This series began back in 2008 and has been dormant since 2010. Now, the author has written an e-novella and a final book to tie things up for good: "Let It Bleed" and Lust for Life. I read the first four books at the time they were published—long before I started this blog—so I don't have individual reviews on hand (or in my memory). Therefore, I'm breaking a personal rule by including the author's web-site summaries for the first four books. The reviews of "Let It Bleed" and Lust for Life, though, are mine.
Vampires in this world have the traditional sun-sensitivity, super-strength and speed, and reliance on human blood. When one of these vampires dies—either from decapitation or a stake through the heart—its body inverts through the wound and disappears, leaving just the clothing behind. In this mythology, when a human is turned into a vampire, he or she is stuck mentally in the time period in which the turn takes place. At WVMP, this means that each DJ specializes in the music that was popular during the decade prior to his or her death. In an inventive twist, the vamps at WVMP are members of the "27 club," the term used to refer to the long list of legendary musicians who died at that young age. So...no matter how long ago they were turned, all of the DJs appear to be in their late twenties.
In addition to her adjustment to vampire life, Ciara must also work through the awkwardness that has developed in her relationship with her best (human) friend, Lori, who is having trouble dealing with Ciara's fangy, blood-loving condition. Just as Ciara is ready to walk down the aisle as Lori's maid of honor, hippie DJ Jim, whose behavior has become increasingly erratic, calls a Code Black, forcing all the vamps to immediately leave the wedding. When they arrive at Jim's bloody crime scene, they discover that he has murdered a human couple, supposedly in self defense. To Ciara's amazement and horror, she discovers that the dead couple shares her true last name: O'Riley. Are they relatives? Were they looking for her? If so, how did they find her?
The events in this novella are referenced in Lust for Life, which begins six months after this story ends, so you'll probably want to read this one first. Click HERE to go to links on the author's web site for a free download of "Let It Bleed."
As the WVMP team struggles to deal with Jim's death, a posse of his vengeful "children" come to town determined to assassinate Shane, Ciara, and Monroe (who was the one who restrained Jim back in the novella by jabbing wooden pencil "stakes" into his heart). As the plot plays out, Ciara and her friends are forced into a defensive posture as they try to protect themselves from a horde of grief-crazed hippie vampires. Will Shane and Ciara live long enough to make it to their wedding?
Smith-Ready chooses a woo-woo ending for this final book in the series, one that is totally unpredictable and way, way out there in the land of absurdity. I can't say that it's a completely satisfying ending, but it does tie up the loose ends and provide the characters with a way forward (just in case the author wants to come back to their story at a later date). All in all, this has been a strong series with well-developed lead characters and a quirky and appealing supporting cast (including Dexter, the vampire dog). Click HERE to read chapter one of Lust for Life.