Monday, April 12, 2010

Book Review: Wicked Game by Jeri Smith-Ready

Paperback: 361 pages
Publisher: Pocket Books (May 13, 2008)

Late-night radio you can sink your teeth into....

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....


Wicked Game is the first book in the WVMP Radio series. Ciara (pronounced Keera) is a con artist who gets hired at WVMP...a station where the DJs are vampires. What is pretty unique about Jeri Smith-Ready's vampires is that vamps basically become "stuck" in the time they died. So if you died in the 60s then you wouldn't really have an understanding of computers or today's music, etc. This factor creates some very interesting vampires but can create problems because when they lose touch with what they are used to they can begin to fade and go mental.

The DJs at the station are:

Shane-died in 1995 and plays a lot of grunge

Regina-died in 1987 and plays punk and goth

Noah-died in 1979 and plays reggae

Jim-died in 1970 and plays classic rock and psychedelia

Spencer-died in 1959 and plays rockabilly and rhythm and blues

Monroe-died in 1940 and plays blues

They are the embodiment of their times...Jim is the hippie smokin pot, Regina is the punk chick dressed in black with a bad attitude, Shane is the moody grunge guy in flannel, etc. It's pretty fun to read about them. The main character Ciara is intriguing because she walks the line of good and bad with her criminal tendencies.

Ultimately a good read. Only problem I had was keeping all the names straight at times. Can't wait to read the rest of the series.

If you want to read more about the DJs and actually listen to their playlists then head over to You can also buy some also WVMP merch there too.



Martha Eskuchen said...

You have really been reading some interesting books. You like urban fantasy?

Ellz said...

I heard this was a good series. Thanks for the review.