This is the eighth and, sadly, final installment in the action-packed, hilarious and wickedly clever Jaz Parks series, and I held out as long as possible before finally giving in and reading it because I am simply so sorry to see it end.
The first thing you need to know, if you've never read any of Rardin's books, is that the eight books each contain their own individual plot line, but unless you begin at the beginning of the series (with Once Bitten, Twice Shy), you will be lost. Past events continually influence events in the present, and you will miss a whole lot if you just pick one up randomly and start reading.
As usual, it's tough to provide a synopsis without offering spoilers, so let me just say that the series involves a team of CIA assassins who possess supernatural or paranormal powers, or who simply are amazingly intelligent and skilled. Their targets are of the supernatural, immensely powerful and scary variety, and throughout the course of the series, the team comes together. Through each adventure, their relationships evolve and progress, and they learn how to combine their various skill sets to make the most of their abilities. Jaz is a stand-up heroine - she is believably kick-ass, flawed and likeable, and she has come a long way since the early books of the series. There's a whole lot to like here: very cool (and often funny) gadgets, swoon-worthy romance, gritty action and adventure, quirky and surprising plot twists, wonderful characters who grow and change from book to book, laugh-out-loud moments, and very spooky, disturbing villains.
This final book did not disappoint, and the conclusion was immensely satisfying and rather bittersweet. It felt just right. I was so saddened by the death of Jennifer Rardin earlier this year, and I'm immensely grateful that she managed to finish this wonderful series. I know I will be rereading this series again and again, so I can spend some more time with some of my favorite characters ever.
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
7. Bitten in Two
8. The Deadliest Bite
The Deadliest Bite (#8 in the Jaz Parks series) by Jennifer Rardin (Orbit, 2011)
Also reviewed at:
A Book Obsession: "All in all an excellent book, with a very satisfying ending that will make it a little easier to say goodbye to these fantastic characters."
Book'd Out: "The Deadliest Bite is a fast paced, action packed final installment that leads to a definitive and satisfying culmination for the series."
e-Volving Books: "I thought this might be a trite vampire love story, but the characters are really strong and fiercely written and saves the book from falling into a stereotype."