August 28th, 2009


Jeri Smith-Ready, WICKED GAME

I finished Jeri Smith-Ready's Wicked Game yesterday. It was one of the best urban fantasy novels I'd read in a long while. For those who read Carrie Vaughn's Kitty series, there were similarities to that - setting at a radio station, smartmouthed heroine - but also a lot of good things that were all its own.

The heroine, Ciara, is the daughter of jailed con artists, and is using small cons to work her way through college so she can go straight. She gets a summer internship at a small radio station where the DJs are all vampires.

The cool part is that vampires in this world become stuck in their "life times" and find it really difficult to cope with change and the passage of time. So being DJs helps them cope, in that they are immersed in the music of their life, but also have to read the news reports, which helps tie them to the present day. Smith-Ready also links in vampiric obsessive-compulsive behaviors in a way I really liked, so that it was a way the vampires could control small things while the world went quickly past them.

The other thing I really liked is that the heroine enters a relationship with the vampire - if you read this subgenre, that isn't a spoiler - but it's not glowingly, instantly perfect. She doesn't like the idea of being bitten, she has to come to terms with the disadvantages of his condition, and she worries about herself as much as she worries about him. The reality of the relationship really involved me in the story.

There's plot, too. *heh* There's a Secret Government Agency, there's a Vampire Commune/Enclave, there's an evil corporate radio monopoly. That's all good, too.

So, I'm going to read the sequel. And add this one to my recs when people ask about paranormal romance/urban fantasy.

Wicked Game