Once Bitten, Twice Shy by Jennifer Rardin

Book Review: 2 Treasure Boxes
A Jaz Parks Novel, Book 1
Publisher: Orbit (October 8, 2007), Paperback: 320 pages, Language: English, ISBN-10: 9780316020466, ISBN-13: 978-0316020466

Monster and vampire terrorists are trying to destroy the world and it is up to CIA agent Jaz Parks and her gorgeous vampire partner Vayl to save the day. This book introduces the characters and the world that this story takes place.  It is similar to our world and occurs in modern times with the addition of supernatural beings including vampires, werewolves and witches. Jaz and Vayl are on a special assignment to find and stop the terrorists.  This is a twist on contemporary fantasy because she works for the CIA, has special powers and her boss is a vampire.

There are currently seven books in the Jaz Parks novels and the eighth and final book will be released June 2011. Unfortunately Jennifer Rardin passed away September 20, 2010. These books fall into the contemporary fantasy genre also known as urban fantasy. The story is told in the first person narrative from Jaz Parks point of view.  She works for the CIA as an operative and the story revolves around her as she solves the current case she is working on.

Once Bitten, Twice Shy grabs our attention from the first page, alluding to some dark and dangerous event that occurred in Jaz’s past. We are left wondering why does Jaz have blackouts? What is her history? What is she? It is fun to read the interactions between her and her partner Vayl, the sexy vampire assassin. Also, Jaz’s internal dialogue is entertaining, I enjoyed reading her unique view on the world and her quirky analogies. In this book her powers are slowing being revealed and she slowly uncovers new and more interesting abilities.  Among these she can smell vampires, she can feel magic and she is a sensitive.

I liked how the story was written and how the enigmatic past was slowly revealed. However, I did think that the final unveiling of the great event was done in a writing style that allowed an easy way out.  It was revealed with a gimmick rather than through well developed story. But overall there was lots of action and the story built up to an exciting conclusion.

This is a stand alone book, and I am interested to see what Jaz is going to get up to next.  For the first book in a series by a new author I feel there is plenty of potential and I recommend this as a good entertaining read. If you enjoy a contemporary fantasy with good and bad vampires, witches and a strong female lead then you should enjoy this book.

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