Saturday, July 7, 2012

Review: Let It Bleed by Jeri Smith-Ready

WVMP Radio, Book 3.5
Book 1: Wicked Game review
Book 2: Bad to the Bone review
Book 3: Bring on the Night review

Tags: urban fantasy, vampires


Ciara’s attempts to deal with her new life as a vampire aren’t easy, especially when her fiancĂ© Shane’s unstable vampire DJ coworker Jim “accidentally” kills two humans who turn out to be Ciara’s cousins. Things get more complicated—and intriguing—when several more members of Ciara’s Traveler family come to town to look into their relatives’ disappearance…and bring some shocking revelations about Ciara’s anti-holy blood.


In an unprecedented move, Jeri Smith-Ready publishes an essential piece of her WVMP Radio series in an e-book novella format. Longtime fans of this urban fantasy series, including me, have been eagerly awaiting LET IT BLEED. The verdict? While a refreshing dip back into the WVMP Radio world, LET IT BLEED’s novella length does make it feel a bit rushed and incomplete.

As ever, Ciara’s witty narration carries readers’ enjoyment of the story, but—and this may just be me—I wonder if the series may be suffering from the literary equivalent of the “Moonlighting” curse—that is, now that the main characters have gotten together and are getting married and all that, some of the tension that drew me through earlier installments of this series is gone. LET IT BLEED expands Ciara’s story to include more troubling conflicts and revelations, but it feels a little bare in some places, as if the story is trying to juggle too many of these conflicts, revelations, and sideplots, with the result that the pacing is uneven and the resolution abrupt. I would’ve liked LET IT BLEED to be longer, so as to give space for the plots involving Jim and Ciara’s family to be given more space to develop.

LET IT BLEED was a complete story structurally, but I didn’t have the same emotional investment in it as I had with earlier installments. Still, I am no less a fan of the series, and excitedly look forward to the final book, Lust for Life. There are, in my opinion, few protagonists who can compare to Ciara for paranormal resourcefulness and wit, and I’d follow her through anything to the ends of the earth…or the end of the series, since that seems more likely.


Let It Bleed is currently available as a free download on Jeri Smith-Ready's website. It's an essential part of the series, so don't miss out!

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