Title: Affliction (An Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, Novel, #22)
Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Headline (2nd July 2013)
HAD EVERYONE BITTEN TONIGHT CAUGHT THIS? THE OTHER BITES HAD NO LOOKED LIKE VAMPIRE BITES. THEY’D BEEN ZOMBIE, OR HUMAN LOOKING. WAS THIS INFECTION SOMETHING THAT VAMPIRES AND SHAPESHIFTERS COULD CATCH? IF IT WAS, THEN IT WAS SOMETHING NEW.
Some zombies are raised. Others must be put down. Just ask me, Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter.
Before now, I figured I could handle them. Before now, I had never heard of them causing human beings to perish in such agony. But that’s all changed.
Micah’s estranged father lies dying, rotting away inside from some strange ailment that his doctors whispering about ‘zombie disease’.
I make my living from zombies – but these aren’t the kind I know so well. These creatures hunt in daylight, and are as fast and strong as vampires. If they bite you, you become just like them. And round and round it goes . . .
Where will it stop? Even I don’t know.
Rating: **** (4 stars)
AFFLICTION is the twenty-second book in Laurell K. Hamilton’s epic ANITA BLAKE, VAMPIRE HUNTER series. It has been twenty years since the first book in Hamilton’s series GUILTY PLEASURES was published in 1993, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank her for writing this series for so long. In AFFLICTION the action hits a little too close to home. Anita gets a phone call from Micah’s estranged family that his father is dying from a strange rotting disease and has days to live. Once out there, Anita gets dragged into a very strange case.
AFFLICTION is in a style very similar to the early book in the series; the plot focuses more on this mysterious ‘zombie’ disease than it does on Anita and her sweet-hearts, though that does still play a large role in the plot. I really enjoyed the fact that AFFLICTION focused more on the mysterious ‘zombie’ illness, and that we got to see her acting more as a Federal Marshall and Animator. I think Hamilton did a brilliant job in this book, balancing the action and the romance. Neither seemed to overwhelm the other, and I felt it was a really coherent book in terms of both plot and pacing. It was a really epic adventure at 567 pages (for my copy at least), but more would have been nice 😉
The basic plot for AFFLICTION is fairly typical for the ANITA BLAKE, VAMPIRE HUNTER series – something/someone, somewhere has gone badly wrong and Anita needs to fix it before it destroys all she holds dear. In this case there is this mysterious disease, which seems to cause its victims to rot like zombies whilst they are still alive. It is nothing like anyone has seen before, and Micah’s estranged father has been struck down with the illness. Everything snowballs from there, and I really enjoyed the careful unraveling and escalation of the plot and the final revelation of who is behind it all – I did not see it coming.
I really enjoy Anita as both the narrator and the protagonist; I think she has a really dry sense of humour, and I think her outlook on the world is really interesting. I also like the way that Hamilton doesn’t assume I will remember when I start the book who is who, but that she gives just enough detail to remind me – the last time I read an ANITA BLAKE, VAMPIRE HUNTER book would have been back in 2012, but I fell straight into the story and world of AFFLICTION. I really enjoyed Anita taking care of Micah for a change, though of course she cannot help getting dragged into the strange case. It was really interesting to see Micah’s family, and Anita’s reaction to meeting them. This is only the second family that we’ve met (Richard’s being the first) and it was interesting how similar and how different the two families are.
If you are an ANITA BLAKE, VAMPIRE HUNTER fan then you should definitely read this book as it is a great continuation with the series. It really is Hamilton at her best.