[REVIEW] Wicked Game – Jeri Smith-Ready

Jeri Smith-Ready
Wicked Game (Ciara Griffin, Book 1)
Simon & Schuster (13th May 2008)
Trade Paperback ISBN-10: 1-4165-5176-X ISBN-13: 978-1-4165-5176-8

Born into a family of ‘faith healers’/con artists, Ciara Griffin’s trying to live clean by becoming a marketing intern at a Maryland radio station. When she’s informed that all the DJs are vampires, she scoffs. But then it makes sense: each DJ plays the music of the era in which they were turned – blues, psychedelia and grunge. If they don’t hold onto the past in some way, they’ll ‘fade’ – I’m not quite sure what that means, but I think it’s about losing their will to live.

In the tradition of Hollywood comedy, the radio station is about to be bought and they’ll all lose their jobs, their lives. So Ciara launches a promotion that proves quite successful, but will it be enough?

The novel features Big Bad Vampires, as well as the good DJs. But more than anything it’s a tale of redemption, something that didn’t sit well with me. The author keeps persisting that Ciara’s really a good person underneath it all, and that comes across as preachy. I say we all have our faults, but we can’t change completely – just like the vampires can’t drop the music of their eras. Even our bad features are still a part of who we are, and if we lose them all we lose ourselves too.

The connection between religion and blood didn’t work for me, because Shane McAllister didn’t take much blood from Ciara, yet the blood he took overrode the traits of the blood he already had. Also, the rivalry between Ciara and Jolene was so high school; I just wanted them to grow up and act like adults, in other words: get over yourself! And yes, the Hollywood comedy Big Bad Media Conglomerate storyline didn’t appeal to me.

But the question you’re probably wondering is: are the vampires emo? The answer: kind of. When he was still humanly alive in the 1990s Shane was depressed, but what separates emos from depressives is that depressives don’t wallow in their misery and they actually want to get better, so they seek medical assistance. But Shane was in the situation where his meds weren’t quite right (which is believable: it took me a while to find the right dosage), and he was suicidal in the method of Death by Vampire. He wanted British-wannabe (actually Canadian) Regina to drain and therefore kill him, but inside she turned him.

Threaded through the novel is music cooler than thou, so trendy and classic that it makes me wonder what musical skeletons are in the author’s closet. The more you hide your trashy music, the more people want to know what it is. Jez, I’ve got my eye on you… 😉

2 responses to “[REVIEW] Wicked Game – Jeri Smith-Ready

  1. Hm, so would you say this one’s worth buying? I can’t decide from the reviews I’ve read thus far.

  2. I do think it’s worth buying, but maybe at mass market price. Unfortunately it’ll be initially released in trade paperback…but at least you won’t have to fork out for a hardcover 😉

    Have a lovely day! 🙂

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