The sequel s coming out any minute now For those who think I haven t hinted at enough treats, the CIA has a seemingly limitless budget for apartments and clothes for the hunts weird things department, a paranoid gadgets geek having verbal fights with the hot seer they just teamed up with, a pregnant younger sister about to deliver, an ex Marine dad who s a pain, and a vile, gorgeous, murderous ex wife with claws What s not to love 3.
5 stars As I started reading this book, I felt a tinge of d j vu The main character is a kick ass girl, and assassin The main male character was a vampire I then thought of the Night Huntress series and began comparing the two Well that s not very fair of me The two series are very different, and I like each series on their own So here begins my review.
Jasmine Parks or Jaz is an assassin for the CIA Her claim to fame seems to be the amount of car wreckage she seems to leave behind in each job I liked Jaz she is a character that seems to grow on you I liked her much better halfway through the book when we got info on her background experiences and a certain event in the middle of the book Jaz is assigned to be Vayl s partner and body guard Vayl is a vampire and a wraith The two seem to hit it off very well, but we are not told why Vayl requested Jaz Vayl makes an interesting mentor and it seems like he is really her bodyguard You can sense an attraction between the two characters, but there really isn t a sexual tension It s like a genuine affection between two people I didn t understand how the wraith thing worked his touch freezes, but why didn t he freeze Jaz or is it something he turns on and off I hope to learn about his character in subsequent books I enjoyed Jaz s internal and external dialogue One of my favorite lines in the book was I d like a title Maybe Idiot of the Year Is that one taken Jaz also seems to develop a special power where she is able to leave her body and travel in spirit Bergman, the gadget guru was one of my favorite characters I pictured a young and way paranoid Q from the James Bond movies as my Bergman Bergman s gadgets were really cool The last third of the book was exciting and made up for any slowness in the plot I ll be picking up the next book in the series Hopefully, it will answer some of my outstanding questions.
I m really starting to feel like there are no good first books in a UF series This one certainly doesn t buck that trend It seems like there were interesting ideas, but everything felt so underdeveloped that I didn t care.
Jaz s personality was extremely irritating in the first part of the book She seemed determined to out bitch the bitchiest heroines in UF that came before her I don t mind a tough personality and a little snark, I actually enjoy those things But moderation is key If you run your mouth every two seconds you don t look cool, you look foolish She came off as very confrontational and unpleasant I really didn t understand why anyone wanted to hang around her when she was like that.
Then Jaz suffered a complete personality change Now, I liked that I didn t want to kill her as much, but I really don t understand the reason for it It all stemmed from something that Vayl had to do to her I get that, but why did that change her It was very frustrating Luckily it seemed to baffle Vayl too, so I didn t feel like the odd man out.
I didn t understand Jaz s attraction to Vayl He didn t seem like a bad guy, but he didn t seem very interesting either I think the author shot herself in the foot by having Jaz and Vayl be partners for six months before we were even introduced to them It made Jaz s attraction already established, and we never got to see it develop I don t see why she cares for him and I didn t feel any seething undercurrents to their attraction The author really failed at making me care This was never pronounced than when Jaz gave Vayl a speech about how honored she was about her new role with him I just didn t feel any connection so her feelings about it seemed really off and forced.
Vayl was pretty bland all around I think he has the potential to be interesting, but he needs to loosen up He comes off as really stiff and he feels really old Obviously he s a vampire, but the success of a relationship between an old vampire with a relatively younger human hinges on both of their maturity levels and the vampire s ability to mesh with the expectations of someone his age, or the age his appearance suggests So, Jaz needs to grow up and Vayl needs to become a little young at heart.
I was very confused by Vayl s insistence on her as a partner We later see the role he wants her to play, but how did he know that before they were partners I found it frustrating that Jaz didn t question these things like I wanted her to How can I get answers if she doesn t care enough to inquire There were too many players running around this book I kept confusing the players in the different groups and having to go back to figure out who they were talking about The bad guys also felt kind of over the top Jaz s revelations about her past were pretty interesting, although all I have now are questions I m intrigued to see who this mysterious man is and what exactly she now is The out of body experiences were pretty interesting too I hope we get information on that in the next book.
