Jet III - Vengeance finds Jet settled down, trying to return to a somewhat normal life of stability and safety. But fate has other plans for her when she becomes embroiled in a terrifying terrorism plot involving figures from her past, whose thirst for revenge forces her back into the kill-or-be-killed world she'd hoped to have put behind her forever.
Q&A with Russell Blake
Q: JET has been a remarkably successful series. How many more books do you see with her?
RB: I originally envisioned it as a trilogy, but after finishing JET III, it was obvious to me that there would be at least one to two more. I really like her character, so I'm reluctant to see her story end. That's my long-winded way of saying I'll probably keep writing about her as long as readers want me to.
Q: How is JET III different than the first two books?
RB: I focused more on some of her non-traditional skills, like parkour. Plus I wanted to flesh out her emotional life a little, and give a sense of the person, not just the person involved in the action. I also tried to give her a sense of normalcy in her domestic situation, so she could bond with her loved ones and forge relationships and friendships. And of course, the ending. I wanted to keep readers on the edge of their seats, wanting to know
what happens next - which is what JET IV resolves. I could have tied everything up in a neat package at the end of JET III,
but it felt a little too pat, and the ultimate story will take at least another volume to conclude in anything approaching a satisfactory manner, for me, at least. And I felt the suspense and uncertainty it ends on creates a sort of
intriguing set of questions for readers to speculate about.
Sort of how the Lizbeth Salander books demand reading all of them to discover how the story plays out.
Q: Some might think that the character of Jet is too over-blown, not realistic enough. What say you?
RB: I deliberately went overblown - unapologetically so. I wanted a protagonist the likes of a James Bond or a Lizbeth Salander - and let's face it, those are overblown characters. I think that as long as you're willing to go, "hell yeah she can do that...she's Jet!" you'll enjoy the books. Think Raiders of the Lost Ark - does anyone care if Indiana Jones is overblown? Not me. Goes with the territory. If you're looking for The English Patient, or Sophie's Choice, you'll be disappointed. I've written very realistic, gritty protags - Fatal Exchange's Tess, Geronimo Breach's Al, the Assassin series' Capt Cruz and El Rey, Silver Justice's Silver Cassidy...I didn't want to do a repeat, so I thought I'd go more over-the-top, kick-ass with Jet. I mean, just the name. Jet. Come on. She's got to be a bad-ass with a name like that.
Q: Let's go back to the parkour. Some of the scenes seem to have her defying the laws of physics.
RB: I provide some links at the back of the book to videos of some of the better parkour practitioners. I'd say anyone who thinks I'm exaggerating what these traceurs can do would be well-advised to watch those, in their entirety, and then we can talk.