Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Once Bitten,Twice Shy you will not be for more of Jaz Parks

Meet Jasmine "Jaz" Parks,whose official job description includes being the partner and protector of an 400 year old vampire,Vayl, who uses his powers for good as a special agent for the CIA. Jaz prefers to think of herself as an "Assistant Assassin",since most of their duties involve eliminating major league bad guys perminantly from the playing field.

In Once Bitten,Twice Shy,we encounter the deadly duo on assignment in Miami as they're on the trail of a plastic surgeon named Assan, who is currently raising funds for terrorists via a children's charity as well as giving out those much needed facial makeovers to folks on the Most Wanted lists. What looks like a simple hit turns out to be much more complicated when Jaz runs into Cole while scouting around the charity event. Cole's a private detective hired by Assan's wife,Amanda,to find out what secrets her husband's been keeping from her.

Jaz,Vayl and Cole stumble onto an elaborate scheme that involves a destructive new virus which may or may not be fatal to both humans and vampires,summoning up an ancient deity to create havoc and repeated attempts on Vayl's life. In addition to the brewing chaos around them,Vayl's former wife Liliana shows up,for some payback and a family ring that Vayl has seen fit to bestow on Jaz.

While work is hectic,to say the least,Jaz's personal life is anything but a calm day at the beach. She's human but has psychic abilities which enable her to detect the prescence of vampires and after giving Vayl an emergency blood feeding(upon discovering that his carry-on supplies have been tampered with),her powers of otherworldy perception increase.

Jaz is still getting over the death of her friends and fiance after a gruesome massacre which may be responsible for the reoccuring blackouts she's been having lately. To top it all off,her retired military father,Albert,is not watching his health like he should and Jaz has to do some long distance monitoring of his condition,since her sister Evie doesn't need the extra stress while she's pregnant.

This is volume one of a series and while many of us vampire fans might be abit burned out on the copious number of bloodsucker themed titles floating about these days,Jaz Parks may change all of that.

For one thing,she's a quick witted and stubborn gal who's not afraid to go into a situation with literally both guns blazing but Jaz is not a kill happy lady. She has her doubts about her real strengths and weaknesses(one of the biggest is her growing attachment to Vayl)and yet when things get at their worst,knows when to focus on the main target at hand.

Rardin is quite the literary juggler here,keeping up some fast paced action along with the character development and portions of backstory that will,no doubt,be much more enhanced in the later books. We won't have to wait long for a follow-up,the second Jaz Parks book is due out in December,Another One Bites The Dust,and volume three will be available in February of '08,Biting The Bullet.

So,should you give the Jaz Parks series a try? I know that I'm certainly looking forward to see more of her and if you're in the mood for a mix of Buffy The Vampire Slayer,Kill Bill and Underworld,this book is definately your place for one stop shopping,folks. However,don't just write Jaz off as an Anita Blake wannabe-Rardin has truly created her own original world here and may soon become a force to be reckoned with in the paranormal lit arena. It's always a plus to have another smart and sassy leading lady take the genre field and Jaz Parks is an ideal heroine who deserves to have her day in the sun,or moon.

1 comment:

Kinziefanpire said...

I love that book! I have read the whole series. I just love books like that. it helps you through a hard, long day. i have all 4 books!