01/06/2011. Contributed by Sarah Bruch
Biting The Bullet (a Jaz Parks novel book 3) by Jennifer Rardin. pub: Orbit. 314 page paperback. Price: GBP 6.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-84149-640-5).
check out websites: www.orbitbooks.net and www.JenniferRardin.com
This third novel, ‘Biting The Bullet’, in the Jaz Parks series following ‘Once Bitten, Twice Shy’ and ‘Another One Bites The Dust’ does not disappoint. It ensures another strong link in this brilliant chain of novels. I would suggest that these are read in order as more and more elements are being referred back to throughout each book.
Jaz, her vampire boss, Vayl, and her growing team of humans and non-humans join up with her brother Dave’s Spec Ops team to take down a truly terrifying terrorist called the Wizard. This lovely human thinks nothing of turning zombies on the team in order to get what he wants. Not to mention placing a mole in the team being sent to ensure his plans on world domination come to nothing. Some new creatures are introduced in this book, most being pretty nasty characters which isn’t too shocking considering the genre. However, this book doesn’t fit as well into the urban fantasy genre as previous books did, it has far more military aspects to it. I didn’t mind this but I’d prefer if it was a little more urban and a little less military in future as I was getting a little confused with all the guns etc. going around. It’s also a lot more political in nature with most of the action happening in the Middle East and the various factions involved in keeping the country as stable as possible. This introduces some elements to do with the power women have in various parts of the world, making Jaz very uncomfortable at times.
The one running theme in this book is that nothing is as it seems, it has constant twists and turns right up to the very end. Every time you think you’ve got your head around what’s happening it all changes, which can be pretty confusing at times. I had to re-read the odd bit just to make sure I knew who was doing what but this didn’t take much away from my enjoyment, in fact it kept me alert throughout the book.
Jaz seems to have dropped some of her more obsessive compulsive disorder tendencies in this novel to take on a few more inner-voices. She seems to be having some kind of split personality going on this time. I’m not sure how this is going to pan out in future books but it was interesting to see how she comes to some of her crazier decisions. Throughout these books I love the fact that Jaz is not a typical female stereo type, she doesn’t need the powerful vampire to come and save her all the time. She’s a powerful female lead who just happens to have a vampire in her life who, as it happens, needs saving just as often as she does. Their relationship seems slightly more healthy than a lot of other vampire/human relationships in other novels I’ve read.
Relationships seem to be becoming a more important issue in this book. The love triangle between Cole, Jaz and Vayl gets quite heated at times, although not sexually (yet). Jaz and her brother have some pretty important things from the past to work through, along with some new issues created in this book. Vayl has to deal with his relationship with his dead sons and how much he really wishes to be reunited with them. Everyone else seems to get on pretty well with only a few arguments, I have to say I missed Cassandra and Bergman’s rows from the previous books.
Overall, this is a very fast-paced novel that I wouldn’t be surprised if people get through in one sitting having not noticed the time flying by. It’s a bumpy ride through various different odd scenarios that just seem to sit this side of believable, including several journeys to hell and back.
I'm finding myself really enjoying this series of books. Jennifer Rardin has managed to do something very few authors manage, each book in this series is similar enough to the others to create a feeling of comfort, while at the same time they are different enough to keep my interest. Often with series you find they are far too similar to keep the attention for very long, or there's one that is so different it jars when read. My only upset is the fact that I know this series has a finite number of books due to Jennifer Rardin's untimely death.
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