Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
Publisher: Penguin Group
Genre: Paranormal Romance (Polyamorous)
Publication Date: June 1, 2010
Print ISBN: 978-0425234334
eBook ISBN: 978-1101432976
Length: 368 Pages
Purchase: Amazon Barnes and Noble
The music came back up and the next group of little girls, slightly older, came out. There was a lot of that in the next hour and change. I liked dance, and it was no reflection on the kids, but my will to live began to seep away on about the fifth group of sequined children...
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..."
I really loved reading this book. It was very hard for me to put down and I finished it in almost one sitting. I will state up front that you need to read this series in order, this is not a series where the order is pivital in character development and introduction.
The book takes place in St. Louis, where most of the books have taken place, and we get to see many of the characters that have not gotten much time in the last couple of stories. I'm mainly speaking about Jean Claude the Master Vampire of St. Louis, Richard Zeeman the "Ulfric" or werewolf king of St. Louis, Asher (Jean Claude's second) and Damain, Anita's Vampire servant. We also get to see Nathaniel and Micah, Anita's main love interests.
The character who has grown the most in this particular book is Richard Zeeman. He's been under some serious personal therapy and is finally coming to terms with his emotional issues and is also making peace with being a werewolf. Anita and Jean Claude both are happy with the changes that he exhibits, but also have some reserve due to damage that the has done to their triumvirate.
Asher makes some demands in this book that are not un-expected but that are dealt with in an interesting fashion. Asher continues to carry both the emotional scars and physical scars from being tortured centuries in the past by members of the church, who used holy water to remove the "evil" from him. He is also still second in command to Jean Claude and as the story progresses, Anita realizes why he will never be a master of the city regardless of how much metaphysical power he gains.
Haven, the werelion, also returns in this book and is as much trouble to Anita as he has ever been. In this book we get an explanation for why he and Anita are currently at odds and it is in dealing with Haven that one major character is injured, several minor characters are injured and one minor character is killed. This forces Anita to make a decision that she could leave to others but she has never been one to shirk from her duties.
As if the troubles with Haven aren't enough, we discover that "Marme Noir" didn't exactly die as we had previously thought. She is now determined to either take over Anita and her triumvirates or kill her. It is as a result of the events that take place with "Marme Noir" that vampire politics in America take a drastic change and that will lead to Jean Claude, Anita, Richard and their followers to gain even more power. We see a return of the tigers that we met in Skin Trade (Vampire Hunter) and also see the return of Jake, the werewolf, who we met in The Harlequin (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, Book 15).
Anita does not leave town to hunt vampires or raise any zombies during this book, however, she does provide the U.S. Marshal service with assistance when the master of the city in Atlanta, GA. goes on a murderous rampage.
All in all, I was very satisfied with how some of the open issues that have been lingering in the last several books were resolved and of course, there are other issues that have been left open that will hopefully be resolved in the next book in the series. I am eagerly anticipating that release in 2011. If you are a follower of this series- this is a must read!
My Rating: 5 out of 5 Crowns
FTC Disclosure: The reviewer purchased this book for review. No other remuneration was exchanged.