May 21, 2008

Wicked Game

By Jeri Smith-Ready

Vacation makes me lazy. But last night I went to see Elvis Costello & the Imposters and the Police, which put me in the perfect mindset to finally write this review. (As well as to start on the many others I’ve been meaning to write. Again, vacation=lazy.)

Ciara Griffin’s parents raised her to be a con artist, but she wants to go straight. She pulled one big job to help her survive awhile, but she needs a job if she wants to keep paying her bills. Her best opportunity? Interning at local station WMMP. Of course, it seems prudent to quit once she learns the station believes the DJs are vampires. She learns her potential coworkers aren’t insane when she takes the scruffy Shane home and he bites her.

Eventually, Ciara decides to continue working for the station and designs a brilliant marketing strategy. Reveal the DJs are vampires because no one will believe the gimmick is true. The station needs the money the increased popularity will bring because the owner is threatening to sell to the conglomerate Skywave. Luckily, WVMP, the Liveblood of Rock ‘n’ Roll is a hit. Unluckily, other vampires are not pleased with the marketing strategy.

WICKED GAME moves quickly, combining business, cons, and more traditional fantasy action to create a truly satisfying urban fantasy. People complain about the glut of vampire novels, but Smith-Ready’s showcases their best aspects. She’s created an interesting mythology: vampires are stuck in the time they changed and must maintain ties both to their Life Time and the present. WVMP combines the music of the vampires’ times with modern technology, a perfect solution. Especially since Smith-Ready has the musical chops to pull it off. The playlist included in the front of the book is full of excellent songs, and some I now need to hear. (Dude, she knows Lead Belly. That’s incredible.)

I also appreciate that Ciara doesn’t instantly want Shane to bite her. In fact, she starts to fight him when he accidentally does it. It shows a level of sense that most urban fantasy heroines seem to lack. Ciara is not a traditional BA type – when the violence breaks out, she’s not in the center breaking skulls, she’s trying to get out of the fray. I respect that. She’s a tough woman, but her strengths aren’t physical. Refreshing.

WICKED GAME officially released last week, on the thirteenth. 10% of the author’s royalties go to VH1’s Save the Music. The sequel BAD TO THE BONE will be out May 1, 2009. WVMP Radio has its own website, which is beyond cool. I also recommend you check out Jeri’s blog. I read it regularly. Now, back to being lazy.


  1. I think vacations are when you are allowed to be lazy and take breaks...this one looks interesting.

  2. Hi Liviania!
    I recently added this book to my wish list after seeing Jeri Ready-Smith's interview on Ann Aguirre's website. It looks different... and I really like a smart heroine who knows her limits and doesn't fight every battle. I'm definitely getting this one. Thanks for the review! :)

  3. Awesome review :]

    Just to let you know, you have four entries in my contest right now. Confused? Why don't you check out my recent post about the Shooting Stars Mag contests, and maybe that'll clear up a little bit for you.


  4. I loved this book too! I got an ARC to review and it was well worth it. :) I'm looking forward to Bad To The Bone.

    Hope you're having an awesome vacation.

    Hugs, Judi - Sidhe

  5. I hink I'm going to have to buy this book...I keep seeing reviews of it (and trying to win it, but that doesn't matter because I've failed each time) and have yet to hear anything bad about it at all...

    Thanks for the review...and for the comment over on my review, too :)

  6. I finally got a copy of this book and I am planning on reading it this afternoon. Just have to finish unpacking!

  7. I've wanted to read this book for a while now. It looks and sounds soooo good.

    Great review by the way.

    I hope I can get my hands on a copy of this book soon!

  8. I still haven't got around to reading this!!!

    I need more reading you think I could get paid for reading?

  9. I finally read this!!! WOWOWOWOWOW!!!

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