By Laurell K. Hamilton
Series: Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #26
Category: Paranormal Fiction | Urban Fantasy | Gothic & Horror
Penguin Random House | Berkley
Hardcover & E-Book | 496 Pages
Audio Book Download or CD 922-930 minutes
Aug 07, 2018
I voluntarily reviewed an advance readers copy of this book. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
Vampire hunter Anita Blake has managed to overcome everything she faces. But this time there’s a monster that even she doesn’t know how to fight…
A remote Florida island is the perfect wedding destination for the upcoming nuptials of Anita’s fellow U.S. Marshal and best friend Edward. For Anita, the vacation is a welcome break, as it’s the first trip she gets to take with wereleopards Micah and Nathaniel. But it’s not all fun and games and bachelor parties…
In this tropical paradise Micah discovers a horrific new form of lycanthropy, one that has afflicted a single family for generations. Believed to be the result of an ancient Greek curse, it turns human bodies into a mass of snakes.
When long-simmering resentment leads to a big blowout within the wedding party, the last thing Anita needs is more drama. But it finds her anyway when women start disappearing from the hotel, and worse–her own friends and lovers are considered the prime suspects. There’s a strange power afoot that Anita has never confronted before, a force that’s rendering those around her helpless in its thrall. Unable to face it on her own, Anita is willing to accept help from even the deadliest places. Help that she will most certainly regret–if she survives at all, that is…
If you read the acknowledgments section in Laurel K. Hamilton’s latest book it becomes all too easy to believe that Hamilton’s Anita Blake series characters are not representing her own person and friends. She is open about her polyamorous life and relationships, and Anita Blake is open about hers to many people.
This “lifestyle” is foreign to me and many others in our society, but if it truly works then I have no bones with it and it certainly makes for some hot reading. But, Anita Blake is more than who she loves; she is also a faithful friend and, though not a doormat, will go to great lengths to help people. She usually does “the right thing;” she is one who walks towards the gunfire.
If you don;t know the series, don’t start here as the life of Anita Blake is complex – there is SO much backstory. And, pert of the backstory is Anita’s involvement with lovers as a sexual vampire, sort of a succubus. She is infected with the loup viruses, possibly all of them. She has legions of people tied to her psychically; multitudes of friends and foes.
This book is about Ted/Edward’s marriage of a rather Dexter-esque individual, a fellow federal marshal, and a best friend. He is somehow an assassin outside of his duties, but I cannot recall how from previous books and he hangs with some guys who are even creepier. I have always thought Anita’s relationship with him was a moral grey area. The important thing is that he leads two lives, one of which is sanctioned and the other of which is not. Anita is his best man, but all kinds of issues come up with the usual dead bodies piling up at the resort where the wedding is to be held. It’s amazing how Hamilton is able to locate more and more creepiness in Anita;s world. Eventually, her original monsters start to look more and more human.
The story line is complex, and I felt the villain was seriously telegraphed, bit who it is may not be the point. How they get the perp is what matters.
In an interesting note, cracks have begun to appear with the relationships Micah and Natahnial are not the happy little fiances they had been in the past.
If your a fan, you’re going to love the sexy combination of paranormals, steamy sex, psychology, suspense, and action. If you haven’t started the series do not start here.