I started reading Another One Bites the Dust a few days before learning of the author's unexpected passing and considered, briefly, putting it back in my TBR pile.
For those that recall, my review of Rardin's first book, Once Bitten Twice Shy, wasn't all hearts and roses. I never really connected with the character, Jasmine Parks, vampire assassin. And believe me, I wanted to.
I worried that if I didn't love her this time around, my thoughts on the book would be jaded. I'm glad I stuck it through.
I'd be lying if I said the connection was much stronger for me in Another One Bites The Dust, but I admit, I have a deeper appreciation for Rardin's skill.
This novel is action packed, almost from the first page. Between the fight scenes, and amidst the gore, there's humour. And not the cheesy kind, either. I love how the book made me laugh out loud without cheapening the drama - not an easy task.
Neither is developing character vulnerability. Having created my own "Jaz Parks" action superhero (though not a vampire assassin), I know how hard it is to give that kind of character believable weaknesses. Jaz has several of them, and it's hard not to feel for her.
In my last review, I noted that Rardin had tremendous wordplay ability and this holds true for the second book. I've never seen so many clever metaphors. There's a fine line between overkill and just right, but this novel nails it. There was a piece of me that wanted to copy down every clever turn of phrase, but the metaphors are SO unique, a seasoned Rardin reader would recognize them in a New York minute....
Still, I found myself getting lost in the plot. Too many characters I couldn't follow, and in a way, too much time between this book and the first in the series. The action sequences made sense, but the rest felt misplaced.
Added to that was my lack of reading time, coupled with a few days of being slammed by a cold, and I sort of struggled across the finish line. That being said, it's likely I'll read the rest of the books in this series, including the two completed before her passing. It's not hard to understand why Rardin had such a wonderful fan following - and as a writer, I'm in awe of her skill.
I'm also hoping that Jaz Parks will grow on me the more of the series I read.
The Book In My Bag Today: Juliet, Anne Fortier