I plan to read the next book and hopeful my gripes about this book are smoothed out in the next one.
In a genre that contains such heavy hitters as Kelley Armstrong and Kim Harrison, Jennifer Rardin s debut novel is heralded as a fresh new take on the paranormal fantasy or whatever tag it is going by these days spectrum.
Indeed, the idea that the main character is a CIA operative is intriguing, and the vamp supernatural elements of the story are dropped in without any painful info dumps or unnecessary explanations.
In fact, the whole story invites you to cling onto a very bumpy ride and either hold on or slide off Unfortunately for Rardin, I ve decided to quit this ride on the first book and here are my reasons.
The pace is frenetic in fact, too much so There is no breathing space, no time to effectively build the characters, no pause from the constant action to really get a feel for the world we re supposed to believe in here.
Supernatural elements are thrown in without a full consideration of world building, and characters suddenly develop new tricks without any true reasons being given.
The book tries far too hard to be funny and misses on most occasions Oh boy I m in smart ass mode and Vayl wants to break his ex s neck If we don t play this right, they ll be scraping parts of us off the bumpers of these cars for days Jaz is heralded as a sassy, spunky CIA operative However, she is also held up to be a delicate looking, beautiful redhead who, it seems, would be incapable of extricating herself out of the many, many dangerous situations her smart mouth seems determined to place her in She is a loose cannon, and it becomes tiring to see that her only answer to everything is a wiseass comment and the threat of violence I was also disconcerted by the fact she kisses a person she has only just met there was no reason for this given.
I struggled with the, at times, distinctly odd prose and similies For instance In the silence, the banging of our bumper took centre stage like an American Idol loser this just makes very little sense Add to that Vayl made a sound in the back of his throat, a primal distress signal, the kind you might hear from elephants as they mourn over the bones of lost brothers This is a vampire we re talking about a sleek, killing machine and the animal Rardin associates with him is an elephant And which elephants actually do mourn over the bones of lost brothers The writing stank, to be perfectly honest.
Altogether a hugely disappointing read.
Before I started reading Once Bitten, Twice Shy I had read several reviews that claimed that this was a good book, a great book even But in no way was I prepared for how truly wonderful Once Bitten, Twice Shy turned out to be I loved it, plain and simple as that The story kicks off with Jaz and Vayl working together in Miami Vayl is a vampire assassin, one of the CIA s best, and Jaz is his bodyguard assistant assassin Six months previously Vayl had requested that she be assigned to him, since then the two have been dancing a fine line between working partners and something When a routine assassination in Miami turns into a plot to infect the planet with a deadly virus, Vayl and Jaz find themselves in the middle of it With a dirty senator on one side and a crazed fanatic on the other they must discover what links all the players together Unsure of who they can trust or where they can turn Jaz and Vayl turn to each other Along the way we met a cast of supporting characters that are perfect private investigator Cole, who just happens to find Jaz irresistible, to the irradiation of Vayl Liliana, Vayl s vampire ex wife, who we love to hate Cassandra, a psychic who helps Jaz tap into some of her extra ordinary gifts and Bergman, a freelance tech guy for the CIA, and one of Jaz s oldest friends Jaz s inner dialogue was fun, she s a smart ass and has a bit of temper but you just love her all the for it She does have an edge most of the time but underneath all that is a woman who has been to hell and back Jaz loves her family, even if they get on her nerves she loves her country, her job and will do whatever it takes to keep Vayl safe This is a character that you fall in love with from the start Who wouldn t like a smart mouth assassin with a penchant for nice cars Something else I loved about Once Bitten, Twice Shy is that it starts out so simple You think that you already know how the story will go and as you read on you realize that this is something completely new Jennifer Rardin is a name to watch and if you haven t yet picked up her debut then you should I already can t wait to read the second, Another One Bites the Dust.
