Thursday, February 13, 2014

Affliction by Laurell K. Hamilton

Anita Blake is one of the original kick-ass heroines of the modern urban fantasy/mystery/dash-of-romance genre that has become so glutted with mediocre titles these days. This series has been going for twenty years (!) now.  It started out with books that were more mysteries with supernatural elements, then it veered into some fairly explicit erotica spiced with a mystery that was often cast aside in favor of exploring relationships and issues among the growing cast of characters. The past few books have veered back to the vein of the earlier books, with complex mysteries that are more at the center of the plot line.

This one involves Micah, one of Anita's lovers, whose past has always been kept rather close to his chest. But when he finds out that his estranged father is in the hospital, close to death, he, Anita, and some others in their group fly to his hometown. They discover there are confusing, mysterious things about the attack on his father, and that others who have been attacked are turning into something that an imaginative person might call zombies...

This one is a fun, fast-paced, exciting read. I've been with this series since the beginning, and I'm always up for seeing what's going to happen next in Anita's dark, dangerous, exciting world. I imagine readers unfamiliar to the series would find some scenes a bit tedious and drawn-out, not having the background and history of the characters to inform them of the undercurrents in the characters' interactions. It might be daunting to consider starting out with a series that has so many books in it, but starting at the beginning would definitely pay off here. Readers who enjoy supernatural mysteries and strong heroines should certainly give this one a try.

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
20. Hit List 
21. Kiss the Dead
22. Affliction

Affliction  (#22 in the Anita Blake series) by Laurell K. Hamilton (Berkley Publishing Group, 2013)