Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Biting the Bullet-Jennifer Rardin

Biting the Bullet
Jennifer Rardin
Orbit, Feb 2008, $12.99
ISBN: 9780316020589

The CIA assigns its top operative Vayl the vampire and his crew including Jaz Parks to team up with a special ops unit headed by Jaz’s twin brother Dave to stop deadly vampiric necromancer the Wizard. The squad will need to stealthy penetrate Iran where the adversary hides while performing seditious terrorist acts against the United States and its allies.

The straightforward but difficult case proves much more complex because the fundamentalist Reavers hunt Jaz, as she was recently demonized. Worse someone on their joint team is giving away battle plans to the enemy; allowing the Wizard to constantly be ahead of them. Jaz's spirit guide Raoul is acting more like a blithering idiotic Oracle while Vayl seems uninterested in their mission as he focuses on what appears to his top aid and bodyguard. Unless something dramatic or miraculous occurs like exposing the enemy from within, Jaz knows their mission will fail and they easily could be permanently dead.

In her third CIA chick lit urban fantasy (see ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST and ONCE BITTEN, TWICE SHY) Jaz Parks is at her cheeky amusing yet exhilarating best. The story line told from her mocking viewpoint is fast-paced as she manages to make the paranormal elements and species seem genuine and the mission essential and dangerous. Fans will appreciate her latest tale as she argues with her spirit guide to get with the program, battles with her superior to stay focused, and debates with her brother who’s in charge. About the only thing she is not arguing is who’s on first because she knows that’s her as she struggles with completing the mission and staying alive.

Harriet Klausner