2018 review I ve read this book before in 2011, but couldn t remember a thing Usually this is a bad sign My brain has the habit of blocking books and movies I hated Still, my review from back then didn t sound ranty, and I even stated being willing to try a second book in the series As I could get the first 5 book in this series for a steal at the charity shop I decided to give this series another chance and reread this book.
And this is an enjoyable read My brain must have decided to also forget reasonably nice reads.
The book starts with Jaz being told she s going to work with Vayl, and then immediately switches to six month later I will confess I wish I got the story of their first six month working together as well Still I really like Jaz and Vayl The tension between them is interesting and promising.
The story itself is suspenseful, but at times a bit chaotic I m not sure if it s the writing or that the plot might be too convoluted A small annoyance was the fact that Jaz as narrator didn t reveal information she had, but kept eluding to it I haven t been the same since THE THING Ok, I m paraphrasing here, but mention like that were many before we finally were informed about what happened in the past.
That aside the story was entertaining enough that I m curious about the next book, and want to see how the relationship between Jaz and Vayl will develop I ll be picking up book two one of these days Below is my review from 2011 I reread it in 2018 and I will confess I remembered nothing of the story Rating from 2011 was 2 stars, new rating 3 stars I heard many good things about this series before starting this book and was thinking I would certainly like it Well.
I really liked Jaz and Vayl and the chemistry between them, I ll give the book that Otherwise it felt very chaotic, both storywise and how it was written I had difficulty keeping my attention on the story because of that I m still not quite sure what the bad guys wanted and why, I will confess Chances of me continuing this series are slim, but I will be fair enough to say I would give book two a try if I came across it in a sale to see if the chaos in this book is because of inexperience or if it s just Rardin s style.
I honestly don t know how this book got so many 5 stars I had passed this book by so many times, and never picked it up because the title just didn t do it for me I read the reviews and I thought to myself, okay, I ll give it a shot It was a waste of time, really I skipped a lot of it because it was just plain boring and rushed The character development sucked butt I wanted to like Vayl, and I believe that I would have, if his character was developed I didn t want his whole 300 years of life, but it would have been a great thing to add some details to his background, before dumping his late wife into the story His attraction to Jaz was out of the blue Jasmines attraction to Cole, was weird and again, out of the blue he kisses her while hiding in the ladies room because he wants to be like Bond, and she kisses him back forhell I dont know why Jaz and Vayl s relationship is never actually announced How she became a Sensitive was kind of described but not really well The magic or whatever that she received after Vayl feed from her wasn t really explained to the reader It gave no description of why she was getting magic, what actually passed between them during that time cause she blacks out The black outs themselves I don t understand She constantly repeats hereself the job, the job, the job annoying really There were so many analogies in the book, that I started skipping a lot The plot was rushed and none too exciting, in my opinion Her relationship with her brother in pretty much described as non existent, but he all of a sudden forgives her and understands how hard she had it in the past, when she warns him about a bomb I honestly have so many complaints.
I quit reading read this book at page 134 It was just too annoying and rushed to me I was tired of the lame bad guys taking over the world bit, the late wife wanting some ring from Jaz, Jaz smart mouth which is not really a bad thing but it gets old pretty fast I believe it could have been a good book, if it wasn t so rushed and gave a little background info on the characters.
I M Jaz Parks My Boss Is Vayl, Born In Romania In Died There Too, At The Hand Of His Vampire Wife, Liliana But That S Ancient History For The Moment Vayl Works For The CIA Doing What He Does Best Assassination And I Help You Could Say I M An Assistant Assassin But Then I D Have To Kick Your AssVayl And I Have To Take Out A Miami Plastic Surgeon With Ties To Terrorism But The Assignment Gets Complicated When It Turns Out He S In Cahoots With A Supernatural Nasty Powerful Enough To Bring America To Her Knees