US author Jennifer Rardin brings us here her first novel in a new series. Books two and three, ANOTHER BITES THE DUST and BITING THE BULLET will be paperback re/released later this year. This first book, as with all first books and series books in particular, must achieve a heck of a lot. The urban fantasy formula here has been faithfully followed mostly to the rule with one wisely included exception which involves the make-up of the leading lady herself. You have your supernatural bad guys, crabby bosses, annoying siblings, the weapon-packing feisty heroine, her much older remote but perhaps soon-to-be romantic interest playing shotgun and new beasties popping up all the time.
Rardin has crammed a lot into her first series offering, perhaps not leaving enough salt on the bread for future works. Every comment out of Jaz's mouth is a cliché or modernised simile, which becomes wearying after awhile when every paragraph of her narrative is full of the hip remarks. Lots of it is funny, but you need a breather from that to pay better attention to the plot, even if it is a rather a casually arranged one. ONCE BITTEN TWICE SHY would appear to have the goods for an interesting new action series with plenty of space for construction. Thankfully, at least with this first book, it's not apparently travelling down the paranormal romance line and sticks more to the kicking of bad guy backsides. Keeping in mind that this whole lighter sub-genre of fantasy has arisen from the drift of female readers from romantic fiction, a bit of slap-and-tickle with fangs is probably to be expected. We shall see. Try this new author if you're into vampire fiction and judge if there's a new spin. From this first read, there's a glimmer of hope that there will be.