Tag Archives: The Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter Series

Kiss The Dead

This is a review of “Hit List” by Laurell K. Hamilton. It is the 21st book in The Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter Series.

“Kiss The Dead” follows on from “Beauty” and “Hit List“.

Anita is working in her capacity as a US Marshal and Vampire Hunter. She’s so good at her job, the vampires call her The Executioner. Her kill count is higher than anyone else’s. A fifteen year old girl has been abducted by a group of vampires. Anita and the other police have to find her before it is too late.

But when they arrive at the scene, two officers are down. Once the girl has been secured (and a few bad guys have been taken care of), Anita sees that these vampires don’t look like your average vampire. They look too young, or too old. They look like your average kid, or grandmother. And what’s more they appear to be “masterless”, and believe that they have a right to be free. Free from the control of any master, and to be treated as equals to humans in the eye of the law.

But the dead officers can’t be overlooked. Or the girl’s abduction. And why would anyone want to spend eternity as an awkward teen? Or skinny grandparent? Anita is not too sure why anyone would choose such a fate. But she knows there is more of them, who are probably more dangerous. It’s up to her and the other men and women of the law to to find them before it is too late.

And Anita’s personal life is just as complicated as it ever is. Asher’s tantrums are getting out of control, and her very young lover Cynric (Sin), is learning that its hard to love someone who is in as much danger as Anita always seems to be.

This book was pretty good. It started off great. Police work and crime noir. Just as I like it. Still too many sex scenes with too many partners for me. Am pretty over Anita writhing and screaming all over the place. Anita claims she is happier than she has ever been, but there always seems to be someone having a big whinge. And it’s amazing how many polyamorous people live in St Louis. I have never even met one before. Not that I have anything against polygamy, it’s just pretty unrealistic that Anita has so many poly-ok lovers. But like I have said before, vampires and lycanthropes don’t exist either, so why am I bitching?

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Hit List

This is a review of “Hit List” by Laurell K. Hamilton. It is the 20th book in The Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter Series.

“Hit List” follows on from “Bullet“.

Anita is away from home doing some police work in her capacity as a US Marshal (Preternatural Branch). She’s missing her sweeties, but she knows that what she is doing is important. She’s investigating a string of murders with the help of Edward, alias US Marshal Ted Forrester. Were Tigers (victims of accidents, not born into a clan) are being killed and left in pieces.

Their case is more annoying than usual, because they know who the perpetrators are. But they can’t tell anyone about them, because it means death for anyone who utters their name. It’s The Harlequin. Anita and Edward hope that they can solve this case not only so they can get rid of the bad guys for good (and their puppeteer and master the Mother of All Darkness), but so they can go home to their loved ones.

They know who they’re looking for, but they don’t know where to look. They’ve also got to cooperate with yet another cop (a regular Marshal) who hates Anita and some newbie Preternatural Marshals. Edward and Anita don’t really have much room to do things the way they want to do them. Anita is attacked in her hotel room by one of The Harlequin, a shapeshifter. Her newbie roomie Marshal Karlton is badly injured (and it’s possible she will be furry once a month from now on). The warrant is passed on to the other newbie. *sigh*

Anita and Edward decide to go to the local were tiger clan to gather some info and so that Anita can feed her ardeur on her red tiger to call, Alex. Whilst they are there Anita is attacked by yet another undercover Harlequin. And then it’s on to another crime scene, which turns out to be a trap. They narrowly escape, and after they hold a fruitless hunt, Anita must go to the hospital to get her injured arm fixed up. She’s out of it for 24hours, and she adds another tiger to her list of honeys, Ethan. The ardeur is fed. Phew.

The other newbie has been injured, so now the warrant is Edwards. Yay. Edward calls in back up (his usual) Bernardo and Olaf. And Anita deputises some of her shape shifting guards to help with the tracking.

Can they find and destroy the Harlequin and the MOAD? Will Anita and Edward get to return home safe to their sweeties? What’s Anita going to do with yet another man? Will Olaf be his usual creepy self?

I liked this one better than “Bullet“. It started off great. I love Edward, so I was happy to see him. I also love Olaf because he give me the creeps. I enjoyed the minimal sex, but disliked the fact that she’s collected another guy (even though he seems nice enough). I would have liked more impact from the final confrontation between MOAD and Anita. But all in all, I liked it.

