Another One Bites The Dust
Published 2007 318 pages
Summary (from back cover)
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 armour – 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 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.
Another One Bites The Dust is the second novel in this series by Jennifer Rardin following on shortly after where Once Bitten, Twice Shy left off. It continues the adventures of CIA assassin Jaz Parks and her vampire boss Vayl, only this time they have help in the form of Cole (sensitive and ex-PI) Bergman (the tech wizard) and Cassandra (a 1000 year old psychic seer.) All these characters were first introduced in Once Bitten, Twice Shy but now they are part of Jaz and Vayl’s hit team.
Ever since letting Vayl snack on her blood (in Once Bitten, Twice Shy) Jaz has gained greater sensitivity to the supernatural and this skill becomes vital in Another One Bites The Dust, where it allows her to identify and kill soul stealing reavers. The reavers are really just a distraction for her though, as her mission is to kill an evil, and invulnerable, Chinese vampire before he can start World War Three. As ever the uber-evil vampire Edward Samos a.k.a The Raptor is standing in the shadows pulling all the strings and dreaming of world domination.
Another One Bites The Dust is fantastically good fun to read. It’s a mixture of James Bond movies - with its arch-evil villains and high-tech spy gadgets - seamlessly combined with the most popular elements of urban fantasy novels – such as a strong female lead character and a wide variety of supernatural beasties for her to befriend or kill as circumstance requires.
Jaz’s relationship with Vayl continues to slowly develop in Another One Bites The Dust and she finds out a few more details about his past and a little about what it means to be his avhar. The romantic tension between the two characters adds another interesting dimension to the story but it doesn’t dominate plotline.
This book is derivative, upon reading it is clear to see the influence that Bond movies, Buffy, Kim Harrison’s Rachel Morgan, Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake (before she became sex-crazed!) and maybe even Janet Evanovitch’s Stephanie Plum have had on the author - but this is not to the detriment of the novel. All of the elements and influences have been shaken up and mixed together by the author to create something new.
Fast-paced, exciting and entertaining Another One Bites The Dust is recommended reading. It has mystery, spies, mad villains, romance, humour and vampires. Really, what’s not to like?
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