So I'm going to be doing a few reviews of erotic romance, erotica, an urban fantasy books here and there to share with you. First up is Kiss the Dead by Laurell K. Hamilton. Warning: There are a few mini spoilers below. Stop reading now if you don't want to be privy to them.
Kiss the Dead is the twenty-first book in Hamilton’s Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series. You'd think after twenty books with the same main character, she'd run out of new stuff to tackle, but this book doesn’t disappoint. It certainly didn't disappoint me.
Anita Blake, US Marshall, Vampire Hunter, Vampire Servant, Succubus, etc. finds herself once again in the middle of a police investigation right at the start of the book. She’s interrogating a suspect and is quickly thrown back into the throes of danger. Hamilton’s deep first person point of view allows readers to be inside Anita’s head at all times, with no authorial intrusion. As usual, Hamilton also uses quite a bit of second person through Anita’s eyes, but it’s done so seamlessly that it’s just another facet of Blake’s character.
The first third of the book focuses on the case, keeping Anita separate from both her “live-in sweeties” and her other lovers. The normal big bads, Marmee Noir, and Belle Morte are missing from this book, and readers can almost find themselves waiting for the other shoe to drop, but Hamilton keeps the pacing and adrenaline high throughout Anita’s case and readers are not left wanting.
Anita again battles with her character flaws – is she really the monster, is she emotionally too tapped to keep taking care of and be in love with this many people, will she be able to keep everyone safe? Aside from her main sweeties Nathaniel, Micah, Jean-Claude and Asher, the book focuses on three newer relationships.
The first is Cynric, the blue tiger Anita picked up a couple books back, who makes Anita doubt her own judgment and ability to love anyone else. The second man who has a leading role in this book is Nicky, Anita’s Bride of Dracula and a vampire. The third guy in the spot-light this time is Mephistopheles, AKA, Devil, or Dev, another of Anita’s tigers to call. As usual, Nathanial and Micah take up a good portion of the book and Anita’s bed, but the other three also get a good focus.
Hamilton dazzles readers with her depth and specificity of characters. Only once or twice in the book did I get a bit confused as to who was doing what. Each character is physically and emotionally distinct, with scars, hair and eye color, body type, size, the way they speak and interact with Anita and one another unique to each individual. With such a huge cast of characters, she makes it seem effortless. By book twenty-one, I guess you get pretty good at this kind of balancing act.
Some readers might miss the hot and heavy action that isn’t in the first third of this book, but absence makes the heart grow fonder and as the book continues, Hamilton gives us the goods. Several times, in many different locations and with different characters. As usual, the sex scenes are multiple and HOT.
Overall, it was a fantastic read and it was so nice to be inside Anita's head again.
Rating: 5 out of 5 Divas