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Bullet

This is a review of “Bullet” by Laurell K. Hamilton. It is the 19th book in The Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter Series.

“Bullet” follows on from “Flirt“.

Anita goes to a dance recital. Her honey Nathaniel is performing. So too is her close friend Jason. Not to mention the offspring (Matthew) of the late vampire Robert and Anita’s frenemy (definitely more enemy than friend) Monica Vespucci (read “Guilty Pleasures” if you can’t remember the reason for the animosity). Everyone dances beautifully, but there are a couple of awkward moments. There’s tension between Asher and Micah, which is heightened when Micah and Nathaniel share their first public kiss. Monica is being catty towards Anita and Matthew has noticed that “all the big boys kiss ‘Nita”.

Asher does not look happy at all when it’s home time. Anita is concerned, but more relieved that she doesn’t have to ride back to the Circus with Jean Claude and Asher, especially when it looks as though Asher’s got a big bee in his bonnet. When Anita arrives at the Circus, she is greeted with a strange sight. It looks for all the world as if Asher and Jean Claude are about to physically fight. Anita insists that Asher tell them what’s up. And my, he certainly does have a huge bee.

Asher is still not getting any love from Jean Claude. Anita is shocked, as she assumed they’d definitely been giving each other some one on one time. But nothing doing. Asher insists that this must change, or he has no choice but to go and take the were hyenas with him. Looks like Anita and especially Jean Claude, best be making this right, and soon.

And another shock. Richard is back. And he’s changed. No more wounded, whiny Richard. This new Richard is all about business and getting down. Thank goodness. He’s realised that his job as a third of the triumvirate between Anita, Jean Claude and himself is vital for keeping the supernatural community of St Louis safe.

Very lucky, as the Mother of All Darkness is not done with Anita yet. She’s found away to exist away from her own body (which has been destroyed), and she’s just as deadly as ever. She’s probably scarier. How do you kill something that doesn’t even have a body of it’s own? Anita has got to use her weird beastiness to give power to the were tigers and make them her own. They’re the biggest power source they have, so Anita’s gotta tap that. Literally. (*Sigh*).

Can they beat the Mother of All Darkness? Will this new peace with Richard and Asher last? Can she deal with the unrest from Haven and his were lions? And how the heck is she meant to fit more men into her life?

I did not enjoy “Bullet” as much as I enjoyed “Skin Trade“. “Skin Trade” really got my hopes up for more crime noir and less erotica. But we’re back to Anita saving the world with her magical vagina. I did like that Asher finally got some action. I am also liking this emerging dynamic with Micah and Nathaniel. I also thought it was good that Anita finally had to share some of her men with another lady. But the actual storyline felt a bit all over the place. There was all this sex, and then the plot resolution just felt like it was jammed into the last chapter where Anita just tells us everything worked out. Parts waffled on, (take Anita’s gym session) and I know they had their purpose, but I felt like Anita had bigger things to be doing. I am hoping “Hit List” is better.

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Flirt

This is a review of “Flirt” by Laurell K. Hamilton. It is a novella and is the 18th book in The Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter Series.

“Flirt” follows on from “Skin Trade“.

Anita is visited in her Animators Inc office by a Mr. Tony Bennington. He’s a wealthy man who is strongly mourning the death of his wife. He wishes Anita to bring back his wife so that he may be with her. He has no other reasons (complications with her will, a need for closure, to say goodbye etc.) and because of this, Anita feels that she must refuse. He wants his wife back for good, and that is not something that Anita can do. He leaves Anita’s office sad and dissatisfied.

Nathaniel and Jason arrive at the office to take Anita out to lunch. Nathaniel and Jason flirt with Mary (the receptionist) to Anita’s amusement. They meet with Micah and all go to lunch. Nathaniel flirts with their waiter, and Anita decides to test her flirting skills too.

Days later, Anita meets with another client. Ms. Natalie Zell wants Anita to raise her dead husband. She too, is a bit on the vague side when Anita wants to know why. But with a bit of prodding, Ms. Zell reveals that she wishes to take revenge on her husband for not only denying her the chance of having children, but for cheating on her and having a child with another woman. Again, Anita refuses, even though, like Mr. Bennington, Ms. Zell offers Anita a lot of money.

