Laurell Hamilton's Anita Blake series is now nineteen books long and is still going strong, and the longer it gets, the harder I find it to write reviews because of what has become a tremendously complicated back story. So I'll try to keep it simple!
Anita Blake has come a long way from her early vampire-slaying days. She is now inextricably caught up a life that has few remaining connections with humans. Part of a supernatural triad with the smolderingly sexy vampire Jean-Claude and the handsome, charismatic werewolf Richard, Anita also has ties to other shapeshifter groups within St. Louis. The early novels in the series tended to focus more on separate murder cases, but as Anita's life has changed, and her necromancer powers have grown, the novels tend to focus more on the complex issues in her own life.
In the previous novel, she and her allies fought against - and subdued - a primeval force, the first-ever vampire known simply as the Mother of All Darkness. Turns out she isn't completely gone - and she's gunning for Anita using every underhanded trick in the book.
I enjoyed this one quite a bit, as I do most books in this series. Hamilton has created such a rich, dark world, full lush imagery, complicated characters and relationships, with a magical system that is consistent and makes sense. The later books in the series veer into erotica territory, and this one is no exception, but here the scenes were more integral to the actual plot than in some previous books. There were some other, non-sexual scenes that seemed to have little if anything to do with the plot, such as the dance recital, exhaustively described at the beginning of the book, and I was left wondering if seeds were being sown for future plot lines, or if perhaps some more vigorous editing might have improved matters. Still, I am always excited by a new chapter in Anita's saga, and this one was a page-turner once it got going, and there were some very interesting developments. I look forward to seeing where the next installment takes this fascinating supernatural saga.
Books in theAnita Blake series:
1. Guilty Pleasures
2. The Laughing Corpse
3. Circus of the Damned
4. The Lunatic Cafe
5. Bloody Bones
6. The Killing Dance
7. Burnt Offerings
8. Blue Moon
9. Obsidian Butterfly
10. Narcissus in Chains
11. Cerulean Sins
12. Incubus Dreams
14. Danse Macabre
15. The Harlequin
16. Blood Noir
17. Skin Trade
Bullet (#19 in the Anita Blake series) by Laurell K. Hamilton (Berkley Books, 2010)
Also reviewed at:
Book Series Reviews: "In some places it is great writing, but overall it's just good. There are parts in the book that shouldn't have made the cut, and there are things that are talked about where we really should be given the details and not just kind of loosely told that it happened."
Reading with Tequila: "Bullet brings back everything we've been missing in the Anita Blake series. Lots of action, danger and plot progression here that will do much to woo back disenfranchised series fans disappointed by the erotica feel of many recent books"
Sidhe Vicious Reviews: "It seems to me that Ms. Hamilton has heard some of her fans and has taken it back a notch to be more like her 'old school' Anita Blake, though I found it to be a great mix of everything that makes Anita Blake and the rest of the darkly rich characters amazing."