Friday, October 12, 2012

Kiss the Dead

It doesn't seem like all that long ago when I stumbled across the first Anita Blake mystery, but here I am, finishing up the 21st book in the series!  The style and focus of the books have changed substantially during the course of the series, moving from mystery novels with supernatural elements to mystery dramas with a lot of romance (read:  long and very detailed sex scenes).

I think I would have dropped out quite a few books ago if Hamilton weren't so adept at maintaining the focus on Anita and the psychological impact of the events in her life.  This one started out more in the vein of the earlier books, setting up the main confict: a fifteen-year-old girl has been kidnapped by vampires, and it's up to Anita to get her back safely.  That plot, however, falls by the wayside as Anita has to deal with events in her personal life, which wouldn't have been such a bad thing if not for the constant recapping of her relationship with each of the many lovers in her life.

I imagine it's difficult to move things forward when there are so many issues from previous installments that impact the current book in the series.  It's nice to have a refresher, but I found that the recaps bogged down the story and left me feeling impatient to get on with things.  I did enjoy the book - and after following the characters for so long, I feel I am in for the long haul. I love Anita's narration, and the fact that she cares so much about doing the right thing, even when there is no clear right thing to do. She does her best to live with the consequences of her actions, and she is always willing to take risks for the people she loves.  She and many of the other characters are ones I've come to care about over the years, as they solve mysteries and face their own demons.  This series is definitely best read in order.

Books in the Anita 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

13. Micah 
14. Danse Macabre
The Harlequin 
16. Blood Noir
17. Skin Trade
18. Flirt
19. Bullet
21. Kiss the Dead

Kiss the Dead (#21 in the Anita Blake series) by Laurell K. Hamilton (Berkley, 2012)

Also reviewed at:
Anastacia Knits:  "I did like the book, I did finish it in only a few days, & I did like it enough that I’ll read the next one, but I am left wondering once again why I am still bothering."
Curious Book Fans: "The book had a certain appeal for the part of me that enjoyed Buffy and Angel back in the day – indeed, it read that an 18 certificate version of these shows crossed with your choice of gritty American cop show."
Geranium Cat's Bookshelf:  "... I wasn't bored by the action part of the story, even if I did skim over all those slippery bodies. And it's a hell of a lot better written than that nonsense which is doing the rounds at the moment..."


  1. I do keep hearing great things about the beginning of this series, and then it seems to fall apart later. and wow, 21 volumes? that's dedication!

  2. Littleredreviewer - Thanks for stopping by! I don't know that I'd say it falls apart - rather it veers off in a totally different direction, so that those who really enjoyed the detailed mysteries of the earlier books seem to be left feeling disappointed and a little baffled. I have been sucked into Anita's world, so I'm along for the ride. I do wish there were just a little more focus on the mystery element in the later books, because it always starts out really great but ends up fizzling out. Still, I've been with the series this far, so I'm definitely hanging in there.

  3. Flipping eck! I thought I was doing well with 12 or 13 Morganville Vampires but 21!! Did you really say 21!! I know what you mean about hanging in, once you've invested this much time it really does feel as though you have to see it through - similar also to Charlaine Harris's Sookie books - I can't even remember what number I'm up to - I think 11. But 21!!!
    Lynn :D

  4. Lynn - It is pretty shocking, isn't it? I read the first one in 1993 when it first came out, and she comes out with new ones fairly regularly. I enjoy the Sookie books too, but I have a ways to go with that series. It makes me hesitate to start a series when there are so many books in it!


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