Review: Serpentine by Laurell K. Hamilton

Serpentine by Laurell K. Hamilton (UK edition)

MY NAME IS ANITA BLAKE AND I’VE ALWAYS OVERCOME ANYTHING I’VE FACED. BUT THIS TIME, THERE’S A MONSTER THAT EVEN I DON’T KNOW HOW TO FIGHT . . .

A remote Florida island is the perfect destination for my fellow U.S. marshal and best friend Edward’s wedding. And for me, it’s a welcome break as it’s the first trip I’ve ever taken with just wereleopards Micah and Nathaniel for company. But it’s not all fun, games and bachelor parties . . .

In this tropical paradise, Micah has discovered a horrific new form of lycanthropy, one that has afflicted a single family for generations. Believed to be an ancient Greek curse, it turns human bodies into a mass of snakes.

The last thing I need is more drama, but when women start disappearing from the hotel – and worse – my own friends and lovers become the prime suspects. A strange power is afoot, a force that’s rendering those around me helpless in its thrall. I can’t face this alone and am willing to accept help from even the deadliest places – help that I will most certainly regret. If I survive at all . . .

Series: Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter 26
Genre: Erotica, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: HEADLINE PUBLISHING GROUP (7th August 2018)
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)

The twenty-sixth novel in Laurell K. Hamilton’s brilliant Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series, Serpentine follows Anita, Micha and Nathaniel to Florida for Edward’s wedding. Life has been busy for Anita and her beaus, so romance and even sex have been on something of a back burner. The wedding is their chance for a break in tropical paradise; only like most things in Anita’s life it’s just not that easy. Micah has discovered a horrific form of what appears to be lycanthropy. And then women start disappearing from the hotel they’re staying at.

I was really looking forward to getting my hands on this book. I know a lot of people are disappointed with the later books in the series, and whilst I can understand why I’m just really invested in the characters and actually really enjoy the reading experience. So I’ll just straight out say it – if you are looking for a more plot based story, like the early Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter books, then you are going to be disappointed. Hamilton has again gone back to focusing more on Anita’s relationships than on the plot. Having said that, there is a plot that whilst small is interesting and I wish it could have been explored more.

A lot of the drama of this novel comes from interpersonal relationships. Things are not all sunshine and roses for Anita and her family, or for her friends. Getting caught up in a case when she’s supposed to be on vacation certainly doesn’t help matters, but Anita wouldn’t be Anita if she didn’t. The case is actually rather interesting. Hamilton drops little hints about what’s going on, but although I had some guesses it wasn’t until the big reveal that I actually knew what was going on. It would have been nice if the book had been a little more case focused, but I think it does work well the way it is and it does fit in with the style of Crimson Death .

Although Serpentine is not in St. Louis we do get to meet a lot of familiar faces – there’s even a namedrop of a character from near the beginning of the series – and we are introduced to some new faces. As you can tell from the blurb, the main focus of this book is Anita, Micah and Nathaniel’s relationship. I enjoyed catching up with them. I also really liked seeing Edward and his family again – and it was nice to see how different he is in this book from when we first meet him. I wasn’t that impressed with the new faces that are working for Anita and Jean Claude. Most of them felt like you’d blink and you’d miss them, and the ones that got the longer page time just seemed a little flat to me – though to be fair this might have been because Anita is the narrator and she’s dealing with the aftermath of the events in Crimson Death. Fans of Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter will not be disappointed with Serpentine as long as they have enjoyed the more recent additions to the series.

Review: Crimson Death by Laurell K. Hamilton

Crimson Death by Laurell K. Hamilton (UK edition)

Crimson Death by Laurell K. Hamilton (UK edition)

Title: Crimson Death (An Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, Novel, #25)
Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
Genre: Erotica, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Headlines (11th October 2016)
Blurb:

MY NAME IS ANITA BLAKE.
I’M A VAMPIRE HUNTER AND NECROMANCER, AND I’M ABOUT TO LEARN THAT EVIL IS IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER . . .

I’ve never seen Damian, my vampire servant, in such a state. The rising sun doesn’t usher in the peaceful death that he desperately needs. Instead, he’s being bombarded with violent nightmares and blood sweats.

Damian is at his most vulnerable, but now is the time I need him most. The vampire who created him, who subjected him to centuries of torture, might be loosing control, allowing rogue vampires to run wild and break one of their kind’s few strict taboos.

Some say love is a great motivator, but hatred gets the job done, too. I’m joining forces with my friend Edward to stop the carnage, and Damian will be at our side, even if it means travelling back to the land where all his nightmares spring from . . . a place that couldn’t be less welcoming to a vampire, an assassin and  a necromancer.

