My heart sank when I read the first few pages of Deadtown. I don't like dream scenes, not even demon infested ones. Fortunately, the action quickly moves to the "real" world--a paranormally enriched Boston--and things become interesting.
The heroine, Vicky, is a neat balance between tough competence and vulnerability. There is romantic tension, political tension and plain "save the day" tension.
Some of the characters are unashamed stereotypes. As I've mentioned in previous posts, I like stereotypes. I think we all use them when we tell ourselves the history of our day. It's when someone steps out of the stereotype we've assigned them that we have the shock of truly encountering that person. In Deadtown, the person who reaches through their stereotype is Gwen, Vicky's sister. In fact, I found the relationship between the sisters the strongest in the book.
Nancy Holzner has created an urban fantasy universe that works. It's rules are consistent. The characters "real". There is potential for conflict at every turn. Perhaps best of all, Vicky's point of view is rendered without resorting to wisecracks or, at the opposite end of the spectrum, angst.