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Saturday, May 5, 2012

[Review] Once Bitten, Twice Shy (Jaz Parks, #1) by Jennifer Rardin

Title: Once Bitten, Twice Shy
Series: Jaz Parks, #1
Author: Jennifer Rardin
Pages: 208 (Paperback)
Publisher: Orbit
Release Date: October 8, 2007

I'm Jaz Parks. My boss is Vayl, born in Romania in 1744. Died there too, at the hand of his vampire wife, Liliana. But that's ancient history. For the moment Vayl works for the C.I.A. doing what he does best--assassination. And I help. You could say I'm an Assistant Assassin. But then I'd have to kick your ass.

Our current assignment seemed easy. Get close to a Miami plastic surgeon named Assan, a charmer with ties to terrorism that run deeper than a buried body. Find out what he's meeting with that can help him and his comrades bring America to her knees. And then close his beady little eyes forever. Why is it that nothing's ever as easy as it seems?

Once Bitten, Twice Shy reminded me of a cliche action movie with a supernatural twist. There's car chases, explosions, people falling of buildings, exciting escapes, terrorists, deadly viruses, but minus the romance in the midst of life threatening situations.

Jaz was a bit of a mystery to me in the beginning. Even though this is told from Jaz's point of view, in first person, I don't think she expressed herself that well. She kept bringing up something from her past that was having a major effect on her present. Anything happening after that event she referred to as "after," but after what? She never says for about 100 pages. It just kept coming up over and over again, and it started to get annoying. I wanted to know what was bothering her! And why she has these seemingly random blackouts and what happens to her during them. Jaz is a pretty likeable, slightly neurotic character with an odd sense of humor, but her refusal to share important episodes from her past made her difficult to care about.

However, she does eventually share her past and much, much more with...a guy she meets once in the ladies' room! In fact, upon their first meeting he openly tells her that he's a PI hired to investigate the same terrorist Jaz is after. Then on their second meeting, Jaz completely over-shares about herself and her mission. I find it very hard to believe that a PI and a CIA assassin would just spill that kind of information to someone that they know nothing about. Sure they could work together since they have the same target, but neither one knew that about the other until it was blindly offered!

This is another one of those series where vampires are "out of the coffin" but aren't completely accepted into society. I tend to really like when the supernaturals are known to humans, but it didn't seem to have much of an impact on the story. The few exceptions are that vampires are in the CIA, such as Jaz's boss, Vayl, and humans can be split into two groups: normal and Sensitives. Jaz is in the latter group, since she can "smell" vampires. Of course, there's more to this ability than Jaz originally thought...

Overall, this moved at a decent pace with plenty of action scenes. The plot gets a little confusing as it moves along, but everything comes together nicely in the end. It was a pretty fun read, despite some of my complaints. I'll probably continue this series, because I really liked Jaz's abilities and would love to see more of them in action!


  1. Okay, I agree, this does seem a little cliché. Agents/Assassins are supposed to be a little more highly trained than that. I'm pretty sure they don't just spill their secrets at first (or second glance). I'm not ven touching this one. Thanks for the review!
    Alyssa Susanna

  2. Sounds good. The main characters sound a bit annoying but other than that I might try this book sometime.


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