The Barnes & Noble Review
Laurell K. Hamilton's tough-as-nails vampire executioner and necromancer, Anita Blake, is back with a vengeance in the 11th book of Hamilton's wildly popular series. In Cerulean Sins, the sexy federal marshal is faced with a plethora of problems all at once.
A serial murderer is on the loose around St. Louis, and from the looks of the gruesome crime scenes, it appears to be the work of a rogue werewolf or some kind of insane shape-shifter. Anita's friend Jason is implicated by Dolph Storr, the ill-tempered head of the Regional Preternatural Investigation Team, who appears to be on the verge of a very violent nervous breakdown. While investigating the crime scenes, Anita realizes that two suspicious men are tailing her, and one turns out to be a known international terrorist. The complicated, centuries-long relationship between Jean-Claude and Asher is at a breaking point, and Anita decides to do anything (and I do mean anything) to save not only their relationship with each other but also her relationship with them.
What makes these Anita Blake novels so much fun? Every novel is breakneck-paced, action-packed, and filled with plenty of suspense and unadulterated sensuality. Add to that Hamilton's wicked sense of humor and her adeptness at character building, and this series becomes purely addictive.
Any fan of vampire-related fiction that hasn't already discovered this series should make it a point (no pun intended) to do so as soon as possible.
Paul Goat Allen
Anita Blake is one the more fascinating fictional heroines since Scarlet O'Hara-and a hell of a lot more fun than most. Despite her satin lingerie, short skirts and high heels, she kicks both human and non-human bad-guy butt-hard. Having gained immense supernatural powers and become an important force in the vampiric and lycanthropic communities of St. Louis in the 10 previous books, Anita begins this fantastic dark adventure by raising the dead and ends it by tackling a murderous monster. In between, she wades (literally) into a bloody investigation of a preternatural serial killer and (metaphysically and physically) into dangerous vampire politics. ber-vampiress Belle Morte has sent her dreaded surrogate, Musette, to demand that Anita's paramour, Jean-Claude, Master Vampire of the City, return the vampire Asher to her-a fate worse than a stake through the heart. In order to save Asher, Anita must be both sexually and psychically creative. Anita and the vampires also need head werewolf Richard to help defeat Belle Morte's designs. But can Richard, who recently dumped Anita because she was more "monster" than human, be relied on? Meanwhile, cop Dolph Storr, who's gone violently anti-preternatural, won't let Anita (now a federal marshal) help stop a series of gruesome murders. If this all seems complicated, it's nothing compared to Anita's sex life. There's plenty of the hot stuff, but it's presented with a certain morality and definite hilarity. After unraveling, to the detriment of writing and plot, some character and story line knots in previous bestseller Narcissus in Chains (2001), the author is back on track with the best Blake yet. (Apr.) Forecast: Backed by a coast-to-coast author tour, this is sure to hit bestseller lists-hard. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
In her 11th Anita Blake book (after Narcissus in Chains), Hamilton opens with Belle Morte, a truly nasty member of the Vampire Council, who has sent her retinue to the territory of master vampire Jean-Claude. As a psychic powerhouse as well as Jean-Claude's human servant and lover, Anita is desperately needed at his side. Adding to her list of problems is a series of grisly murders that police suspect are of preternatural origin and that requires her expertise as a vampire hunter to solve. Anita is a smart gal who can think fast and shoot even faster, but her weaknesses revolve around the many men in her life. Jean-Claude is not the only guy to share her bed or need her personal attention. Earlier books in the series focused on a mystery rather than Anita's complex private life and were much more interesting. Still, this is from a best-selling author and should be considered for purchase.-Patricia Altner, Information Seekers, Columbia, MD Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Hamilton abandons her Los Angeles Faerie Princess/private detective Meredith Gentry to return to her long-running St. Louis heroine, Anita Blake, who hunts rogue vampires, sleeps with a werewolf lover, and at times reanimates zombies (as last seen in Narcissus in Chains, 2001). A licensed vampire executioner, Anita herself bears the mark of the wolf and has left a love union with ravishingly beautiful vampire Jean-Claude, her Master, and Micah, shape-shifting King of the St. Louis Leopard pack. As it happens, Anita's union with these two lovers has had a synergistic effect in deepening her own powers and insight into the supernatural. She's also mixed up with her ex-fiancé Richard, an Alpha werewolf, although the two have been apart for a month. All this is set slightly in the future, and Anita is a consultant both for the city and for federal agents bent on investigating preternatural crime. In an ironic scene, we watch her reanimate a corpse to determine whether its previous inhabitant died of a self-inflicted gunshot, a question that bears legally on his will and insurance. When Anita is visited by master vampire Asher, she finds she's up against the European Council of Vampires, which has sent knockout gorgeous but dangerous Musette to check on Jean-Claude. Musette represents Belle Morte, the 600-year-old fountainhead of modern bloodsuckers, to whom Jean-Claude bears allegiance. Does Belle Morte want to move in on St. Louis? Asher warns that killing Musette-or, heaven forbid, Belle Morte-is simply not done. Anita is never logical about her love life, especially her ties with Richard, who dumped her because he longs to be human and she's much too bloodthirsty and comfortable withmonsters. The feds call Anita in when something un-human perpetrates a series of murders. As with the SM joint Narcissus, the new deaths turn on a fun center, Cerulean Sins, an erotic video store for vampires that leads us to father-abused child vampires Valentina and Bartolomé. Sexy as a blue vein. Author tour. Agent: Merrilee Heifetz/Writers House