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Wicked Game    by Jeri Smith-Ready order for
Wicked Game
by Jeri Smith-Ready
Order:  USA  Can
Pocket, 2008 (2008)

* * *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

Ciara Griffin applies for a marketing job at WMMP, the local radio station. She needs to make enough money to pay for her next college semester. She is surprised when the station manager hires her right away. To prepare her for the job, he gives her a stack of books to read and suggests she listen to the radio so she'll get to know the station. He even takes away her MP3 player. Ciara doesn't mind. She's just relieved they didn't investigate enough to find out about her past activities.

Ciara finds herself falling for one of the young DJs. Shane McAllister is hot, quirky, and dangerous. She learns why when she realizes that WMMP is different for reasons other than the music they play. The DJs are vampires whose lives are stuck in the era they lived in before they were turned. They dress and play music only from the time during which they lived.

There are rumors that the station might be sold to Skyware, a major communications business. If that happens the DJs will be replaced by technology and canned music as dull as elevator music. To prevent the sale, it is crucial that WMMP sell enough advertising to turn a profit. Ciara, whose past includes growing up with con artist parents, turns out to be brilliant at marketing. She changes the station call letters to WVMP, promoting it as the 'Lifeblood of Rock and Roll.' She also spills the secret that the DJs are musical geniuses of certain eras, not to mention vampires. She is sure listeners will enjoy playing along with what they'll consider a publicity stunt.

Smith-Ready introduces readers to refreshingly different vampires and to Control, an ancient paramilitary group, dedicated to protecting the good undead and destroying the bad ones. Wicked Game is a welcome addition to the urban fantasy genre.

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