Friday, July 23, 2010

Bad to the Bone

Title/Author: Bad to the Bone by Jeri Smith-Ready

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Pocket Books

Source: Purchased through Amazon

Favorite character: Ciara & Shane

Favorite quote: “Wind rattles the leafless branches of a nearby tree, and it sounds like the bones of skeletons assembling themselves…”

“…the man in the sunshine is the same as the man in the moonlight.”

“Staccato chords in minor keys creep out of the speakers like a rat skirting the shadows.”

All in all: Exciting! I did not know what was going to happen next!

Very spoilery! (Sorry!)

What I liked: The style. Not only did Jeri Smith-Ready write beautiful and unique descriptions (see above), the details were great. Ciara kicking a doorjamb, nudging her toe in a hole in the carpet, or noticing a layer of dust on the table, really makes me see that world.

Ciara is still as clever and humorous as she was in Wicked Game. She tricks Ned to take her to the Fortress by coming up with hilarious excuses to any other suggestions he throws at her. At an “anti-vampire” meeting, she recounts, “The others give her a world of shit about it and she gets defensive, and then we all eat donuts.” This made me crack up! They way the supernatural and fantastic combined with the mundane of every cliché meeting was perfect.  I can just see the box of Entenmanns on a long folding table containing only the plain donuts that no one ever eats.

*BIG SPOILER: Her practicality is sometimes hidden from others but not from the reader. When Travis gets doused with holy water and wants them to leave him to die, her best friend Lori asks her “We can’t do that, can we?” Ciara replies, “Of course not.” To Lori, she comes off as sympathetic, but what she reveals to the reader is that he would die in a different way anyway. She can’t watch her friend Lori in pain, but she admits that she could watch Travis die. I love this honesty even if it just with herself. END BIG SPOILER*

Ciara also still has a problem with secrets vs. honesty. Although Shane tells her she can trust him no matter what, she has learned from her past that honesty can blow up in your face. Ciara still has a wall around her and she is still vulnerable and afraid, which makes her very relatable.

She also has to deal with one of her worst fears. Commitment. At one point in the book Lori, gets annoyed with her over a difference of opinion and tells her, “Fine…That way you’ll never owe anybody anything.” This is Ciara in a nutshell. She doesn’t want responsibility or commitment, but I think part of her doesn’t realize that she already has it and it is of her own making. She makes a deal with the Control for something that Shane wants, a total selfless act. She is responsible for keeping the radio station profitable so that the Vampires can have a productive life (or rather un-life). She has committed herself to this cause and it goes further when she risks her safety and her life for the people (and the vampires) that she cares about.

As much as I adore Shane, Ciara’s boyfriend, he has his quirks. Although they are a product of his Vampirism, you can see how they are causing tension between him and Ciara. It’s not an absolutely perfect relationship, vampirism aside, which also makes it realistic.  I really sympathized with her and as much as I adore Shane, part of me was like, “No way. I would never be able to deal with that.” But, Shane is still sweet and seductive and from his dialogue I felt he was smart and thoughtful.

Like Wicked Game, the last sentence of each chapter had me turning the page eagerly or pausing in contemplation. There were so many surprises in this book that I did not see coming and that is hard to do in a story. It kept it very fresh and exhilarating. Just when you thought you knew what was going on, another surprise was thrown in.

What I didn’t like: The parts that I may not have liked with a less skilled writer and a less exciting book did not bother me in this story. The twists, turns and surprises that may have had me groaning in another book – I just went with all of it.  Probably because I love the characters so much and they, and the story, are so alive for me, I was able to suspend any disbelief I had.  

I give this book 5/5 stars.


Angelique said...

Oh...I still need to get started on this series!
Great review...I wanna get to know these characters =)

Karen said...

yay! Glad your enjoying the series as much as I do!! It's my favorite (other than Jeri's Crow trilogy - but that's totally different from this one)
I'm having a contest on my blog for Bring on the Night if your interestd.
I know Shane can be weird but I'm totally in love with him. He seems real to me but with the aded vampire benifits!

Midnyte Reader said...

Thanks Angelique!

Karen, I'm looking forward to reading the Crow trilogy too. I did enter your contest and yeah, Shane is very real.

Unknown said...

i LOVE Jeri smith-ready! she is an automatic but for me... this series is awesome!

Great review!!

I recommend you check out her Aspect of crow Trilogy, its amazing! =)

Midnyte Reader said...

I will definitely do that Larissa! So many people are recommending it.

Bonnie said...

Wow, looks like there's lots to like about this book. Thanks for your thoughts.

Have a great weekend, Bonnie

Marlene Detierro said...

Bad to the Bone is a book paranormal and urban fantasy fans really need to pick up. Fans of Sookie Stackhouse are sure to enjoy this series. Personally I think it is better. But anyway, my point is if you like books along those lines then you are sure to love this one.

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