Biting The Bullet
Published 2008 319 pages
Summary (from the book jacket)
I'm Lucille Robinson (aka Jaz Parks).This is a mission unlike anything my vampire boss, Vayl, and I have ever been on. It's not our usual take-them-out-and-run; it's an undercover mission that needs the whole gang: a psychic, an interpreter, and a weapons specialist.
We've never gone in with such heavy artillery before, but the more the merrier, right? Um… nope. At least not since Vayl and I learned part of our job is to ferret out a mole concealed in our unit.
To add to our problems, we're being harried by a pack of reavers bent on revenge, and targeted by a Seer who wants to share Vayl's power - at any cost. This is going to be a blast.
Biting The Bullet is the third outing for Jennifer Rardin’s larger-than-life protagonist Jaz Parks. In this novel Jaz, CIA assassin extraordinaire, takes on reavers, zombies and Angra Mainyu religious terrorists in Iran. Given the delicate political situation in the Middle East - and Jaz’s unerring ability to find trouble where ever she goes - it’s a miracle that she didn’t start World War 3 but with the aid of her trusty team she manages to avert disaster.
While Biting The Bullet is a stand alone story and can be read in isolation from the rest of the series, I think that readers would benefit from reading the previous novels (Once Bitten, Twice Shy and Another One Bites The Dust) first because they go along way to help explain the complicated relationship between Jaz and her vampire boss Vayl.
In Biting The Bullet, Jaz is left isolated by Vayl’s obsession with a Seer who promises to reunite him with his reincarnated sons. Her price is that Vayl must turn her into a vampire and unfortunately the only person who can’t see that this is a terrible idea is Vayl himself. As Vayl’s obsession to convert the Seer and find his sons deepens, Jaz is left to deal with her troubling suspicions about the identity of the group’s mole by herself.
It’s also safe to say that Vayl’s fixation on another woman doesn’t help Jaz and Vayl’s delicate fledgling relationship either. As the romantic tension between the pair is slowly tightened it provides a good counterpoint Jaz’s more madcap adventures. The plotting of this novel is fast and furious, going from shoot-outs to hide-outs and hostage situations and back to shoot-outs seemingly within the blink of an eye.
Jaz Parks is the character that you would get if James Bond was female, American and battled supernatural bad guys rather than just your average human megalomaniacs. When Edward Samos (the shadowy master vampire pulling all the strings behind the evil plans) is finally revealed to the reader I won’t be surprised if he happens to keep a fluffy white cat for a pet and a tank of hungry piranhas for unwanted visitors!
In common with most Bond movies the plot of Biting The Bullet stretches disbelief to breaking point but as with Bond movies it isn’t so much the finer points of how you get to the end destination but the overall impressions of the journey.
Fun, exciting and fast paced - Biting The Bullet will leave you with the impression that you have been on a rollercoaster ride that included a dip through Hell (with demons) a dip through hell on Earth (Tehran) and a brush with assorted zombies, evil necromancers, demons and soul stealing reavers to name but a few of the creatures Jaz meets (and kills) along the way.
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