Anita returns to the restaurant of the flirty waiter, this time alone. Here, she is confronted by two were lion thugs. They’re there to kidnap her to perform one of the jobs she’s recently refused. And as insurance they’re holding her were-honeys at gun point (well in the sight of snipers anyway). It is just Anita’s luck that her lioness is still on the prowl for a lion to call. Looks like things could get messy.

This novella was ok. It was lighter than some of Hamilton’s other works, but some of the storyline didn’t do it for me. As I have said before, Anita’s ever growing harem of men is starting to bore me. I did like the return to Anita’s zombie raising. But I liked Skin Trade a lot more. I am hoping the next few novels are more like ST and less about sex with strange men. It is not that I don’t like sex, I am not a prude. I guess I just prefer Anita when she is solving crime, raising zombies or killing things. At the end of this novella Hamilton also gives us an insight into her writing process.

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Skin Trade

This is a review of “Skin Trade” by Laurell K. Hamilton. It is the 17th novel in The Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter Series.

“Skin Trade” follows on from “Blood Noir“.

Anita is at her Animators Inc office when she receives a package. And it’s no ordinary package. It’s a human head. Sent from Las Vegas. Anita calls the authorities of Sin City to make them aware, but it seems as though they were expecting a call. A local serial killer has left her a message in the blood of his victims. Just great.

Anita has dealt with this guy before in St Louis. He likes to kill strippers, and he’s a vampire that goes by the name Vittorio. It seems although he’s upped the ante in Las Vegas. Several police officers and the local vampire executioner have been murdered preternaturally. Anita knows she’s gotta help catch this guy before he kills again. So she slips away from St Louis while Jean Claude is the dead to the world in his day sleep.

But she won’t be alone, Edward aka “Death” aka Ted Forrester will be there in his capacity as vampire executioner and Federal Marshal. So too, will serial killer and government spook Olaf aka Federal Marshal Otto Jeffries and Federal Marshal Bernardo Spotted-Horse. And her newest animal to call, weretiger Crispin, lives in Vegas, handy if she needs a snack for the ardeur.

Vegas is different to St Louis. They have their own psychics and magic practitioners on their SWAT team, and the Master Vampire of the City is an old time mob boss, his wife Queen of the White Were Tiger Clan.

Can Anita catch the sicko who mailed her the head? Can she work a police case without any horrible metaphysical stuff going down? Can she avoid Olaf and his crush and creepy advances? Can she steer clear of Marmee Noir and her need to call were tigers of all colours? And will she make it home to Jean Claude and all of her other sweeties?

I liked this one. Finally Anita is more like she used to be. Helping police to solve crimes, attending preternatural murder scenes and solving mysteries. I always enjoy having Edward in the mix, and Olaf makes things … interesting. There was still some sex, but mostly, Anita is back to the way I like her.

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Blood Noir

This is a review of “Blood Noir” by Laurell K. Hamilton. it is the 16th novel in The Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter Series.

“Blood Noir follows on from “The Harlequin“.

Anita has a weird relationship with Jean Claude’s pomme de sang, werewolf Jason Schulyer. He’s emergency food for the ardeur, but he’s also more than that. He’s a very close friend. A lover. They’re definitely “friends with benefits”. They enjoy each other’s company, he is Nathaniel’s best friend and they usually have deep and meaningful conversations.

So when Jason is in need of support. Anita helps out. He’s going home to visit his sick father who is dying of cancer. His mother has asked him to bring home a girlfriend. Read: Jason’s dad thinks Jason is gay, and is not ok with this for whatever reason. Jason isn’t gay (he doesn’t mind a bit of guy love now and then, but mostly he is hetero) but his dad never has and most likely never will believe him.

Anita wants to support Jason any way she can, and while she’s not exactly thrilled to be pretending to be Jason’s steady girlfriend, they are after all lovers, so why not?

So they fly back to Jason’s hometown. Unbeknownst to Anita, Jason’s hometown was founded by a (shall we say cult?) religious leader, and everyone looks eerily similar. Unfortunately Jason just so happens to be the spitting image of the Governor’s twins, the Summerland boys. And even more annoyingly, one of the boys is getting married the weekend that Anita and Jason are in town visiting the ailing Mr Schulyer.

