Title: Wicked Game
Author: Jeri Smith-Ready
Release Date: May 13, 2008
Recovering con artist Ciara Griffin is trying to live the straight life, even if it means finding a (shudder!) real job. She takes an internship at a local radio station, whose late-night time-warp format features 1940s blues, 60s psychedelia, 80s Goth, and more, all with an uncannily authentic flair. Ciara soon discovers how the DJs maintain their cred: they’re vampires, stuck forever in the eras in which they were turned.
Ciara’s first instinct, as always, is to cut and run. But communications giant Skywave wants to buy WMMP and turn it into just another hit-playing clone. Without the station–and the link it provides to their original Life Times–the vampires would “fade,” becoming little more than mindless ghosts of the past. Suddenly a routine corporate takeover becomes a matter of life and un-death.
To boost ratings and save the lives of her strange new friends, Ciara re-brands the station as “WVMP, the Lifeblood of Rock ‘n’ Roll.” In the ultimate con, she hides the DJs’ vampire nature in plain sight, disguising the bloody truth as a marketing gimmick. WVMP becomes the hottest thing around–next to Ciara’s complicated affair with grunge vamp Shane McAllister. But the “gimmick” enrages a posse of ancient and powerful vampires who aren’t so eager to be brought into the light. Soon the stakes are higher–and the perils graver–than any con game Ciara’s ever played….
Summary from Goodreads.com
My Review: I was first introduced to Jeri Smith-Ready’s books through her YA title Shade, which I loved. I went to BEA and was so excited when I got a chance to meet Jeri in person and get Shade signed by her. Then, when I was at ALA, Jeri was there again and she was signing Shade as well as her adult series involving Ciara Griffin and the vampires of WVMP. I thought if I loved the YA stuff I should give the adult books a try, so I got a signed copy of the first book, Wicked Game and book two Bad to the Bone. Plus I got to talk to Jeri some more, which is always fun 🙂
Well, I am so glad I picked up this series because I am loving it so far. I have learned that when a female character is the main focus of the book I prefer the tough, stubborn, independent women and Ciara fits that description well. Ciara was raised by parents who were con artists and she has inherited that gift or curse depending on how you look at it. As an adult she finds it very easy to con people to get what she needs. As a result she usually keeps people at a distance and does not get close to anyone or stay in one place very long. There is actually one point in the book where she does a trick with $20.00 that I had to go back and re-read once or twice just to see how she had done it and I am still not 100% sure I understood. I know, you are probably thinking, how could you like a character that is a con artist? Trust me, it is really easy with Ciara and you fall right in step with her.
Ciara is currently working her way through college and is looking for a job that can help her bring in some money for her student loans. She ends up applying for an intern position at WVMP radio to do some of their PR work. She gets the job and then promptly quits when she discovers her boss trying to convince her that the dj’s are all vampires. You see, Ciara does not believe in the supernatural, she actually does not believe in anything religious either. Her parents helped nudge her in that direction since they scammed people in to thinking they could perform miracles, when really they were robbing them blind. As a result Ciara has a hard time believing in things unless she is seeing it for herself.
Enter Shane, one of the dj’s who has an interesting encounter with Ciara that leaves her no choice but to believe in vampires. The vamps in this world have some different rules laid out that I have not read about in other series which I found interesting. One of the rules is that they are socially “stuck” in the time they were changed. Shane was changed mid 90’s, so he has that Nirvana vibe to him, which I personally love. Jeri has done an aweomse job of working music into this book that fits each of the characters perfectly. People’s musical preferences can really speak volumes about who they are and I liked getting to see that side of the characters.
The sparks between Shane and Ciara are definitely there, but it is yet to be seen if the con artist in her will make her run or if she will be brave enough to stick it out and follow her heart. Problems arise when Ciara discovers that the station is set to be sold soon and if that happens the dj’s will be out of a job and a home. You see, another condition of being a vamp in this world is that you have to always have ties to the year you were changed or you begin to forget yourself and go crazy. Vampires in this world do not live forever, but they live even shorter lives if they cannot remember who they are. So to help save the station Ciara decides that the marketing campaign should be to tell people that the dj’s are vampires. Put the truth out there, no one is going to believe it right? Well, someone out there does not like the truth being spread around and that is where the real trouble in this book begins.
Jeri Smith-Ready has done a wonderful job of putting a new spin on vampires that will keep you coming back for more. I have already started reading the second book, Bad to the Bone, and the third book, Bring on the Night, just came in the mail so I will be eager to devour both of them and be sucked into Ciara’s world. Oh yeah, I went there with that joke 🙂
“I scarf down those trendy vampire novels like they were heroin-soaked potato chips…”
First of all, this is just funny because of the reference to vampire novels, in a vampire novel. Second “heroin-soaked potato chips” I have never done drugs, but that reference is just freaking hilarious! I was laughing out loud at this and immediately ran for a pen to underline it! So funny!