Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Book 48 - Another One Bites the Dust

When Jennifer Rardin died last month, the world lost a truly gifted writer.

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


  1. Hmmmm....
    Sound intriguing. I appreciate metaphors a great deals and try to write such notable characters myself. I take it despite the author's premature passing that there is more to read?

  2. I'm glad you finished this book! I know you struggled quite a bit with the two rounds of colds you've had.

    I have the first book in my collection of books (as recommended by you ages ago) I might have to dig it out and get on the Jaz bandwagon!

    It's sad that a wonderful writer was taken away from us readers before we could really get a feel for her novels. Such as with Richard Laymon, he passed away just as I was getting to "know him", but not to worry as with Laymon, his books just keep coming! Hopefully Rardin has a TON of unfinished manuscripts someone can finish to keep the Jaz train rolling.

  3. DONNA - I *think* there are five books in the series so far, with another two slated for release. You will absolutely appreciate the metaphors - and dry humour - in these books. Even though Jaz isn't my most favourite heroine, I like the concept very much.

    KAREN - I have a feeling you'll really like these books. They have a BIT of a JR Ward flare to them, though without the steamy sex scenes. It's like Ward-lite... I know of two manuscripts to be released but I think I read that would be the end. Sad, yes. I have not read Richard Laymon but suspect I will now :-)

  4. Its so sad when a writer passes in the bloom of its career. =( But Im glad you liked the book enough to read on!

  5. JAN - it IS a great cover, no? She has a few like that.

    CLARA - I felt that way about the author of the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Sad :-(

  6. thanks for the honest review- what a shame about her passing:(

  7. I agree with Katie, It is so refreshing to read a review that is honest. Thanks for posting. =)