Hellforged by Nancy Holzner

(Deadtown, #2)

A demon is stalking Vicky's dreams-just as several of Deadtown's zombies are viciously attacked and become really dead. And when Vicky realizes she is the only connection between the victims, she suspects that the demon is somehow working through her dreams to become Deadtown's living nightmare.

"And believe me, I know creepy."

The world building and characters in the first book, Deadtown, already drew me in. The second isn't quite as good, but it's still a fun continuation of the story-line.

Victoria Vaughn works mainly in dreams, hired to rid people of literal demons that haunt them at night, sucking out their energy or tormenting them. There are different forms - banshees, guilt demons, and worse. Vicky has seen the worst in her past with a demon that killed her father, but the fun times with that aren't over since he has returned and she had new battles to fight.

Besides Vicky being appealing by having such a unique job, there's also the fact that she's a unique form of shapeshifter - she can change into any form she wants but doesn't retain the instincts of that animal, but she can only do it three times per month then her power is used up.

Deadtown is the reservation where all the out and about supernatural creatures live - zombies were came back when infected with the virus but retained their human sense of self and brain; werewolves and other weres; Vicky as the only shapeshifter; vampires who are out and about and have to follow laws like everyone else. Blended with them are humans with a human law enforcement agency, but of course there is a paranormal task force in hand as well.

The city is so appealing that perhaps that's why this one isn't quite as enjoyable - as Vicky leaves the town, she leaves behind the magic of those creatures and their intrigue. Visiting her aunt, she does learn more about the history and mythology of her race, properly called Cerddorion. In Wales Vicky meets a new enemy that will be long-running, an intriguing villain who ups the stakes of any evil she's seen in her life up till now.

I know the aunt is supposed to be a groovy character, and in a way she is, but she got on my nerves sometimes, especially since she overdoes saying "Child" in dialogue. Way too much to where it's unrealistic in the dialogue department.

Overall it was an entertaining read of a series that already proved itself to be unique, detailed, fun, and gritty at the same time. Worth a read.