancy Conner.


  1. I can see why I liked those quotes. Great review.

  2. I lurve lurve lurve this series! Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us - great review :)

  3. I recently bought some of this series, and when I won one book, Nancy send me two. I sure hope to read them soon, but, well, zombies are not my favourite creature ...