Governor Summerland is a pretty big deal. He’s a likely presidential candidate and so it’s a big deal that Keith is tying the knot. There’s a media frenzy. Keith is also a bit of a bad boy, so poor Jason has to watch his back. Security details have been set up to watch/protect Jason which leads to Anita suspecting that Keith may be in big trouble.

What’s Keith Summerland done? Will Jason mend his relationship with his dad? What are Anita’s feelings about Jason? Can she handle a whole weekend away from St Louis without anything metaphysical going awry? And what will the media make of Jason’s true identity as Jean Claude’s pomme de sang and stripper, and the fact that he’s taken Anita (Jean Claude’s main squeeze) home to meet his parents?

I liked this one. It was great to get to know Jason a little better, and there was more mystery and “bad assness” from Anita. Richard was annoying as always. I get he is jealous (and I liked that initially because it seemed like a realistic reaction to Anita’s “situation”) but seriously? Time to get over it and move on buddy. It ain’t gonna play out the way you want it to. And bitching about it won’t do jack.

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The Harlequin

This is a review of “The Harlequin” by Laurell K. Hamilton. It is the 15th novel in The Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter Series.

“The Harlequin” follows on from “Danse Macabre“.

Anita is still trying to find balance in her love life. She’s got about 6 boyfriends at the moment (give or take a few) and it’s hard to give them all equal attention. She goes on a date to the cinema with her youngest flame, stripper Nathaniel. After the movie, she takes a trip to the ladies (as you inevitably do as a woman) and when she goes to wash her hands, she finds a gift box waiting for her near the wash basin. Her name is written on the box. Thinking it is a surprise gift from Nathaniel, she opens the box. In it lies a plain white mask. Bewildered, she questions Nathaniel, but he too is clueless about the box. Correctly assuming that the mask is no doubt something vamp-y Anita calls Jean Claude.

Jean Claude is horrified. He relaxes only slightly when he learns that the colour of the mask is white. He tells Anita that cannot explain the mask and what it means just yet. He tells her only that this is serious vampire business and that they must proceed with caution. He waits until he himself has been contacted (with his very own white mask) before explaining anymore to Anita. This understandably makes Anita very irritated and curious.

The mask gifters are The Harlequin. They are a kind of police force for the vampires. An uber scary police force. A white mask means that they have come merely to observe. But they haven’t just been observing. They’ve been tampering with Jean Claude, Anita and their people. And that’s against the rules. Scared, Anita calls Edward in for back up. The thought of Edward makes her feel safe. If only the same could be said for his back up. He’s brought Peter with him. Damaged teenager, and soon to be step son to Edward. That’s bad enough. But he’s also brought Olaf.

Yup, Olaf. Creepy serial killer Olaf. Creepy serial killer and government spook Olaf, whose victim of preference are small, petite brunettes. Sound like anyone we know? What the hell was Edward thinking? He assures Anita that if he had not brought Olaf along for the ride, then Olaf would have come alone. This way, Edward can at least keep an eye on him. Plus, he’s got the type of expertise they need. Anita just wishes she could shoot him, kill him, and be done with it.

Anita still has to juggle her men too. Nathaniel needs his needs met. His S&M needs met. Anita still has to choose another pomme de sang, and attempt to call Sampson’s siren abilities. Richard is still Richard. Jealous, angry, bitter and longing for an Anita that exists only in her imagination. Can Anita come out with all of her men?

Can they all stay safe from The Harlequin? Can Anita get Olaf to place his…affections(?) elsewhere?

I liked this book better than the more recent Anita books I have reviewed. It had a kind of mystery, and some suspense and twists, but I’d still like some more Animators Inc and police stuff. There were also some pretty big typos that led to confusion (Sylvie saying “I don’t do women” and Willie’s girlfriend became Candy instead of Hannah).

I really liked that Edward and Olaf made an appearance. I also liked that Anita had some relationship issues to work on.

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Incubus Dreams

This is a review of “Incubus Dreams” by Laurell K. Hamilton. It is the 12th novel in The Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter Series.

“Incubus Dreams” follows on from “Cerulean Sins“.

While at work at Animators Inc, Anita meets with Barbara and Steve Brown. The couple wish to have their son raised, but Anita refuses on the grounds that he was murdered (murdered people when raised as zombies, go after their murderer). She does however, agree to assist in the investigation.

Anita continues to struggle with the metaphysical problems caused by her recent increase in power. The unpredictable spikes in power are not only messing with her, but with Jean Claude and Richard too.

