Another One Bites the Dust

Another One Bites the Dust - Jennifer Rardin This second installment in the Jaz Parks series is just as good as the first one, Once Bitten, Twice Shy.

The team travels to the Corpus Christi Winter Festival to intercept and stop Chien-Lung, an ancient Chinese vampire with a dragon fixation who has the deadly combination of being both brilliant and insane. In the past he has stolen nuclear technology and influenced foreign policy toward China. With the help of Edward Samos “The Raptor” he was able to steal Bergman’s invention, M55, from a military base. This ‘dragon armor’ binds on a cellular level and makes the wearer fully protected and nearly unstoppable. It is both offensive & defensive. Their mission is to terminate the wearer and retrieve the armor.
To get close to Lung and his acrobatic group the team poses as entertainment for the festival, with Jaz belly dancing!
While trying to take out Lung they encounter soul stealing Reavers with a third eye and a protective shield who have a passion for starting world wars. And come to find out that Samos is sponsoring Desmond Yale & the Reavers supposedly on a crusade for ‘Others’ against fanatical humans.

But before Jaz can take out her enemies she must overcome her deadly sleepwalking adventures stemming from her guilt in fiancé Matt & sister-in-law Jess’s murder.

My thoughts:
Jaz is smart, funny & sassy. But still the card shuffling, black out (though not as often), words-running-loops-in-her-head girl with the snarky internal commentary and hilarious analogies. She embarks on another out-of-body experiences in Another One Bites the Dust to try to solve her sleepwalking problems and also seems to be growing in her sensitive abilities.
I thought it was hilarious that Jaz refers to the two couches in the RV as the Twins, Mary-Kate & Ashley.
Her and Vayl are flirting with the edge in this book and you can really see what great chemistry they have together. The only thing that bothered me with this book is that in the last one, Once Bitten, Twice Shy, Jaz declared her love for Vayl so I wouldn’t think she’d be as commitment or even attraction weary as she is here but with her still dealing with Matt’s loss it is somewhat understandable.

The secondary charters we love are constantly present in the story with Cole, Cassandra and Bergman. We get to delve deeper into Cassandra’s background as well which I found interesting. But Bergman and Cassandra are constantly bickering, magic vs. machine, until Jaz is forced to put her foot down. Then Cole has to struggle with the inner ramifications of the darker side of being a C.I.A. assassin.

There were the laugh out loud scenes that you come to expect in Rardin’s writing.
One is too long to quote but it’s about a small-minded Texan who gets first hand experience with one of Bergman’s inventions; pg136

Another is on pg147; “Is she prettier then you?”
Cassandra started to smile.
“Well?”
“No.”
“Ha!”
“Jaz!”
“Honey, we’ve got to take our victories where we can find them.”

Favorite Quote:
Pg127 Vayl said, “I’m going to buy you some pom-poms and a short pleated skirt-“
“Hey, if Bergman needs a cheerleader, that’s what he’s getting.”
Vayl tipped his head to one side and smiled wickedly. “I was just thinking perhaps I need a cheerleader as well.”

All in all Another Once Bites the Dust is fast paced and full of mystery, suspense, and action. With intense sub plots, romantic tension, humor and an entertaining dialogue Rardin has another hit.
A great read!