Starzee's Reviews > Once Bitten, Twice Shy

Once Bitten, Twice Shy by Jennifer Rardin
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's review
May 26, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: paperback-wishlist, read-in-2011
Read from June 29 to July 11, 2011

Well, I had high expectations for this book, which is maybe why it ended up only being two stars.
All I can say is, I was very disappointed once I reached the end and had to talk myself into continuing the series.

The book follows CIA operatives Jaz Parks and Vayl on their quest to rid the world of high class terrorists. Along the way they come across a couple of complications and have to factor in the resurrection of a soul eating goddess hell bent on unleashing the laboratory made Red Plague into the world to dwindle the population. Sounds like a promising plot, full of action scenes where two kick ass agents kick some major butt to ultimately save the day, right? That's what I thought. Instead I got a whiney heroine, who at the best of times managed to muster up some sort of self preservation long enough to get herself out of a sticky situation, a renowned, lengedary vampire (Vayl) whose reputation did not precede him but rather made him out to be more than he actually was, a plot that had so much irrelevant and distracting information thrown into it I could hardly concentrate, and a writing style that was just as uneasy to follow.

In the beginning of the story Jaz makes herself and Vayl out to be two of the best agents in the CIA. Having finished the first book, I am still wondering when their deadly skills and competence for the job will kick in. At the best of times they were just above average - ertainly nothing to write home about. Vayl, for all his centuries old expertise in the area of assassination and living in general, was a bit of a let down. His character was at odds with how Jaz described him. She almost seemed to worship him and his godike status. For a kick ass vampire, he didn't do much at all in the story from beginning to end.
Jaz's charcter was another disappointment. I was excited to read about a CIA operativ who was a woman and one of the best in the industry. But if that is truly a taste of what the best are capable of, I feel sorry for American's. Like I said before, she was whiney, and when she wasn't whiney, she was on the verge of blacking out from panic, from nerves, from the reminder of bad memories. Seriously, the girl was a danger to herelf and others more than a help. I found it hard to reconcile her being terrified of every little thing with the statements she was making about how tough she was and how much of a killer she was.

One thing that almost had me returning the book to the library unfinished was the amount of unnecessary stuff in the book that wasn't relative to the story at all and didn't serve to help the book but make it nearly impossible to read. It seemed that every second or third sentence contained some silly simile or comparison. Yes, a few would serve to humour the reader, but after seeing them littered all through the book I got the feeling Rardin was trying to force humour where none was necessary - especially in a tense, emotional scene where the reader is being given a glimpse of the mainn characters past pains/grievances.
If you were to take out all of the waste sentences and things that had no place being in the book to begin with, I think you'd be left with a hundred pages of good, solid writing.
Hopefully the series improves as it goes along, because I will be continuing it.


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