Thursday, 12 November 2015

Book Review: Biting the Bullet by Jennifer Rardin (Jaz Parks #3)

The Raptor, the CIA's longtime nemesis, is back. Jaz Parks and her vampire boss Vayl are asked to join her brother David's special ops team to take him down. But when her spirit guide tells her that she's being lead to the wrong man, and she starts asking the wrong questions, her life -- and her job-- are threatened. And the one person who can help her--her boss-- is off on a wild goose chase. Add to the mix a pack of reavers bent on revenge along with a small army of desert monsters, and BITING THE BULLET will take you so close to the edge of your seat you may want to leave a pillow on the floor just in case.

My Review:
Jaz and her team are being sent to assist her brother David and his team, with the job of finding out who the mole in his operation is. He is tracking a terrorist called The Wizard. Jaz also has problems of her own, after a routine visit to hell with Raoul to gather information ends with her being demon marked. Add to that issues with the men on her team behaving like children and it will be a miracle if the joint team mission can go ahead.

After the heady heights of the first two books we seem to drop down to average with this third story. What I don't get is that the author had a really good group dynamic going with the team, and interesting relationships going especially the chemistry between Jaz and Vayl, and the snark between Cassandra and Bergman. It had action and humour and the group dynamic worked well. So why on earth did the author decide to ditch all of that, everything that made the books great, and change to this new and unappealing version? Frankly the first half or two thirds of this book were not that great and I was very let down by it.

Firstly, a few of the characters are venturing into asshat territory. Lets start with Cole, who is meant to be CIA and behaves worse than a toddler at a wedding. He suddenly decides that in spite of Jaz having feelings for Vayl, she is HIS soul mate and starts harrassing her like a stalker. Constant declarations of love, constantly badgering her to go out with him and then a refusal to do something important to the case unless she agrees to a date. THis is spiteful and childish behaviour and I started to really hate him in this book. I wanted to punch him every time he started moaning and whining like a sulky kid that doesn't get his way. And while the two of them are trying to follow someone, Cole stops to do a spot of camel tipping. This was totally stupid and nearly made me put the book down.

Vayl is supposed to be the top guy on this mission but he is behaving like an idiot as well. He doesn't seem to be bothering taking part in the mission, using the location as a chance instead to pursue an investigation into his dead sons, visiting local seers and following leads. He totally ignores that he is supposed to be on a mission to catch international terrorists plus he barely speaks to Jaz, ruining that nice relationship built up over the first two books. Then we have David who is shoved in as the main guy while Vayl wanders around aimlessly. He is such a bland character in comparison. I didn't dislike him as such but he wasn't made very interesting to start with, and his relationship with Cassandra had no chemistry and didn't really fill me with excitement. It was all a bit blah. And somebody just shoot Grace.

The plot is pretty confused. The visits to hell started to annoy me as I never really saw much point to it. WHY would Raoul take Jaz there and not look after her, letting her get marked by a demon? Why then would you keep taking her BACK? Great spirit guide you are mate. Getting put through that to find out Samos loves his dog? I'm sure there were easier ways to find that out. All this real Wizard fake Wizard stuff was confusing. The main bugbear for me was WHY this book was written! All it did was rip everyone apart, and the plot itself was not greatly exciting.

The reason this book has three stars and not lower is because it did pick up at the end and there was some good action along with finding out who the mole was.  Bergman also started to find a bit of backbone which I enjoyed. However it was more of a grudging three stars and not a favourite book in the series.

I read this book in 2014 and have just got round to reviewing it.
star rating photo: Three Star Rating 3stars.png

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