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Authors: Nancy Holzner

Tags: #Fantasy, #General, #Fiction


BOOK: Darklands
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“A terrific thriller in which Vaughn’s personal and professional lives deftly intertwine…
is a terrific, taut, thought-provoking thriller.”

Genre Go Round Reviews

“The suspense never flags, resulting in rapid page-turning, and the author skillfully weaves together the multiple story threads into a satisfying whole.”

Bitten by Books

“Fans of Holzner’s other Deadtown novels will enjoy this solid yarn.”

Publishers Weekly

is the best Deadtown novel yet. Vicky’s life and trials have been fascinating to date, but in this newest book, author Nancy Holzner takes it to a new level.”

Romance Reviews Today

“The latest and in my opinion the greatest Deadtown novel…If you haven’t started this series, then you are missing out on one of the most original urban fantasy settings to date.”

Bite Club

“Make sure you reserve a place for Holzner’s novels on your bookshelf.”

RT Book Reviews


was good, but
is even better…The writing is airtight; her characters have been honed to an edge. There is comedy, drama, romance, and a whole lot of ass kicking.
is the total package.”

Fantasy Literature

“The thrills are nonstop in Holzner’s latest Deadtown novel as the action races from continent to continent and into the reaches of Hell itself. Even better than the first book; this series is becoming highly addictive!”

RT Book Reviews

“Gripping the reader from its highly entertaining opening scene, the terrific
, the second installment in the Deadtown series, maintains that hold until the very end…Holzner’s expertise as a mystery author shines brightly throughout the narrative as she flawlessly connects threads of both the tale told in
and the overall story arc of the Deadtown series. This fabulous novel skillfully combines several distinct elements into a highly satisfying whole: action, adventure, suspense, Welsh mythology, humor, and pitch-perfect characters that live and breathe on the page…This excellent series belongs in the collections of all urban fantasy fans.”

Bitten by Books

“The demons Vicky chases in
are bigger, badder, and so much more fun. I love the unexpected twists and turns…I cannot wait to see what is in store for my new favorite demon hunter!”

Intense Whisper…

“The second Deadtown novel is jam-packed with action. A quick and satisfying read,
will have readers on the edge of their seats for more. Vicky is a very likable and headstrong lead…A fun yet serious novel; fans of Laurell K. Hamilton, Rachel Caine, Kim Harrison, and Karen Chance are likely to enjoy this series.”

Night Owl Reviews

“Vicky is the kind of kick-butt heroine fantasy lovers can get behind—rough and tough, afraid to jump into the fight but too stubborn to stay out of it…Aided by a whole cast of interesting characters, including her aunt, Mab, who is a perfect mix of hard taskmaster and sweet and comforting aunt, Vicky and crew are ones you can’t help but root for in the battle of good versus evil…
is a novel lovers of fantasy, urban fantasy, and paranormal fiction in general won’t want to miss.”

Romance Reviews Today


“Fresh and funny, with a great new take on zombies.”

—Karen Chance,
New York Times
bestselling author of
Hunt the Moon

“Holzner’s prose combined with a spunky protagonist with a dark side, woven together with fast-paced action, emotional reveals, and engaging plot twists, makes
a must-read. I’m looking forward to more adventures in Deadtown with Vicky Vaughn—this heroine totally kicks butt!”

—Phaedra Weldon, author of

“Fast, fun, and feisty, Holzner’s
is chock-full of supernatural action, danger, and creatures who do more than go bump in the night.”

—Devon Monk, author of
Tin Swift

“Zombies, demons, and a sassy slayer.
sparks with an incredibly realized world and a cast of vivid characters. I can’t wait for the next book!”

—Chris Marie Green, author of
Deep in the Woods

“Full of dangerous magic and populated with characters so realistic they almost jump off the page. I loved this book. Nancy Holzner is a master of characterization, and I’ll be buying her next book the moment it hits the shelf.”

—Ilona Andrews,
New York Times
bestselling author of
Gunmetal Magic

“A perfect blend of mystery, fantasy, humor, and even modernday social issues. It’s Boston as you’ve never seen it…where the shapes shift, the zombies gnaw, and the blood flows warm through the oh-so-delicious veins of the area known as Deadtown. Victory Vaughn gives evil a run for its money.”

