Title: Wicked Game (WVMP Radio #1) [Goodreads][Amazon]
Author: Jeri Smith-Ready
Publisher: Gallery Books
Release Date: May 13, 2008
In My Opinion: Add to cart!
One Line: A very different kind of vampire story filled with entertaining characters.
About the Book: 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 just 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 WVMP 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 is a matter of life and undeath.
To boost ratings and save the lives of her strange new friends, Ciara rebrands 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…
Vampires who are Radio DJs?! What?! Jeri creates her own unique world of vampires here in her WVMP series and I found it very refreshing. Wicked Game has a slew of quirky characters that you’ll easily love, a steady-paced plot, and some smexy vampire moments. Add to that a strong, smart, and sassy female lead – you’ve got yourself a fun and entertaining novel.
Forced to find a decent job, Ciara is basically thrown into this world of vampires who desperately need her smarts and talent to help save their radio station from being torn apart by a high-powered company. It takes awhile for Ciara and the other characters to learn to trust and depend on one another and some funny vampire moments ensue. Once things start looking better, they take a turn for the worse and Ciara learns she’s more involved in this world than she originally thought. Add to that her undeniable attraction to vampire hottie, Shane, and you’ll notice everything meshes together very well.
I liked how Jeri took the vampire idea and had them seem more realistic and damaged. Their minds are pretty much set in the era they were originally living in and they all share a love of really cool music. Music plays a big part in this story, which is great because music is one of the best parts of life. One thing I really loved about the vampires was their OCDs. They each had some quirks that I thought was hilarious, because you wouldn’t think vampires would be so particular about, for instance, the order of your CDs or when you make a mess, but funny moments like that does happen and it helps to make this vampire world stand out from all the others.
The romance was okay for me. I really do like Shane and Ciara together. They help each other a lot and really care for each other, but this is one of those times where the romance doesn’t take center stage. I didn’t really feel anything for Shane though. He’s a decent guy and there were definitely some steamy moments, but that’s about it.
Overall, I really liked this book as a whole, yet felt kind of neutral about the whole thing. I didn’t overtly love it, but didn’t hate it either. My favorite aspect of the book would have to be the odd vampires. It’s one of those books where you’re like “That’s cool” and kind of just move on. I feel content to have read it and I’ll definitely be checking out the rest of the series soon.