I bought this on the basis of a "teaser" chapter in the back of Night Shift: it appeared to be in the same style of wisecracking snappy dialogue with plenty of guns and violence against the bad guys; that is, more of the same kind of guilty pleasure. So I certainly wasn't expecting that cover!
Anyway. Jaz Parks is a smart-mouthed vampire assassin working for the CIA, with a partly-forgotten traumatic incident in her past, and a dysfunctional family. So far, so familiar. The twist here is, her partner Vayl is himself a vampire, one of the 15% or so working on the side of good, lending a little moral ambiguity to the wholesale offing of creatures of the night. They get sent off on their latest mission to take out a bad guy, but things start to go wrong from the start. Soon the stakes are higher than anyone expected, and the chances of it all ending by being eaten by a demon look fairly high.
Yes, this is fun guilty pleasure all right. Lots of slam bang action and smart-mouthing the bad guys. I'm a little concerned that too much background is revealed here to allow keeping up the pace in future books. So let's find out...
Jaz Parks is back, smart-mouthed as ever, but with a bigger team to look after, the hangers-on from her previous mission. And they're going to need looking after, as their opponent this time is encased in bio-armour that makes him invulnerable. Oh, and Jaz is having dreams that seem to be trying to kill her.
A bit more confused in plot-line than before, but still with great slam-bam action. Enough to make me get the next one in the series, anyway. And the cover isn't quite so bad...
Another outing with CIA assassin Jaz Parks and her vampire boss Vayl. Here they've been tasked to take out The Wizard, a necromancer-terrorist based in Iran. Her brother David and his team are providing backup. But nothing is as it seems: there is a mole in David's team, and the information as to The Wizard's whereabouts was gained too easily. What is really going on?
This is definitely all slam-bam action, as Jaz whip-saws between fighting zombies, taking a reconnaissance trip to Hell, fighting reavers, making amends with her brother for killing his turned wife, fighting necromancers, and kicking a depressed good guy back into business. Although the plot jumps all over the place, with the typical style of lots of important points told in flashback (and even flashback within flashback), this seems more coherent that the previous outing. Most of the plot strands come together, with just a few tantalising loose ends left dangling for the sequels. And the supporting characters are developing in interesting ways. But as Jaz's angst about her past traumas declines, her angst about her possible relationship with her boss increases. So far this has been kept down to about one kiss per book (and here for a plot-relevant reason!), plus some internal monologuing -- let's hope it stays that way, and doesn't travel down the Anita Blake route to ruin.
Jaz Parks, her vampire boss Vayl, and her brother David are off to Greece, to team up with some old vampire friends in the hope of being able to take out their old enemy Edward Samos. But when they arrive, they find their contact vampire dead, and his organisation taken over by another who isn't so keen to see them. They must investigate the new setup while still trying to fulfil their original mission. Oh, and stop a war with the local weres.
More kick-ass action, most of it confined to the Earthly plane this time around. Jaz is beginning to realise her problem of getting close to people needs to be solved. But it doesn't stop her getting up-close-and-personal with the bad guys.
Oh, and the covers are definitely improving.
Jaz Parks has two problems with her current mission. It's bad enough that she has to protect the bad guy, a Scottish evil coven leader, to maintain the balance of power after Samos' death. But worse still, her father is part of the team. And when she gets to Scotland, she discovers an ancient ghost who wants her for his queen, and other strange hauntings that threaten to mess the mission completely. But her relationship with Vayl is getting more interesting.
There's a lot of different plot threads going on here, which requires a bit of concentration as the pages flip by. Lots of wisecracking, lots of new developments, not as much action as usual, but a great finale.