Thursday, February 26, 2009

One More Bite

Title: One More Bite
Author: Jennifer Rardin
Series: Jaz Parks, Book 5
Genre: Urban fantasy, novel
Published: 2009

Recommendation: Read if you enjoyed previous books in the series, but don't expect much beyond another round of ass-kicking.
Rating: 6.5/10

Summary: Jaz, Vayl, Cole, and Albert travel to Scotland where they pretend to be participants in GhostCon. The real mission is to protect the head of a coven, Floraidh, from a mysterious assassin named Bea in order to protect the balance between various factions vying for the spot opened with the death of Edward Samos.

Reactions: Jaz Parks series has been going downhill in the last two books. I enjoyed the first 3 books of the series. They introduced the characters, developed relationships, and provided lots of action for the readers to enjoy. One More Bite is the latest installment of the series, but it seems like Jennifer Rardin has fallen into a predictable grove with her series and left me with mixed feelings at the end of the book.

I think my beef with the book is the fact that it followed the pattern of previous ones and lacked novelty. The four characters who come on this assignment act exactly the same way as they did in previous books. Cole is charming women left and right while professing undying love for Jaz. Vayl is getting it on with Jaz and provides muscle and orders whenever necessary. Jaz is killing everything in sight. Albert is doing the old tough bastard act, while being caring and sensitive underneath. We've been through all of this before, and the characters don't really develop or reveal any new facets now. We learn a few more details about Jaz's childhood and her mother, but it doesn't change a whole lot in my perception of the main heroine.

One Bite More does have its share of witty dialogue along the lines of:
"Swear to God, dog, if this doesn't turn out well I'm buying you generic food for the next month!"
and plenty of situational humor; a disaster at GhostCon is caused by a jeweler attempting to grope and ancient warrior ghost. It is an easy book to read and it didn't have much trouble holding my attention on the action.

I also find it really strange to have Jaz freak out about losing her job all the time. Every time something happens to a car or a plan derails she just goes into overdrive over getting fired. But when the bad guys are trying to kill her, she is fine, she will kick plenty of butt. It seems irrational to be trembling before her boss after that, and I don't really buy the argument that this is the only paying job she could get with her skills. So I just shake my head when this comes up over and over in these books.

Overall this book was not too different from the previous one, there is plenty of sneaking around and kicking butt action. There's humorous dialogue and chemistry between Jaz and Vayl. There are baddies, but I never felt the whole crew was in too much danger based on how all the previous plots worked out. The book lacked originality and character development and I am not sure I care to pick up the next book in the series.

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