December 20, 2012

Jeri Smith-Ready: "Bad to the Bone"

Title: Bad to the Bone [on Amazon | on Goodreads]
Series: WVMP Radio (2nd of 4 books, but there's also a free-download novella that is book 3.5 in the series. See Jeri Smith-Ready's site)
Author: Jeri Smith-Ready [Site | Goodreads]
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Year: 2009
Age: 18+ (though Jeri's site actually says 16+, but I think the whole series would be better handled by more mature readers)
Stars: 3,5/5
Pros: Original take on the overused vampire theme. Interesting, mostly tridimensional characters. Radio station and music play a big role (if you love them passionately, that's a real bonus). Plenty of action in this one.
Cons: Can get a bit confusing at times, with all the twists and turns. A couple of graphic sex scenes (if you aren't into the stuff). Gorier than the first.
Will appeal to: Those who liked Wicked Game but are thirsty for more action.

Blurb: Welcome to WVMP, where Ciara Griffin manages an on-air staff of off-the-wall DJs who really sink their teeth into the music of their “Life Time” (the era in which they became vampires). Ciara keeps the undead rocking, the ratings rolling, and the fan base alive - without missing a beat. For Halloween, WVMP is throwing a bash. With cool tunes, hot costumes, killer cocktails - what could go wrong? To start, a religious firebrand ranting against the evils of the occult preempts the station’s midnight broadcast. Behind it all is a group of self-righteous radicals who think vampires suck. Ciara must protect the station while struggling with her own complicated relationship, her best friend’s romance with a fledgling vampire, and the nature of her mysterious anti-holy powers. (Amazon excerpt)

Review: (Note: though this blog primarily focuses on YA Lit, I'm currently going through all the WVMP books, because I want to be able to blog about Lust for Life - the last installment in the series - as soon as I receive it from the webstore. So I'm basically doing my homework LOL).
First off, so many things happen in around 400 pocket-format pages, it's difficult to keep up with them all at times. The core of the novel is the threat posed to the station by an alleged cult, that turns out to be a schismatic leg of the Control - an organization that is busy protecting humans from vampires and vice versa (see book 1). But the truth isn't so simple - the final revelation (or not so much, if you follow a certain clue) opens a whole new can of worms, though the two things are closely linked. Also, we have Ciara's dad who could be in league with the bad guys or not, given his con artist status and his recent treachery (again, see book 1), plus his usual double-dealing attitude. Luckily, the station gained two more allies lately, though one of them will meet a sad fate at the end of this novel. Also, Ciara's anti-holy blood (discovered in book 1) comes into the equation a couple of times, with life-changing results both for her and some of her friends; one could say its discovery will actually boot the next installment in the series. You want more? One of the vamps get dangerous (guess who? it was hinted in the previous novel, though I'm not sure Smith-Ready had meant to take this thing so far right from the start)...and oh my, I was forgetting this very small detail...Ciara and Shane take the next step in their relationship, sharing a flat and parenting a...vampire dog (or maybe he's parenting them!). Plus Ciara's friend Lori gets a taste of the vamp side of love. But wait, there's weird and/or sweet family reunions, red hot sex and lots of blood - this time. So this book is packed with everything you ever dreamed of and more, especially action-wise...though, like I said, all this stuff can confuse the hell out of you, especially when reading it for the first time. So, basically, this second installment is more exciting than the first, but watch out for a bad case of vertigo! [...]

Smith-Ready also takes her blood and sex further here. And while I was able to cope with the increase of blood (note that I can't even read Stephen King usually, because of the amount of gore, but maybe Jeri's imagery is less disturbing - anyway I didn't flinch), the sex was a bit off-putting for me. Especially the dream Ciara has of a certain threesome...and the radio sex scene. Because, let me get this straight, since radio has been my second home for years now: you can't focus on your DJ's assignments while having steaming sex two inches from a turned-on mike (oops, did I use the verb "turn on"? How unfortunate). Let alone be engaged in an ethical-religious debate with a threatening listener! OK, I get it, Shane is many ways. LOL. So, well, on topic again. I was about to explain that, while I'm not a prude, on the other hand I don't usually go for graphic stuff. Anyway, though I'm not an experienced reader of said stuff by any means, I would say Smith-Ready deals with it just fine, without being cheap.
Delving further into the series, I got the impression I had come to know Spencer and Noah less than the other vamps. Despite the even smaller screen time Monroe gets (due to his reclusive nature), I feel I know him better than those two. As for Jim, Regina and (obviously) Shane, they steal the scene. More action, more talk, more time devoted to them.
Again, the title of the novel comes from a song - "Bad to the Bone" by George Thorogood and the Destroyers, 1982. And again, every chapter is also named after a song, while Smith-Ready provides the usual book-related playlist.
Again, this book provides a sneak peak to the next installment of the series, called Bring on the Night. And again, when I read those pages and compared them to the real beginning of BOTN,  I noticed some small differences. Smith-Ready polished it too, like she did with this very book, before it got published.
Bottom line? I personally liked the first installment more because of the reasons stated above, but that's just me. This series is getting more and more different ways. If you can deal with the increasing amounts of blood and sex, and you love music and action, go for it...again!

For my review of "Wicked Game" (first installment in the series) click here.
For my review of "Bring on the Night" (third installment in the series) click here.
For my review of "Let It Bleed" (installment 3.5 in the series) click here (warning: big spoiler in this one! It couldn't be avoided, being available in the blurb itself...).
For my review of "Lust for Life" (fourth installment in the series) click here 
For more Adult books (also by Jeri Smith-Ready) click here.


  1. Hi :P First off, I'm so sorry I didn't visit your blog straight away... But now that I'm here, I love it! The colour scheme is great, and the header is too! I really love the way you set out your posts, and I can tell you've put a lot of time into each of them! This book doesn't look like my kind of thing (and it looks a bit too mature for me), but I really enjoyed the review! I can't wait to see more of your posts, and in case you haven't noticed, I'm a new follower!
    ~ Ruby @

  2. Hi Ruby...and thank you! (blushing). I'm glad all those hours spent on building up my layout are actually paying :). And thank you for following me, too. As for the reviews, you may have noticed YA books are the main focus, with Adult stuff being the exception. So there will be more YA to enjoy soon!

  3. Yes, your blog layout is really appealing and obviously a lot of work has gone into it.
    The book sounds interesting but I'm afraid I've had enough of vampire books for a while.
    I enjoyed reading your review though!
    Marian :D x

  4. Thank you Marian :). I hear you about vampire books - there are simply too many of them around, and from what I hear, mostly are probably rip-offs. I only read this series and Christopher Pike's Last Vampire (now Thirst) series with vamps in them. That's because those are different!

  5. Thanks for sharing. Great review!
    Kelly @
    The Secret Bookworm

  6. Thanks Kelly! And it gets better... ;)


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