Jeri Smith-Ready's greatest strength in her WVMP series is the often ugly truth she brings to her writing and characters. Jeri's vampires are just as damaged and screwed-up as the humans. But that strength is also her greatest weakness.
I think I've figured out what it is about this series that keeps it firmly in the good-but-not-great camp: It's kind of depressing. Urban fantasy in rarely full of happy skippy sunshine, but there is usually some tiny sliver of hope, some small moment of genuine happiness, something that keeps the protagonist--and the reader--from taking a bath with her hairdryer. In the WVMP series, not so much.
In BAD TO THE BONE, all of the vampires are slowly Fading. They are unable to acclimate to the changing times and grow increasingly neurotic, agitated, and compulsive until they can no longer survive in society. Even Shane starts showing his decline through his increasing OCD and the cold, hard fact that he and Ciara are just going to grow further apart. He's trying, but it's not going to be enough.
Then there's Ciara herself, the recovering con-artist with all the emotional maturity of a toaster. She panics at the first sign of intimacy then tries to hide her fear with her dry bravado, but she can't hide from herself. Ciara knows the inevitable screw-up is coming, and so do we. Again, depressing.
BAD TO THE BONE is solidly written, and I have to once again give Jeri Smith-Ready credit for creating vampires who are utterly believable. If vampires truly existed, they would probably be a lot like the WVMP vamps. But even the little happy moments are tempered by the knowledge of that it's fleeting. Ciara makes a comment in BAD TO THE BONE where she wishes she could go back in time to when she first met Shane and stop herself from ever caring about him because its too late now. I know exactly how she feels since I already have the 3rd WVMP book, Bring on the Night, just waiting to be read
Sexual Content: References to sex. References to homosexuality. A couple semi graphic sex scenes. A m/m/f sex fantasy.
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About the reviewer
I am a 20-something book lover with an obsession for all things urban fantasy. I cut my teeth on the paranormal genre withBuffyandTwilightbefore discoveringPatricia Briggs and Ilona Andrews. Suffice … more
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