by Nancy Holzner

Ace, $7.99, 340 pages

Vicky Vaughn’s life has returned to normal following her defeat of a demon named The Destroyer.  Well normal for her anyway, since Vicky is a half-human demon exterminator in the zombie-filled city of Boston.  When zombies start dying mysteriously, Vicky realizes that the link between the victims is her – and the demon she thought she sent back to hell. Working against the clock, Vicky must find a way to stop the monster behind the murders before the whole human race is annihilated.

Hellforged is the second novel in an outstanding new series by author Nancy Holzner.  She has created a layered, nuanced fantasy world and ably shows the challenges of people (and zombies, vampires and werewolves) finding a common law under which they can all live.  On top of that, she has created wonderful characters throughout, from Vicky herself to her vampire roommate, Juliet Capulet (yes, that Juliet). Vicky is a terrific new heroine – strong and smart yet very caring and compassionate. The plot is fast-paced and interesting and nicely builds tension throughout. This book would be enjoyed by fans of the fantasy genre.

Reviewed by Barbara Cothern