SELECT * FROM uv_BookReviewRollup WHERE recordnum = 1519 The Frost-Haired Vixen, by John Zakour Book Review |

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The FrostHaired Vixen, by John Zakour
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: DAW
Published: 2006
Review Posted: 7/6/2013
Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: Not Rated

The FrostHaired Vixen, by John Zakour

Book Review by Joshua Palmatier

Have you read this book?

The Frost-Haired Vixen is the fourth novel in the Zachary Nixon Johnson private investigator of the future series, although this is the first of the series to be written solo by John Zakour. The previous three books were co-written with Lawrence Ganem. So I wasn't interested to see how, if at all, the book changed in comparison to the others.

And there was a change. This book isn't quite as frantic in the action department as the previous three novels and I found that I liked this. In the other novels, I almost felt like the book was too out-of-control at times, because no matter where the main character went or what he did, SOMETHING tried to kill him. For amusement, that was fine in the first book, but by the third it was getting kind of boring. We don't have that in this novel. Sure, there are places where he gets attacked, but those attacks are as common or as relentless, and they all played a role in the overall plot. Some of the attacks in the previous novels seemed random and arbitrary.

I also feel like the main character is much more solid and settled in this book than in the previous ones. He came across as much more real with his interactions with his girlfriend, Electra, for example (and thank you for not having every interaction with her be her beating him up because she's ticked off about his job). I also felt the relationship with his implanted computer, HARV, was much better as well.

So I liked the character better and the writing, but the plot was only so-so. Much easier to follow, less convoluted, easier to understand (which is all good) . . . but not quite as interesting as some of the previous novels. The main idea here is that in the new world there's a new holiday called The Holiday, in which everyone on the planet gets three gifts. One is one that they wish for and the other two are decided upon by the coordinator of The Holiday, Santana (the Frost-Haired Vixen of the title, we assume), and her covey of elves who live at the North Pole. Zach is called in because someone has killed two of the elves and Santana wants to know who. Of course there's a plot to destroy the world and Zach uncovers and stops it, but I won't tell you what the plot actually is, nor how he stops it. That's the fun of the book after all.

And even with my hesitation over the plot, the book was indeed fun. I laughed more reading this than the latest Janet Evanovich novel I read, and I certainly had a lot more fun with Zach and HARV and crew. I think that John Zakour has certainly shown he can write a good, entertaining novel on his own, and I'm looking forward to reading the next few in this series.
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