Review – Bad to the Bone
By Jeri Smith-Ready
So I was recently wandering around our local Borders, everything is pretty picked over by now, but I found this little beauty. It looked interesting, so I picked it up. I needed a book because I didn’t have one with me at the time, plenty at home, but none with me. Anyway, what a satisfying novel! I just finished it and had a really good time reading this book. I didn’t read the first one, and while I do want to know the backstory to how the characters got to where they are in Bad to the Bone, it wasn’t necessary. But I am planning on picking up Wicked Game as soon as I can. In this storybook world, vampires get “stuck” in the decade they are changed, as in they never move beyond that time period. Ciara helps run a radio station with vampire DJs who each specialize in their own decade. The older they get, the more OCD and confused vampires can be and they have a harder time understanding and processing new technology or even new songs. The vampire DJs are part of the marketing for the station, they are the “lifeblood of rock and roll” nudge nudge wink wink. Ciara is the PR person for the station, she is dating one of the DJs and she is trying to learn to have a normal, trusting relationship. Her parents were religious charlatans who taught her to grift and to never trust anything or anyone, so this is new and somewhat difficult for her.
So besides all that, the radio station is being targeted by a religious group who interrupts their broadcasts with religious rhetoric. It gets more involved, fire-bombing and kidnapping and then more dangerous from there.
This book sucked me in pretty quickly, no pun intended. Ciara is funny, wry and a little wicked and since it is first person narration, she makes it enjoyable to be in her head. She and Shane have a sweet relationship, he is from the 90s and they are working to get his mind into the next decade. They got together in the first book and are exploring and figuring out their relationship in this one. There is a little bit of relationship angst, but not too much. She does some worrying but doesn’t linger, so you don’t feel bogged down. Ciara’s relationships with her new friends, co-workers and her mother and father take a little while to grasp, since I didn’t have the background from book 1, but I caught on pretty quickly. In fact, her relationships really progress in this book. Because she doesn’t trust easily, it is interesting to see who she allows close to her and why. The vamps are quirky, though they aren’t all “nice”, and even the ones that are, have issues. The dog is great, he added much enjoyment to the story. The mystery of who is targeting the station and why, is well done. The action culminates and the game gets trickier and much more dangerous. Ciara puts herself on the front line and gets her war wounds. She loses some things and gains others and learns a lot more about herself in the process. I will look for the next book, after I finish Wicked Game of course. Four stars.