Vampire politics are getting tricky too. Local religious vampire leader, Malcom has not been making his vampires take blood oaths, so his followers are essentially unbound and dangerous. They cannot be restrainedby Malcom.

Anita faces more problems as the ardeur becomes more and more ardent. She’s having a lot of related personal problems as a result. Not only is the ardeur affecting her personal relationships, but she is beginning to face prejudice and distrust from her professional colleagues, who are of the opinion that she spends too much time with the monsters.

There also appears to be a string of murders committed by vampires that focuson strippers or strip club patrons.

Can she help the Browns find closure? Can she control her newfound powers a little better? What’s going to happen with Malcom and his unbound cult? Will her relationship problems be resolved? And who is murdering strippers? Why?

Again, I liked this book but Anita’s love life is becoming pretty ridiculous. She’s not being fair, and come on. She has like 5 boyfriends now. What the?

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Cerulean Sins

This is a review of “Cerulean Sins” by Laurell K. Hamilton. It is the 11th novel in The Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter Series.

“Cerulean Sins” follows on from “Narcissus in Chains“.

Anita has attracted the attention of one Leo Harlan, a professional assassin who wants to employ Anita to animate one of his ancestors. But is that all he wants? Anita is also followed by two mercenaries, whom she arrests using her status as a Federal Marshall.

Jean Claude is surprised by a visit from Musette, and her entourage, all representatives of Belle Morte, founder of Jean Claude’s blood line, and vampire council member. Their motives for the visit remain to be seen.

Anita learns of a series of shockingly brutal rapes and murders, whom she believes to be committed by a shapeshifting serial killer. However, her relationship with Dolph is continuing to deteriorate and Anita finds it difficult to get any cooperation from the police.

What do Leo and the mysterious mercenaries want? And why has Belle Mort sent a delegation to St Louis? Will Jean Claude and Anita be safe? And what of Asher? And where do the murder and rapes come in? Who is responsible for those?

While not one of my favourite Anita Blake novels, this book wasn’t too bad.

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Narcissus in Chains

This is a review of “Narcissus in Chains” by Laurell K. Hamilton. It is the 10th novel in The Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter Series.

“Narcissus in Chains” follows on from “Obsidian Butterfly“.

Anita has been taking some off and away from her two lovers Jean-Claude and Richard. She is now ready to reconnect. But after Jean Claude does something that he calls “marrying the marks” Anita encounters some problems. For one she seems to have inherited Jean Claude’s ardeur. It’s cool in that she can draw energy from lust, but it’s bad in that it has to be “fed” sometimes multiple times a day. For two, she seems to have irrevocably linked herself to Damian by raising him from his true death, and whenever she is too far from him, he turns into a revenant.

Richard is attempting to turn his pack into a democracy, but anyone and everyone can see that that is just not going to work. Newcomers sense this “weakness” in Richard and plot to take the Thronos Rokke clan for their own.

Micah, an alpha wereleopard arrives in town. Anita finds herself inexplicably attracted to Micah. There’s also a new group of shapeshifters in town. They’re violent and looking for trouble. And it just so happens that the leaders of various were groups in town have been found to be missing.

Can Anita learn to live with the ardeur? What’s she going to do about Richard and his apparent death wish? What’s the deal with Micah? And what has happened to the local weres and shapeshifters?

This book was ok, but for me it marks the beginning of where this series turns into more of an erotica series than a paranormal/horror/mystery series. I gotta say, I’m not a huge fan. It becomes very unrealistic and I can’t understand why all these men are ok with Anita being so… well… slutty. Yeah, yeah I understand the in’s and outs (lol) of the ardeur, and I know she’s gotta get her freak on. And I am not judging (well ok, maybe a little). It’s just that her ideals/ethics/morals seemed to have completely flipped from the first few novels, where she vowed not to have sex again before marriage. I am also not saying it’s wrong for her to enjoy being with lots of different men, and loving sex. But seriously? I know a fair few men, and in my experience they’re very jealous creatures. Even the gentle ones ain’t that likely to agree to having a girlfriend with a variety of boyfriends.

Ok, ok, I know it’s all fiction, and come on, vampires and werewolves aren’t real either, but I find them more believable than the patience and understanding of Anita’s “boyfriends”.

That’s just what I think.

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