Ireland.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️(4 stars)
Review:

CRIMSON DEATH by Laurell K. Hamilton is the twenty-fifth novel in her excellent Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series. This book sees Anita travel to Ireland at the request of her friend Edward, to deal with vampires running rogue – they may even been breaking one of the strictest taboos within their culture. However, traveling to Ireland means going to the one place Damian does not want to return to – the home of the vampire that made him – but Anita desperately needs his help. It doesn’t help that Damian is being bombarded with violent nightmares and blood sweats, as the rising dawn no longer appears to grant him peaceful death.

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Review: Dead Ice by Laurell K. Hamilton

Dead Ice by Laurell K. Hamilton (UK edition)

Title: Dead Ice (An Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, Novel, #24)
Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
Genre: Erotica, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Headlines (4th June 2015)
Blurb:

MY NAME IS ANITA BLAKE AND I HAVE THE HIGHEST KILL COUNT OF ANY VAMPIRE EXECUTIONER IN THE COUNTRY.

I’m a U.S. Marshal who can raise zombies with the best of them. But ever since master vampire Jean-Claude and I went public with out engagement, all I am to anyone and everyone is Jean-Claude’s fiancée.

It’s wreaking havoc with my reputation as a hard ass – to some extent. Luckily, in professional circles, I’m still the go-to expert for zombie issues. And right now, the FBI is having one hell of a zombie issue.

Someone is producing zombie porn. I’ve seen my share of freaky undead fetishes, so this shouldn’t bother me. But the women being victimised aren’t just mindless, rotting corpses. Their souls are trapped behind their eyes, signalling voodoo of the blackest kind.

It’s the sort of case that can leave a mark on a person. And my own soul may not survive unscathed . . .

Rating: **** (4 stars)
Review:

DEAD ICE is the twenty-fourth instalment of Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter novels. Anita is dealing with the chauvinistic attitudes of those around her, since her engagement to Jean-Claude. This book also has Anita trying to track down someone who is raising zombies for porn, as well as the return of characters we haven’t seen on the page in a while.

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Review: Affliction by Laurell K. Hamilton

Affliction by Laurell K. Hamilton (UK edition)

Title: Affliction (An Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, Novel, #22)
Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Headline (2nd July 2013)
Blurb:

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)
Review:

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.

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Review: Kiss The Dead by Laurell K. Hamilton

An Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, Novel #21

Kiss The Dead by Laurell K. Hamilton, UK edition cover.

Title: Kiss The Dead  (An Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, Novel, #21)
Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher:  Headline (7th June 2012)
Blurb:

I KNEW WITHOUT DOUBT THAT IF ANY MORE VAMPIRES TRIED TO ATTACK US I’D KILL THEM TOO, REGARDLESS OF APPARENT AGE, RACE, SEX, OR RELIGIOUS AFFILIATIONS. I WAS AN EQUAL-OPPORTUNITY EXECUTIONER; I KILLED EVERYBODY.

My name is Anita Blake and I am a vampire hunter and necromancer, as well as  a US Marshal. So when a fifteen-year-old girl is abducted by vampires, it’s up to me to find her. And when I do, I’m faced with something I’ve never seen before: a terrifyingly ordinary group of people – kids, grandparents, soccer moms – all recently turned and willing to die to avoid serving their vampire master. And where there’s one martyr, I know there will be more . . .

But even vampires have monsters they’re afraid of. And I’m one of them . . .

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Review:

Kiss The Dead is the twenty-first book in Laurell K. Hamilton’s epic An Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, Novel series. Anita is in a very different place to where she was in the first book Guilty Pleasures, and at this point in the series it is very definitely an adult book. On the whole I’ve really enjoyed this series, watching Anita and her guys change and develop, and this book was no exception.

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Review: Hit List by Laurell K. Hamilton

Anita Blake book 20

Hit List by Laurell K. Hamilton, UK edition cover.

Title: Hit List (An Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, Novel)
Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Publication Date: 7th June 2011

Blurb:

We followed the fresh blood even though every molecule in my body was screaming at me to run. Run before dark. Run before the vampires come. Run.

My name is Anita Blake. The vampires call me ‘The Executioner’. So when a series of gruesome and spectacular murders occur in the Pacific Northwest, the local police call in me and fellow US Marshal Edward to track down a serial killer they are convinced must be a ‘monster’.

But I know that some monsters are very real. The Harlequin have been the bogeymen of the vampire world for more than a thousand years; they are a secret so dark that even to speak their name can earn you a death sentence. Now they are here in America, hunting weretigers and human police. And me.

The Harlequin serve the Mother of All Darkness, the first vampire. She was supposed to be dead, but only her body was destroyed. Now Mommie Dearest is back, determined to kill Edward and to possess me. And she doesn’t care how many have to die along the way.

Rating: **** (3 1/2 stars)
Review:

This is Anita’s twentieth book, which is kind of scary as the series seems to have been part of my life for a long time. In the last book, Bullet, lines were drawn in the sand and the fall-out occurs in this book. This book is more about Anita’s police work than it is about her love life – something which I really enjoyed. It’s also set outside St. Louis, so we get introduced to some new characters. But the book is not without its problems, which is why it didn’t quite make it to four stars.

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