Bitten To Death
Published 2008 300 pages
Summary (from the book jacket)
“Warped as we are, we kinda love it when our odds dip. Because that’s when the real fun begins.”
My latest mission has taken me to the ancient Greek city of Patras; but instead of soaking up its splendour, I’m here to infiltrate a vampire Trust. Only two vamps have ever escaped one of these tightly bound vampire communities and lived to tell the tale: Edward ‘The Rapor’ Samos, the most reviled criminal mastermind in recent memory, and Vayl, my boss.
The Raptor is trying to over Vayl’s former Trust. Unfortunately their new leader has her own plans.
This job will be the death of me…
Bitten To Death is the fourth novel in Jennifer Rardin’s Jaz Parks urban fantasy series. Each novel covers one of Jaz’s missions for the CIA and as a result each book is a stand alone story. Although the series does have an over all story arc, so while readers don’t have to read the books in strict order the series arc may make more sense to those that do.
Bitten To Death sees Jaz, along with her Special Ops commander brother Dave and her vampire assassin boss Vayl, setting up an operation that if its successful will end with the death of arch-villain Edward Samos. Readers already familiar with the Jaz Parks series will know that killing Edward Samos has been on Jaz’s to-do list in several previous novels, so his assassination may well not go as smoothly as she might hope for.
The other thing fans of this series will notice is that half of the usual characters (Cole, Bergman and Cassandra) are missing from the team. If anything their absence helps the story flow along faster since the amount of arguing and banter between team members has been cut in half. Jaz still has a supply of Bergman’s secret spy gizmos with her though, so none of the mad over-the-top James Bond style gadgetry has been lost from the plot.
While assassinating Edward Samos may be Jaz’s ultimate goal the majority of the story concerns Vayl and the vampire Trust that he left behind when he went to America to work for the CIA. In order to set up the hit on Samos, Jaz and Vayl must infiltrate the Trust, yet the Trust has a strange power of its own and Vayl soon falls under its spell and into the clutches of Disa, his vampire fledgling who he left behind many years ago. Extracting Vayl from the trust proves to be a tricky problem for Jaz but one that see must find a solution to if she is to have any kind of future with Vayl.
The action in Bitten To Death is non-stop as Jennifer Rardin delivers another fantasy/spy caper fuelled with high octane fantasy thrills and sharp wit. The romantic development between Vayl and Jaz that has crept forward at a glacier’s pace through out this series takes a small leap ahead in this novel and it will be interesting to see where Jaz and Vayl end up in the fifth novel of this series (One More Bite) that is due out in early 2009.
Summing up – Bitten To Death is a solid addition to the Jaz Parks series and a book that fantasy fans and James Bond movie fans alike are sure to love. My only disappointment was that in the end Edward Samos didn’t turn out to own a white fluffy cat or a house surrounded by a piranha filled moat - but this is probably just me…
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