“Dead Ice (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #24)” by Laurel K. Hamilton
Synopsis: Anita Blake has the highest kill count of any vampire executioner in the country. She’s a U.S. Marshal who can raise zombies with the best of them. But ever since she and master vampire Jean-Claude went public with their engagement, all she is to anyone and everyone is Jean-Claude’s fiancée.
It’s wreaking havoc with her reputation as a hard ass—to some extent. Luckily, in professional circles, she’s still the go-to expert for zombie issues. And right now, the FBI is having one hell of a zombie issue.
Someone is producing zombie porn. Anita has seen her share of freaky undead fetishes, so this shouldn’t bother her. But the women being victimized aren’t just mindless, rotting corpses. Their souls are trapped behind their eyes, signaling voodoo of the blackest kind.
It’s the sort of case that can leave a mark on a person. And Anita’s own soul may not survive unscathed . . .
3 out of 5 stars
I have a love/hate relationship with Laurel K. Hamilton. I LOVED her earlier books and have hated most of her later ones. I keep reading in the hopes that she will allow more editing to be done and more story to flow. This is the best book in the Anita Blake series that I have read in a while … probably the best in about 7 or 8 books? Yes, I have read them all. Don’t judge me.
Anita Blake is the Executioner, the vampire killer with the highest kill count who is also engaged to vampire Jean-Claude. She is able to raise the dead and works for a re-animation firm. They raise the dead for people seeking answers. Anita also is an US Marshall who deals with anything strictly non-human. And finally, she is a shapeshifter (who doesn’t actually shift) and carries multiple animals inside her. Our Anita is a busy girl.
She has about a dozen or so lovers, both sexes. Polyamory is discussed often in Hamilton’s books and it gets a little preachy. There are a LOT of people coming (no pun intended) and going in the story and it’s hard to keep track.
What I liked: This is the first book in a while that was not all sex, all the time. The story was actually very good and I enjoyed it. You can tell, when reading, what sections were edited and what sections were not. To me, the best parts of the book were obviously edited. I really enjoyed seeing Anita kick some ass, which is her strongest suite. I haven’t seen that in a while.
What I didn’t like: So. Many. People. So many. In one scene I actually lost count of just how many names were mentioned as Anita was testing people to add to her poly group. It’s too much. There is also no mention of some of the characters that seemed to be central in older books. I guess they just disappeared.
There is a lot of sex, but I’ve come to expect that from Hamilton. It’s always amazing and wonderful and etc, etc, etc. Apparently everyone is a terrific lover, so good for you.
I liked the story, but feel like I read it for old times sake. I hope to see more books going in this direction in the future – more story, less people/sex/peoplesex.