Monday, November 10, 2008

One More Bite-Jennifer Rardin

One More Bite
Jennifer Rardin
Orbit, Jan 2009, $12.99
ISBN 9780316022095

She works for an organization that deals with crimes involving supernatural entities; her boss Vayl is someone she cars about, but though he wants to make her his, Jaz Parks is not ready for a commitment. After killing the vampire Edward "The Raptor” Samos, Jaz, Vayl and Cole travel to Scotland where the dead undead has left a power vacuum in which Samos’s former allies, (the Flock vamp gang, the Valencian Weres and the Coven of Inverness) battle for supremacy. Jaz’s superiors believe a balance of power between the three groups is best for everyone else.

However, the Valencian Weres have taken out a contract on the Coven’s leader Floraidh Halsey; it becomes the job of Jaz’s team to prevent the killing from happening. This proves exceedingly difficult as Jaz and her teammates have no idea what the target looks like nor how powerful she really is. The Coven worship Scidair whose followers live long lives because of the sacrifices of the dead they make to it. Floraidh is creating a spell that means danger for Jaz, but with the help of Vayl and the ghost who lives on her land, she has a slight chance of surviving their mission; succeeding at the goal of the mission is less likely.

Following up on the Raptor affair, Jennifer Rardin takes her Manhattan based operative to Scotland, which refreshes this amazing and provocative urban fantasy with new dangers for the heroine and her horde. The story line is loaded with action as the CIA agents work diligently to prevent a disaster; which is why the plot is actually character driven as the audience observes the strengths, weaknesses and desperate desires of much of the key cast. Besides the obvious Jaz and Vayl, the rival leaders are fully developed so that for instance the Coven witch is 200 proof evil, but there are even more malevolent creatures out there than she is. Jaz is at her best as she is tough, courageous yet vulnerable.

Harriet Klausner

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