Dead Is a Battlefield
- VOYA Code: 4Q4P J
- Lexile Level: HL580L
- Reading level: Ages 12 and up
- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Graphia; Original edition (March 6, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0547607342
Jessica Walsh lives next door to the Giordano family and is starting her freshman year at Nightshade High. After the harrowing and traumatic graduation ceremony of her older brother and Daisy Giordano the previous year, Jess is looking forward to a nice, quiet year with as little drama as high school can offer. However Nightshade is not known for being normal or quiet, and it is not long before something supernatural is afoot. It begins with a strange, swirling tatoo that appears on Jessica’s arm during the aforementioned graduation ceremony nightmare. What follows is a new identity as a Virago or woman warrior complicated by the addition of a sexy new lead singer for Jessica’s favorite band who is giving her some seriously mixed up signals. When a new shop opens and many of Jessica’s friends seem mesmerized by the owner’s son, Jessica finds herself deep in the supernatural business.
I was concerned about the transition from Daisy to a new protagonist, but Perez handles this with surprising finesse and the effect is nearly flawless. The Giordanos and other Nightshade favorites still pop in and out of the narrative from time to time, but the point of view has clearly switched to Jessica and her friends. Fortunately, Jessica is a completely realized character and the story continues to be fresh, fun, and exciting. Again, music plays a huge role in the story, in part due to Jessica’s new crush. Further, however, Jessica has a growing relationship with everyone’s favorite snarky waitress Flo, and this allows readers a closer view into the lives of several of the best long-time side characters. Perez continues to deliver a quality product and even though I was relunctant to accept a new main character, Jessica is definitely a winner.