The twelfth book in the Anita Blake series so by this stage, you’re either working your way through the series like me, or you’ve already passed me. If you’ve not read any at all, don’t start here as each book in the series builds on what has gone before, not in terms of direct story line but in terms of who’s who.
With that said, there is almost no story here, just a lot of character exposition and even more sex that I think were in the previous books thus far. I’m not complaining about the exposition or the sex; I happen to like those in the books I read but what I don’t like is so little is given to the story of the awful murders carried out. In fact, it’s not even wholly resolved here.
Of course, it could be argued that the main story was the progress in the triumvirate of Anita, Jean-Claude and Richard as well how Anita progresses with other relationships in her life. Which is fine, and I think that the book could have stood on its own with that and not have needed to include the side story at all.
That’s the primary reason why I’m only giving four out of five stars to this. As lengthy as it was, it felt incomplete in that one respect.
Yes, primary reason does imply that there are other reasons. In no particular order and this will probably just come off as gripes on my part, but they are:
Richard, considering he is supposed to be this very powerful werewolf, leader of the pack, alpha male and all that comes across as such, well, for lack of a better phrase, as such a big pussy. He has everything possible going for him and yet all he does is whine like a baby. What Anita sees in him, I don’t know. Well, alright, I do; it’s very clearly written why, but…ugh.
Next up is the introduction of two British vampires. Right. Now just stop, right there. British? Yes, technically, I am British but I would refer to myself as English (with Welsh and Scottish ancestry thrown in there somewhere). It’s be like called a Canadian an American. Technically, it would be correct being the same continent and all, but I just wouldn’t do it. Also, whilst we’re on the subject of subjects from this green and pleasant land, what is it with authors from that side of the pond? They have their British characters speaking like they are either from East Enders, the cast of My Fair Lady or have been educated at the RSC alongside Patrick Stewart. It’s not only LKH that does this; I’ve read it elsewhere too. Sorry, but the majority of us do not speak like that. I, personally, have never called anyone ‘duck’. Does everyone from the otherside of the Atlantic say ‘dude’ and ‘cool’ and ‘pal’? Perhaps some do, but I would imagine a lot do not.
Alright, rant over. I’d apologise, but I’m not sorry.
The final reason is LKHs ongoing treatment of other women in not just this story but the ongoing series. It’s as though Anita Blake can be the only alpha female in the cast. Any other woman? Sorry, but no HEA for you and that’s just those that survive. I’m not sure if it was the author’s intent that I felt for Jessica Arnett and Ronnie Simms, but I did and I thought that could have gone so much better. It would be nice to see other strong women come into the series that don’t end up pissing Anita off and / or end up in a dark place.