Rardin invented a great deal of vampire mythology, but she saw fit to keep all the traditional aspects as well. One can fend a vampire off with a cross, and holy water will cause even the most deadly vampire to back off. And see all those tiny stakes in an ammo belt on the cover girl's hip? Well, she's got a nifty gun to go with them. Poof. Another vampire up in smoke. And she's got lots more gadgets, too, several that I can readily envision on the silver screen with computer generated imagery.
But the vampires are not all bad guys. Vayl--short for Vasil--is one of the good guys, even though he's an assassin. Jaz is his assistant. Their assignment is to take out a plastic surgeon who specializes in reconstructing the faces of terrorists. Turns out this plastic surgeon has connections. And compared to his bosses, he's strictly small-time.
The pace is quick; the dialogue is snappy and the action is high. And just when you think you know where the plot is going, it takes a twist that you never would expect. The last battle has a lot of great how-can-they-possibly-win moments. However, one complaint I have is that except for a brief aside, the story ended rather too abruptly after the final battle. I wanted more! Jaz and Vayl were supposed to discuss all this stuff on the trip home! Now I have to read the next book to find out what they discussed.
Oh, yeah. Right. That's the whole idea.
Something unique--after the ending of the novel, there's a brief interview between Jennifer Rardin and her character, Jaz Parks. And it leads right into an excerpt from the second book, Another One Bites the Dust. Very clever. I wonder if this keeps up in the subsequent books.
In case you haven't caught on by now, this novel's a lot of fun. It has a lot of laugh-out-loud moments, as well as some bittersweet moments. The vampire-human sex scene that I feared never occurred (thank God). I'd love to see it come out in mass-market paperback as a boxed set.
My interview with Jennifer
My original debut showcase
Review part one: Opening Chapters
Review part two: Piling on the Problems