Monday, November 26, 2012

The Killing Dance by Laurell K. Hamilton - Anita Blake Book 6 Review

The sixth Anita Blake novel starts with a vampire, Sabin, and his human servant, Dominic, contacting Anita for a rather…unusual job.  Sabin has begun to rot, excessively and disgustingly, and is desperate to find out if Anita’s powers in necromancy can possibly reverse the rot.  With Jean-Claude by her side, she politely (for her) informs him that she has no idea how to help him, but wouldn't let her worst enemy suffer Sabin’s fate, so agrees to try for him.

Then she leaves the vamp and goes to her furry beau, the werewolf Richard.  Where she finds out there is a hit taken out on her life, with a lot of money riding on her immediate death.  Edward, her informer, advises her to lie low for awhile, so she stays the night with Richard.

And it doesn’t take long for the reluctant three-way soap-opera that is wolf, vampire and necromancer to begin.

Richard is struggling with his identity and his place in the werewolf pack.  He is the strongest wolf they have, and should be packmaster.  But his idealistic views on human life preclude him from taking that final step to becoming Ulfric (packmaster); killing Marcus and taking his spot.  Anita knows that this naiveté will be the death of him – literally – as neither Marcus nor his lupa, Raina, share the same sentiment.

A bit too many pages of this novel are dedicated to Richard’s drama.  I get it, he doesn’t want to let go of what humanity he has managed to cling to, but come on.  I don’t want to have to read page after page of Anita’s inner or outer monologue on why her boyfriend needs to embrace who he is and do what needs to be done.  Maybe that’s why I just…don’t really care about the wolf in her life.  He annoys the crap out of me.

But the vampire, on the other hand….  I could go on about Jean-Claude’s sexiness for pages, but I’ll spare you.  Let’s just say that, aside from his carnal appeal, he’s also much, much more practical than Richard.  He wears death and violence around him like a cloak, which makes him much more compatible with Anita.  He doesn’t sweat the small stuff, so to speak, and he does his ego-stroaking all on his own.  He’s like Richard’s polar opposite, temperament wise.

And his sexiness….  Did I mention his sexiness?

Now, as mostly everyone reading this series knows by now, it takes a turn for the…pornographic later on.  Which is putting it mildly.  The Killing Dance offers the first small taste of what is to come.  It’s not overwhelming, it’s just plain hot, but there is definitely more sexual innuendo and fooling around in this one than the previous books.  Combine the sex with the violence, and you have a series that is most definitely not for the faint-of-heart.

However, if you can stomach content including snuff films, rape fantasies, sex-and-power trips, firing guns and ruthless killing, all set in a world crawling with the paranormal, then I can’t think of a series I’d recommend more.  The Killing Dance has everything you could want from a high-action, steamy novel…and a few things you might not want, as well.

The Killing Dance – 4 out of 5 stars

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