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Bad To The Bone Cover Picture

Bad To The Bone

Jeri Smith-Ready

Published 2009         358 pages

Summary (from the book jacket)

If you're just joining us, welcome to radio station WVMP, "The Lifeblood of Rock 'n' Roll." Con-artist turned station-owner Ciara Griffin manages an on-air staff of off-the-wall DJs - including her new boyfriend Shane McAllister - who really sink their teeth into the music of their "Life Time" (the era in which they became vampires). It's Ciara's job to keep the undead rocking, the ratings rolling, and the fan base alive - without missing a beat.

For Halloween, WVMP is throwing a bash sure to raise the dead. They've got cool tunes, hot costumes, killer cocktails - what could go wrong? Well, for starters, a religious firebrand ranting against the evils of the occult pre-empts the station's midnight broadcast. Then, when Ciara tracks down the illegal transmission, the broadcast tower is guarded by what appears to be... a canine vampire? And behind it all is a group of self-righteous radicals who think vampires suck (and are willing to stake their lives on it).

Now Ciara must protect the station while struggling with her own murky relationship issues, her best friend's unlikely romance with a fledgling vampire, and the nature of her mysterious anti-holy powers. To make it to New Year's in one piece, she'll need to learn a few new tricks....

The Review

Bad To The Bone is the second urban fantasy novel following the adventures of a group of vampire DJs playing the tunes of their “lifetimes” at independent radio station, WVMP. Or more accurately it follows the continuing adventures of Ciara, the young (human) marketing intern who joined the station, discovered the DJs undead secrets and then ended up saving the station and the DJs from the clutches of national network radio.

Yes, I know – this sounds like an odd idea for an urban fantasy novel. With a marketing intern (rather than a vampire slayer or otherwise similarly gifted chosen one) as its main protagonist and a host of obsessive-compulsive vampires working as late night DJs - Bad To The Bone, like Wicked Game before it, continues to avoid genre clichés and proves itself to be delightfully different from every other vampire novel currently on the market.

Bad To The Bone is the second part of a series and while it could just about be read as a stand alone story, I’d recommend reading Wicked Game first for maximum enjoyment of this book.

Written in first person, the story is narrated with a lightly humorous touch by Ciara. As a con artist who is going straight Ciara is a marketing natural and the popularity of the radio station is solely down to her promoting the DJs as vampires. Hiding the vampires in plain sight was a stroke of genius on her part. Even the journalist from Rolling Stone can’t tell that the DJs really are vampires, not just people pretending to be vampires!  

Music is a huge influence on Bad To The Bone – the story vibrates to the diverse rhythms of the various DJs musical tastes. From the Playlist at the start of the story, through the song title chapter names, to the narrative itself, rock ‘n’ roll is never more than a page or two away.

Against this musical backdrop Ciara has a mystery to solve – why does a religious radio station keep overriding WVMP’s transmission whenever they play female artists? Between dealing with this, writing her college papers and giving a home to a stray vampire dog she finds the time to infiltrate a strange anti-vampire self-help group and gets kidnapped for her troubles…

Bad To The Bone is a solid follow-up to Wicked Game. Its action packed plot, realistic characters, original vampire mythology, sinister secret societies and shadowy government organisations make it a great read for both vampire fiction and urban fantasy fans. The best news is that Jeri Smith-Ready has been contracted to write a further two book in this series and I can hardly wait to see how she develops the series next!

This book rocks!

LoveVampires Review Rating:

Review Rating: 4 stars out of 5

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