Jaz Parks, CIA operative, returns in the second installment of this action-packed series. She and her team are staying in an upscale RV at the Corpus Christi Winter Festival, performing at the festival as a cover for their real mission: to recover special body armor that has been stolen. This is not typical body armor - it was built using advanced biotechnology that gives the armor's wearer special abilities that border on superpowers.
Jaz's brilliant, paranoid friend Bergman (whom we met in the first book of the series) invented the armor, and he is upset and frantic to get it back. If it weren't for that, he probably wouldn't have agreed to be on Jaz's team - he's not really a team player, as paranoid as he is; he prefers to work alone. The team is an odd assortment of people, from Vayle, Jaz's vampire partner, to Cole, a young man Jaz meet in the first book, to Cassandra, a powerful psychic who is increasingly upset by the visions she's having. Bergman's love of all things tech causes him to snipe at Cassandra, who becomes increasingly irritated with him; newcomer Cole is unused to the brutality involved in their work, and Jaz can't help but be concerned for him. It seems their team will never be able to work well together, but as it becomes increasingly clear that they are up against malign forces of overwhelming power, it seems they had better learn quickly.
From soul-swallowing reavers to powerful, certifiably insane vampires, action and adventure abound in this novel; but it is the relationships among the characters that make the story especially compelling, particularly the developing bond between Jaz and Vayl. Jaz is a tough woman, but she makes mistakes and has vulnerabilities stemming from some very painful events in her past. She tells the story in an honest, often self-deprecatory voice, imbuing events with humor that had me smiling and (as in the case of Bergman's "welcome" mat) laughing out loud. Not only am I now officially hooked on this series, but it has moved up into the ranks of my favorite paranormal mysteries. I'm very much looking forward to continuing the further adventures of Jaz and her fascinating group of friends.
Books in the Jaz Parks series:
1. Once Bitten, Twice Shy
2. Another One Bites the Dust
3. Biting the Bullet
4. Bitten to Death
5. One More Bite
6. Bite Marks
Another One Bites the Dust (#2 in the Jaz Parks series) by Jennifer Rardin (Orbit, 2007)
Also reviewed at:
Darque Reviews: "Packed with paranormal beings and high-tech weaponry, Ms. Rardin weaves a marvelous tale filled with tension and non-stop action. The added humor, especially when Cole and Jaz are involved, is too laugh-out-loud funny to resist."
The Movieholic and Bibliophile's Blog: "I love the world and background stories Rardin has made for her characters. It makes them all so much more relatable, especially Jaz with her tough, sassy talk (although she can back it up!) but she’s still a vulnerable person who really depends on her friends."
So Many Books, So Little Time: "I mostly liked the book. There were times when I didn't really enjoy the writing, but there were other times when I found myself laughing out loud from what the main character said."