—Anton Strout, author of
Dead Waters

“Welcome to Holzner’s fascinating world, where a plague has turned much of the Boston population into zombies. Part demon-busting tale, part political thriller, Holzner’s take on urban fantasy is exciting and fresh. Here’s to the future adventures of Vicky Vaughn.”

RT Book Reviews

“Holzner applies humor with a deft hand, enhancing the reading experience of this superb addition to the urban fantasy genre. This reviewer will be first in line for
’s sequel.”

Bitten by Books

Ace Books by Nancy Holzner









Published by the Penguin Group

Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA

Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.) • Penguin Books Ltd., 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England • Penguin Group Ireland, 25 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd.) • Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty. Ltd.) • Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd., 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi—110 017, India • Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, Auckland 0632, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd.) • Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty.) Ltd., 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa

Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.


An Ace Book / published by arrangement with the author


Ace mass-market edition / August 2012

Copyright © 2012 by Nancy Holzner.

Cover art by Don Sipley.

All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.

For information, address: The Berkley Publishing Group,

a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,

375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.

ISBN: 978-1-101-58117-9


Ace Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group,

a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,

375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.

ACE and the “A” design are trademarks of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.


10   9   8   7   6   5   4   3   2   1

If you purchased this book without a cover, you should be aware that this book is stolen property. It was reported as “unsold and destroyed” to the publisher, and neither the author nor the publisher has received any payment for this “stripped book.”



To my friend Kathy Giacoletto and her daughter,
the one-and-only Maria


My biggest thanks go to everyone who reads this series. Thank you so much for spending time in Vicky’s world. I hope you’re enjoying the ride!

Thanks, as always, to Cam Dufty for pulling my manuscript from the slush pile and giving me a chance. As long as Vicky keeps having adventures, I’ll keep saying thank you.

My editor, Kat Sherbo, read the manuscript with conscientious care and attention. Kat has a keen sense of story and asks all the right questions. Her guidance greatly improved this book.

Many thanks to the professionals who helped to produce this book, including my agent, Gina Panettieri; cover artist Don Sipley; publicist Brady McReynolds; cover designer Edwin Tse; text designer Tiffany Estreicher; production editor Michelle Kasper; assistant production editor Andromeda Macri; copy editor Jessica McDonnell; and proofreader Dan Kaufman.

Writer friends are the best. Among the writers whose company I’ve enjoyed as I worked on this book are Jeanne Mackin (writers’ happy hour was the greatest idea ever!), Nicola Morris (thanks for sharing my books), P. M. Carlson, Janis Kelly, Chris Moriarty, K. A. Laity (and her various alter egos), Deborah Blake, Keith Pyeatt, Christina Henry, Sean Cummings, Erin
Kellison, Wayne Simmons, Ann Rought, Emily Johnson, and Linda Welch.

Book bloggers work tirelessly to share their love of books with readers. Bloggers to whom I’m especially grateful include Roxanne Rhoads, Amber Chalmers, Carol Malcolm, Robin Kae, Larissa Benoliel, Pam (SpazP), Jen (Twimom), Sara M., and Sharon Stogner. You all rock!

I’ve got some wonderful friends, both online and off, and I want to express my appreciation to them. So thanks to Michelle Brandwein, Sydney Chase (who never fails to help me think more positively), Margaret Strother, Kathy Giacoletto, Carlos Thomas, Kaysi Peister (artist extraordinaire and mom to the adorable Cricket), Scott DeLugan, Jane Rogers, and Beq Vyper.

My family is wonderfully supportive and deserves mention: my daughter (and biggest cheerleader), Tamsen Conner; my parents, Harold and Lois Brown; my sisters, Laurel Nolet and Paula Kennedy (along with their terrific husbands); my nieces, Jessi Meagher (and family) and Patricia Kennedy; my nephew, Nate Nolet, and his wife, Julie. Also, my mother-in-law, who, I know, wishes I’d write a more peaceful and consensus-seeking heroine—maybe for the next series, Anne!

Finally, humongous thanks to my husband, Steven Holzner. You’ve helped my dreams come true in so many ways. Thank you for your unfailing love and support.

Table of Contents
































BOOK: Darklands
7.78Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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