Anita Blake #23
by Laurell K. Hamilton
AUDIO: Narrated By: Kim Alexis
PenguinRandomHouse/Penguin Audio | Jun 09, 2015 | 1204 Minutes | ISBN 9780698402126
Hard Cover: PenguinRandomHouse/Berkley | Jun 09, 2015 | 576 Pages | 6 x 9 | ISBN 9780425255711
EBook: PenguinRandomHouse/Berkley | Jun 09, 2015 | ISBN 9780698140301
Audio files provided by PenguinRandomHouse for review. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
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 . . .
Few writers seem to construct a heroine as deeply as Laurell K. Hamilton. She has defined Anita Blake heart, mind and body. It is truly a remarkable feat to have created her so seamlessly that Anita could nearly step out of the book and I would know her on the spot.
This book includes a rather gross zombie raising that may not be suitable for vegetarians, or anyone squeamish. But it examines Anita’s abilities and powers as well as those of other animators. Anita seems to be a very powerful animator, but no one yet knows the extent of her abilities as she absorbs strength and abilities through her lovers. Some of her lovers also seems to gain power and new abilities through their relationship with her.
But these new abilities cause problems as well as make raising the dead easier. She seems to be able to do things she could not do before.
There are a few too many plots on sub plots in this book. There’s a hair raising police case, a different kind of zombie, an of course an argument over who in Anita’s life she is engaged to, in love with or just having sex with. She seems to have become the queen of most animals and types of supernaturals.
It also feels like another exploration of Anita’s and others’ psychology. How to think about it, how to cope and a discovery of her own sexuality and aspects of self. That it happens throughout and pulls her away from the main mystery she has to solve irritated me. I also feel like there is not enough Jean Claude in this book.
It’s clear though that Anita is gaining more and more power and that eventually will cause some cataclysmic event. Power is good when one uses it for good. Anita, despite what others may believe to be an immoral lifestyle is a good person who seems to act selflessly often. But, power always comes with a price.
I felt as if I missed a novella in between AFFLICTION and DEAD ICE. Events that I just do not at all recall reading or at least those events occuring fully, like Asher, his return and his new relationships, pop up several times. Narcissus, who we saw in NARCISSUS IN CHAINS is given a little more humanity, and his particular sexuality is further explored. Some other super scary parts of Anita’s life are also explored, and, along with a couple of the story arcs, that makes this novel particularly edgy and may throw it well into the Horror genre.
Between the number of sub-plots, the new characters, supernatural politics and such, I felt the book was disjointed.
In regards to the recording, I feel like Kim Alexis did a great job and has a deep grasp of the character. They did not include sound effects in this book’s recording so that was a relief.
Even with its issues and my ambivalence I think I will continue reading the series for the character development and inventiveness of the plots. LKH Has constructed her world very tightly and with great consistency.
LKH’s WEBSITE: http://www.laurellkhamilton.org/works/anita-blake/dead-ice/
PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE: http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/310804/dead-ice-by-laurell-k-hamilton/