I'm Jaz Parks. CIA assassin. Black belt. Belly dancer at the Corpus Christi Winter Festival. The last is cover for my latest mission: retrieve a vital piece of biotechnology by killing the maniac who stole it. The thief is not your run-of-the-mill nut job, either. He's Chien-Lung, an obsessive vamp who's invulnerable while wearing his armor-which is constantly.
Then there are the reavers, ancient fiends who murder innocents and eat their souls. Only I can sense them. So it's not long before they'll want me dead, dead, dead.
And did I mention the nightmares? They're not your garden-variety sit-up-and-screamers. These suckers may actually kill me before the reavers do.
Title: Another One Bites the Dust
Author: Jennifer Rardin
Series: Jaz Parks, Book 2
Publisher: Orbit Books
Genre: Contemporary Paranormal-Fantasy
Besides being a really good Queen song, Another One Bites the Dust is Jennifer Rardin’s second book in her Jaz Parks series. It’s a modern day paranormal story featuring a heroine with a Buffy/ Bond personality who, along with her rag-tag little team (a psychic, a technological genius, a PI, and of course Vayl the vampire) take on all sorts of bad guys.
I love the world and background stories Rardin has made for her characters. It makes them all so much more relatable, especially Jaz with her tough, sassy talk (although she can back it up!) but she’s still a vulnerable person who really depends on her friends.
I also really like how her vampires are portrayed. Most writers take the vampire persona (drinks blood only, can’t stand sunlight, extreme strength, sometimes evil, hates garlic, crosses, etc.) and either slightly tweaks it or removes only a few things but they always drink blood and only blood. Not this author! Of course her vamps drink blood but they also can eat real food and even have somewhat of a soul (like Jaz’s friend and boss, Vayl). However they are sensitive to sunlight but don’t really have to sleep in coffins (Vayl sleeps in a tent that sets up on top of the bed).
Yet the things I like the most about the entire Jaz Parks series is the humor in the midst of the action-packed plot. I mean, here is a group of people that could easily be wore thin in this novel what with all the soul and blood-sucking bad guys running around but they still can believably get along. Not an easy feat in an RV, no matter the size!
Some of my favorite parts took place while they were staying in said RV. Like the doormat zapper scene (I’d love to get one of those!) and this part:
I admit we nearly got caught, because we were giggling like maniacs throughout the whole exercise. (Okay, Vayl wasn’t even smiling at first. But once we convinced him we had the higher moral ground, even if it was only by an inch, he at least showed occasional signs of fang). But it was good for us, Cole especially, to imagine the faces of the others-are-not-our-brothers protesters when they discovered Lung’s and Pengfei’s coffins hooked to the bumper of their hate-crimes van in the morning with JUST BURIED spray painted in big white letters across the lids. We made it back to the RV with just enough time for Vayl to stagger to the bedroom, pop up his tent, and crawl inside. Such a silly exercise. But it had helped Cole shed his shell and rediscover his hilarious old soul.
There isn’t too much information on Jennifer Rardin and her books because she’s still a fairly new author but this is a fun interview with the author posted on a blog and the person who originally got me interested in this series, Chelle has a great review available. Don’t forget to visit the author herself's website either! She updates almost daily and she has an excerpt from Jaz’s “Top Secret File” which explains more about her background.
The Jaz Parks Series:
- Once Bitten, Twice Shy
- Another One Bites the Dust
- Biting the Bullet
- Bitten to Death (8/08)
- One More Bite (3/09)