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Once Bitten, Twice Shy (Jaz Parks) Mass Market Paperback – July 1, 2009

3.8 out of 5 stars 64 customer reviews
Book 1 of 9 in the Jaz Parks Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Rardin fuses spy girl with vampire slayer in this entertaining but derivative debut. Jasmine Jaz Parks, a martial artist turned vampire-hunting government agent, is assigned to protect top-notch operative Vayl, a 300-year-old vampire on the side of the good guys. As Vayl helps Jaz to hone her supernatural abilities and she tries to keep from falling for his Romanian charm, they track down a dirty senator in cahoots with Mohammed Khad Abn-Assan, a terrorist who's making plans for a Red Plague spread through vampire-to-human contact. Rardin delivers all the paranormal touches that fans of Hamilton, Harris and Whedon enjoy, and Jaz's jittery narration amuses, but the fang-filled plot, replete with action licks and paranormal theatrics, will have trouble standing out in this overcrowded field. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Review

Rardin fuses spy girl with vampire slayer in this entertaining [debut] ...delivers all the paranormal touches that fans of Hamilton, Harris and Whedon enjoy Publishers Weekly A heroine whose past is darker than those she hunts, and a storyline that keeps you guessing...sure to be a winner. Keri Arthur, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Bond meets Dracula - only better than that. Jaz is an awesome, awe-inspiring heroine Patricia Briggs --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Jaz Parks (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit; Reprint edition (July 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316043540
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316043540
  • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,248,965 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By L. J Lewis on March 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
Meet Jaz Parks. She's a flippant, barely competent CIA-trained vampire hunter easily distracted by a pretty male face. She has a strained relationship with her family. She has a tentative vampire love interest. And she's a special snow flake with a power so unique that no one else has it. In essence, she's just like every most other urban fantasy heroines that have been cluttering up the landscape as of late. To make matters worse for Jaz, she's trapped in a derivative shoe-string plot padded with heaping helpings of filler and the story still manages not to clear three hundred pages.

Seriously, when reviewers are almost unanimously commenting on how unoriginal the plot is they should not be awarding the darn thing five stars like Halloween candy.

This book was an utter chore to read. It seems like whenever someone attempts the vampires turned secret agent plot it turns out badly. See the horrible, stinky, braindead mess that is the Darkwing Chronicles.

Jaz and her vampire partner Vayl are deep undercover so they can rub out a plastic surgeon with ties to the Raptor, a vampire terrorist. Strike one against Jaz is when she's a party staking out the bad guy's mansion and she runs into a man in the lady's room and promptly blows her cover. Strike two against Jaz occurs when you realize that she only has one mood and that's snarky. She yammers on like she doesn't take anything seriously and her humor falls flat. Authors need to realize that while the wise-cracking heroine is a genre staple, you parcel out the wit. If the characters do it at inappropriate times, they just end up sounding stupid rather than tough.

The plot involves Jaz and Vayl unraveling a vampire bioterrorism conspiracy that involves one of their CIA handlers.
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Format: Paperback
Jaz Parks is a government agent. Her partner Vayl is a 300-year-old vampire. Their latest assignment is to assassinate a plastic surgeon involved in terrorism. But after one night of investigating Assan, they discover he's into a lot more than just helping to fund terrorism. Assan and his conspirators begin talking about releasing a deadly plague. And a high-ranking senator seems to be pulling the strings.

I can't begin to tell you how much I enjoyed this novel. Rardin ads a perfect blend of humor and humility to an otherwise strong female lead character. The story and characters pull you in and don't let go. I'm simply amazed that this is her debut novel. I can't wait to see Rardin's skills develop further in future releases. If I don't receive review copies for the sequels, you can bet I'll be standing in line at the bookstore on the release dates. Once Bitten, Twice Shy is in now in my list of top favorites for the year.

With a seemingly over-abundance of vampire novels, Once Bitten, Twice Shy stands out as a fun, light-hearted, supernatural, spy novel. Blending some of my favorite elements: fantasy, espionage, mystery, action, and just a touch of romance, makes a recipe for one extremely entertaining story.
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Format: Paperback
Jaz Parks, who narrates the story, is a CIA assassin with a traumatic past. Her boss gives her an unusual partner: a 300-year old vampire named Vayl. Together they travel to Miami to crash the party of a doctor who is funneling money to a terrorist organization. Once there, they find that he is involved in a dangerous conspiracy involving other vampires and possibly a senator, and it could result in the deaths of countless people if they don't intervene.

The main problem I have with the book is the narrator - we're supposed to believe that she's deeply traumatized, but she comes off rather chirpy and every scene is interrupted with her thoughts involving random pop culture references, regardless of the amount of danger and violence going on. She also has giggling fits when in stressful, sensitive situations. She is meant to be 25 but seems more like a teenager. That the CIA thinks she is emotionally competent to be a "top assassin" really stretches the credibility of the plot (I know believability is not meant to be a top point of this book, but a book's world should be internally consistent, and Jaz's world seems to be pretty much like ours with a few supernatural elements thrown in). Vayl has the potential to be interesting but his character is not very developed, and why he fixates on Jaz remains a mystery, at least to me.

Given Florida's water table, it seems unlikely to me that Miami would have extensive basements or underground spaces, but if I've got my geology wrong, feel free to correct me.

I don't usually read in this genre, but I thought I would enjoy this. If you enjoy all vampire romance type series, you might want to disregard my review, but I'm sure there are books out there similar to this one but with much better world and character development.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really wanted to like this book. it was something new from a different author. But talk about confusing. The author mentions people and places and events that I was constantly thinking that I was reading out of order but this book was suppose to be Book 1 in the series. I went back and re-read parts, thinking I missed something. It was like a trip into Wonderland without a map. No the map was shredded and a hundred psychos tapped the pieces back together into a mish-mash mess. I might give the 2nd book a chance by buying a used copy or library copy hopeing the author will get better. But lord what a headache I got now. I definitely wouldn't recommend this book unless it was a library copy. Even then, ugh....
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