Monday, June 25, 2012

REVIEW: Jeri Smith-Ready's Let it Bleed

Book: Let it Bleed

Author: Jeri Smith-Ready

Series: WVMP Radio

Publishing stats: eBook released by author on June 26, 2012

Genre: Urban Fantasy


Con artist-turned-radio-station-manager Ciara Griffin hopes to settle into a normal un-life as a fledgling vampire, with the help of her immortally hot fiancĂ©, grunge DJ Shane McAllister. But she has bigger problems than finding a sane blood donor and a new home for those boxes of mac ‘n’ cheese. Ciara’s best friend mourns her like she’s dead instead of undead, and her own maker clearly wishes she’d never been born (again). Worst of all, the WVMP crew calls a Code Black: hippie vampire DJ Jim has murdered a pair of humans—humans who share Ciara’s true last name.

That’s when trouble rolls out the red carpet, straight into Ciara’s life. At Shane’s first live concert, Ciara finds herself face to face with her Irish Traveller cousins, a not-so-welcome family reunion that might hold the key to Ciara’s anti-holy blood. Jim’s spiral into madness makes Ciara an unwilling prize in his deadly feud with Shane. As Ciara clings to what’s left of her humanity, she’ll need her new vampire strength—and old con artist cunning—now more than ever.

First line: I avoid mirrors these days—not because they don’t show my reflection, but because they do.

What I liked: What I've always loved about this series is how it makes a present tense narrative work. It gives the stories a sense of immediacy and forces you, as the reader, to wonder if the narrator really will survive to the end. After all, for something to be in past tense it stands to reason the narrator made it to the future. Smith-Ready's stories remove that safety net, making everything all the more urgent as a consequence. Incidentally, Kresley Cole used present tense in Dark Needs at Night's Edge to indicate the madness of the hero, Conrad, but that's neither here nor there.

What I didn’t like: Ever have one of those endings when you understand the sequence of events but you're kind of foggy on the actual consequences? It's a little like what you'd feel if Peter Jackson had  cut Saruman's death scene from Return of the King. Sure, you get the idea that's he's been defeated and pretty much no longer a threat but he's also not got a boogeyman vibe going on now that his ultimate fate is obscured. This is pretty much what happens in regards to the big bad of Let it Bleed.

Overall: I liked it. There was a lot of character development to be had and a lot of questions left hanging from past books get answered, including whether or not Monroe will ever be able to accept Ciara and how Ciara's changing into a vamp will affect her friendship with Lori. I loved how Ciara's Traveller family was brought into the story and it was a treat to get to see a different sort of vampire come on the scene. The story could have used more scenes (and by "more" I of course mean "at least one") where Ciara and Shane just get to be a couple; instead, most of their scenes either focus on her newly acquired vampire status, her newly arrived (and promptly killed) family...followed by more family of a less dead persuasion and the Big Bad dilemma. It was good, but some glimpses of drama free normalcy would have balanced everything out.

Would I read this author again: Yes. There's just one book left, after all, until Ciara and Shane get their long promised happily ever after.

My rating: ♥♥♥/5

To get hold of the book for yourself, you can find more information regarding its impending release on Jeri Smith-Ready's website.

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