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The Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series by Laurell K. Hamilton isn't the cheapest series I could have picked to work my way through, but I'm a bit hooked now so it's too late to worry about price tags. Blue Moon set me back £5 from Play.com with free delivery, and the price hovers at a similar mark from Amazon. The full RRP is actually a shocking £7.99, though this book is at least quite thick unlike some of the earlier releases.
I'd been left a little disappointed with some of the books in the series (this being book number eight) but I really felt that the majority of this book made up for those previous disappointments. Please note that in order to understand the following synopsis, you have to have some understanding of the previous books. It's not possible to pick this book up and start from here - too many plots are carried over from previous books for it to work.
In Blue Moon Anita Blake finally unites with werewolf ex-fiance Richard, in some ways at least. The book makes the most of exploring just how nasty two ex-lovers (sort of, as no love was ever actually made!) can get when forced to spend time together in unhappy circumstances. Conveniently, Jean-Claude, who Anita chose over Richard before, has to be left behind in a whole other state.
Serious quantities of new werewolves get introduced in this book, so many that you really have to get stuck in to follow who everyone is and what on earth is going on. I like that it's so complicated though as the complicated plot was what really held my interest throughout. There are of course new vampires too, which Anita comes face-to-face with in less than happy circumstances. Then of course there are the local police to deal with, who don't seem to have an honest bone between them thanks to motives which we spend most of the book having to guess at.
Then there's a big dose of black magic, and lives are put at risk on numerous occasions. Scarier still, in places it's Anita putting those lifes at risk. For the first time ever we really see a completely dullened Anita, and the scary thing for us as readers is that it makes for a gripping read! There's still an element of little girl in her that wants to throw up at the crime scenes, but there's also a hardened woman coming out who is becoming feared by even the state police. For the first time ever she commits actual torture on a human being.
The sexual tension in this book isn't what it was in previous books, though sex is actually mentioned a whole lot more. I think it gets a bit gratuitous in places, and perhaps even cheap. A lot of the use of sex as part of the werewolf and leopard packs felt pointless to me. I understood that the writer wanted to bring a new depth to the darkness and strip away Anita's youth and naivity, but really she went too far and it was like I'd gone from reading the Guardian to The Mirror in places.
A great read over all though, despite this slightly tacky feel in places. Anita's character really grows and evolves in this book and an awful lot happens. I can't wait to find out what will happen to Anita and co in the next book, especially as her affections have spread wider than just towards Richard and Jean-Claude now, her power is greater than ever, and she has really grown into her role as a kind of monster slayer in style.
After receiving a book that features much further down in the line of books in the "Anita Blake - vampire hunter" range of books from Laurell K Hamilton, from my darling husband for my birthday, I have had to whiz through some of the earlier books to catch up to this one, hence this review!
The book I will now review is - "Blue moon by Laurell K Hamilton".
After choosing Jean Claude, master vampire of the city of St Louis, as her lover, Anita (vampire hunter, animator, necromancer of all things deceased and downright bad ass!) has effectively broken her former fiancé's heart.
After a period of time not seeing said fiancé Richard, she is shocked to receive a phone call from his younger brother stating that Richard has been arrested for rape, not only does she not believe the allegations but due to knowing him so well formerly, she feels that this is more a set up than anything else, so immediately goes to his rescue.
After arriving in the back of beyond to help with Richards case, she soon realises that her initial thoughts had come to fruition, with a group of the most backwards and bent cops ever to have graced the pages of a book (it just shows how well these particular characters have been written as they literally made my blood boil at the treatment of not only prisoners but women too!).
After getting him bailed things should start looking up for the group, but Richard is not just Anita's ex-fiancé, he is also ulfric (top dog!) of the St Louis werewolf clan, so a whole other problem arises with them being in another clans territory.
Will Richard be cleared of rape, will Anita and Richard make up or will things take a turn for the worse (as they usually do!), and get them all killed.......
This is quite an engrossing book that really did hook me in from the very start. This book as mentioned earlier is part of a series so this should be read in order as the characters are pretty well established by this stage and would save on a lot of confusion within the story, though I did previously read number 12 in the series not realising it was part of a series and did manage to read it, though I took a while to work out who or what each character was!
The story is pretty full on from the onset, with there being a great amount of blood, guts and gore, but unlike previous books in the series this contains a fair amount of sex as well, though even though rape has been mentioned there is no rape scene in the book, which I have to say I am rather glad of!
There are some new characters added to this book from previous, so be warned nearly every person mentioned within the story line is either dead, vampire, shape shifter or has some sort of magical power, this for me adds a fantastic amount depth to the book but for others may overwhelm them with knowledge, another reason to try the previous books first!
This is quite a good book, but not the best I have read from her. As with them al the book tends to crawl a little, then picks up speed towards the end, with a final all out sprint within the last few chapters, this tends to be the format with all the books by this particular author, not a problem when the rest of the book is interesting, but I can imagine it would become a bit frustrating with the slower books in the series!
There is always plenty happening, but with this it can sometimes feel like there is violence for the sake of violence, not always explaining why the characters would put themselves in these situations, aside from the fact that they can!
The one thing that stays constant with these books is my affection for the main character Anita, though nowadays she seems to be all things to all people, with her expertise in preternatural forces (anything not human), taking her into almost every situation whether it be monster or police lead investigations. This also means that every "bad" thing out there wants a piece of Anita, with her reputation proceeding her far and wide.
Just the way she has been written though shows her vulnerable side, with her small stature and beautiful looks it is quite funny to read how she is, even after all her killings, still overlooked as a "little lady", it is an enjoyable read when she has to prove them wrong!
Price wise this is available from www.amazon.co.uk for the price of £4.99 plus P&P.
For more information visit - www.anitablake.com
Thanks for reading x