Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Review and Wrap up: Skin Trade + Flirt + Bullet by Laurell K. Hamilton

This post is the final review in my participation of Book Chick City's Anita Blake challenge for 2010. This is a combined review and wrap up post marking the finish of the second journey in reading the series.

Skin Trade (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter)
Title: Skin Trade (The Vampire Hunter #17: Anita Blake Series)
Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
Pages: 560 pages
Publisher: Jove
ISBN: 0515148059

When a vampire serial killer sends Anita Blake a grisly souvenir from Las Vegas, she has to warn Sin City's local authorities what they're dealing with. Only it's worse than she thought. Ten officers and one executioner have been slain-paranormal style. Anita heads to Vegas, where's she's joined by three other federal marshals, including the ruthless Edward. It's a good thing he always has her back, because when she gets close to the bodies, Anita senses "tiger" too strongly to ignore it. The weretigers are very powerful in Las Vegas, which means the odds of her rubbing someone important the wrong way just got a lot higher.


I will keep this short and simple. I totally loved the book. I actually finished this in a day. I was hooked from the second chapter until the last. I was not bore like the few previous book that Hamilton somehow wrote badly but reading Skin Trade made me want to know what happens next. It's actually fun to see Anita scared of another human being. I find that funny to think that in spite Anita's reputation.

What I don't like what's happening to the series is the fact that it's becoming forgettable. I can't even remember what happened to the last book. LKH must seriously plan her strategy if she plans to continue writing the series and to gain new readers and fans.
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Flirt (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, Book 18)Title: Flirt (The Vampire Hunter #18: Anita Blake Series)
Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
Pages: 192
Publisher: Jove
ISBN: 042523567X

When Anita Blake meets with prospective client Tony Bennington, who is desperate to have her reanimate his recently deceased wife, she is full of sympathy for his loss. Anita knows something about love, and she knows everything there is to know about loss. But what she also knows, though Tony Bennington seems unwilling to be convinced, is that the thing she can do as a necromancer isn't the miracle he thinks he needs. The creature that Anita could coerce to step out of the late Mrs. Bennington's grave would not be the lovely Mrs. Bennington. Not really. And not for long. 


To start with, I agree with everybody that this should not be considered a novel but a novella. It's too short to be priced as it is. I won't go on and talk about the book as I always do because I think that people who haven't read the series should be given the chance to either like it or not based on their preference. Lately the series lost a lot of it's followers because of how the series lost it's "spark" so I'll leave it to you to decide what you think about the books.

So there, the story still evolves around Anita and how she lives her complicated life being evolve in different supernaturals. Animator, The Executioner, 2x a triumvirate member and the list goes on and on. I actually took a liking on this particular book because in my opinion it was so much different from the past few books that I hated. But the book still doesn't have a plot which the first few books had, LKH just included a few more characters to the bunch of other which I can't really follow anymore (believe me there's a lot of character or lovers I should say that you will read). Initially I felt the story was just retold, I forgot with what book in the series it was but it's almost the same.

Overall what do I think of the book? It's picking up pace again, but I don't think LKH will gain the readers that the series lost unless she revamps the next few books of the series. Honestly, I think the series needs to retire. Big time! It's a pity with what's happening with the series but hoping it does get better.

Laurell K. Hamilton's Bullet(Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter) (Hardcover)(2010)Title: Bullet (The Vampire Hunter #19: Anita Blake Series)
Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
Pages: 368
Publisher: Jove
ISBN: 0425234339

Anita Blake is back in St. Louis and trying to live a normal life-as normal as possible for someone who is a legal vampire executioner and a U. S. Marshal. There are lovers, friends and their children, school programs to attend. In the midst of all the ordinary happiness a vampire from Anita's past reaches out. She was supposed to be dead, killed in an explosion, but the Mother of All Darkness is the first vampire, their dark creator. It's hard to kill a god. This dark goddess has reached out to her here-in St. Louis, home of everyone Anita loves most. The Mother of All Darkness has decided she has to act now or never, to control Anita, and all the vampires in America.
The Mother of All Darkness believes that the triumvirate created by master vampire Jean-Claude with Anita and the werewolf Richard Zeeman has enough power for her to regain a body and to immigrate to the New World. But the body she wants to possess is already taken. Anita is about to learn a whole new meaning to sharing her body, one that has nothing to do with the bedroom. And if the Mother of All Darkness can't succeed in taking over Anita's body for herself, she means to see that no one else has the use of it, ever again. Even Belle Morte, not always a friend to Anita, has sent word: "Run if you can..."


This book may actually save the series! Yey! I actually loved this book. The series as I always rant about lost it's touch to a lot of it's followers. After the 7th book, the series went downhill. LKH lost character development, lost a good plot, lost it's story. But in my in my honest opinion, this book may do it. May save the series from, further bad reviews.

It's a joy that finally the characters are given what they always wanted in the first few books. Richard stop being whiny, Asher gains what he wants, Anita actually knows what she is doing as finally accepted that there's no turning back and a lot more infos that I don't want to discuss but I am happy to read. The main thing that I love about this book is the growing road to a battle/conflict/dilemma/problem (sorry for the lack of word to describe it) between Anita and the Mother of all Darkness. That's the part that I am leaning to! What will happen next. And because of this, my interest in the series is slowly coming back. If there will be more book going in this line, I'll definitely risk reading another book in the series.

So far it's looking good! I am hoping that LKH will continue with this path. Lessen character introduction and increase character improvement. Cut the unnecessary addition of people. Focus on a story and take her(LKH) time. If Hamilton listens to what her readers are saying, maybe her fans will love the series again. So here's to hoping. Do I recommend this book? Yes. But strong suggestion to read the first few books of the series because it will get too confusing if you don't.
Series Wrap up

As I indicated in the start of my post, reading the whole series was part of a challenge that I joined that is hosted by Book Chick City. This is actually my second time reading the series and I enjoyed the journey again.

The Anita Blake series by LKH was such a delight since I super love reading anything supernatural. The first time I discovered the series, I fell in love instantly. There was no words to describe the excitement that I gained after reading a book in the series.

The first time I read through it was still the same feeling today. Excitement, enthusiasm, angry and sympathetic but still hoping. If you have been following the series, you'll know that the series gained and lost a big number of followers because of how the story progress. Majority of the opinion, which is same as mine, the series went downhill after the 7th novel of the series but picked the paced again in Blood Noir or The Harlequin. With dozen of books, I can't remember which book it was. I think LKH worked very hard to make something new in the series but with a lot of books, it gets hard sometime. In my honest opinion, LKH should think as early as now for the series to retire. Invest time to visualize and conceptualize a good story for the series to end with a bang! LKH should leave her fans and readers with a great book that will forgive her and the series after writing a few horrible novels. If you'll ask me if I would read the series again, the answer would be yet BUT I would choose what to read. I won't be reading the whole series again since I'll just skip out the novels that I hated.

If in the future LKH writes another novel in the series which is happening I think after reading the book, Hamilton should seriously invest her time in writing that one. The next book will either make or break her and series. So wishing luck with Hamilton's next book. Wishing luck to future readers of the series.

Here's the list of book review of the series:

13. Micah

1 comment:

  1. Hey, thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting this morning. Yes, there are very few male book bloggers out there. No idea why. Maybe we're more prone to 2-word reviews like "It sucks" or "It rocks".
    I share your ambivalence about LKH's recent novels. I'm not as optimistic that she'll salvage the series from becoming a mere excuse for selling expensive novellas.


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