When a vampire serial killer sends Anita Blake a grisly souvenir from Las Vegas, she has to warn Sin City's local authorities what they're dealing with. Only it's worse than she thought. Ten officers and one executioner have been slain - paranormal style. Anita heads to Vegas, where's she's joined by three other federal marshals, including the ruthless Edward. It's a good thing he always has her back, because when she gets close to the bodies, Anita senses "tiger" too strongly to ignore it. The weretigers are very powerful in Las Vegas, which means the odds of her rubbing someone important the wrong way just got a lot higher.
©2009 Laurell K. Hamilton; (P)2009 Penguin
I was a huge fan of the first nine or ten Anita Blake books, and doggedly stuck through the last several installations in the hope that Hamilton would bring back the tough-as-nails vampire hunter I knew and loved. Unfortunately for me, the last few books ran like this:
There's a murder. Anita and Jean Claude talk. Anita and a few guys have sex. Then they talk about all the reasons they had sex. Anita feels guilty because she's having too much sex. She has some more sex. Lather, rinse, and repeat a few times, throw in some overdramatic scenes with Richard/Micah/whoever, solve the murder case in the last twenty pages, slap a twenty-five dollar price tag on it, and call it done.
In Skin Trade, however, Hamilton brings Anita back to herself. This story is a decent paranormal mystery, almost as good as "Circus of the Damned" or "Blue Moon". She does throw in a few sex scenes (pretty good ones, too), but doesn't lose the thrust of the mystery in all of the. . .well, thrusting.
I, for one, am thrilled to have the old girl back to carrying around more weapons than boyfriends. For the first time in a long time, I'm looking forward to seeing what happens in the next book.
I've been patiently waiting for the last few books, for LKH to get back to writing pop fiction, rather than erotica. Finally, after...what, six books? Anita Blake is back!
Less repetitive, copycat, mind-numbing sex, more action!
Of course, it's an Anita Blake book, so all the male characters stand around and have endless expository discussions about how perfect Anita is, but other than that, it's nice to finally see a story in there somewhere.
One note; others have commented that they didn't like the new narrator, Kimberly Alexis. Personally, I think she did an absolutely excellent job.
The old narrator didn't have any grasp of French accents, and her pronunciation used to drive me absolutely crazy. 'Ardeur' does not sound like 'ar-DOOR'. It was bad enough that I actually decided not to buy any more Anita audiobooks unless they changed narrators. I found Kimberly Alexis to be a refreshing change.
Worth a credit, worth a listen!
I loved the Anita Blake series when it first came out, because it was all about Anita and how she solved crimes and kicked butt with her special abilities. Some of the story was about her personal life. Then the series got really sexual. I don't mind a hot read, but the sex part took over the novels until the story line was lost. I found myself thinking, "Oh no, not another sex scene!" I almost stopped reading the series. This book seems to steer back to less sex, but there is a lot of talking between characters and not much action. If it was possible to talk a vampire to death, all the vamps would have been dead by the 3rd chapter. So for me, the pacing was slow, but overall it was an interesting read. At least Anita has some backbone again rather than just being on her back all the time.
Okay..so far Blake is back in form. No ridiculous sex scene after sex scene... However I have not been able to make it through the entire book yet.. It was so bored that I backed out to listen to Mean Streets about half way through. While seeming to get back to pre-sex-obsessed Blake novel theme, thus far, the story is putting me to sleep. After a the past six month diet of Peter F. Hamilton and Brandon Sanderson..not to mention the latest Harry Dresden novel, I find myself not caring much about this book. The story, thus far, is pretty much interchangeable with any of the earlier Blake novels. OooooOoOOoo...Marme Noir is doing something new! Wilikers! Pardon me while I yawn. Oooo..more sexual tension and crazy powers manifesting. Sorry, but this, so far, is just hack work. I had to put this down half way through when I found myself looking for an excuse to listen to something else. Hard core Anita fans will like this book, hands down. But anyone looking for some kind of serious story progression will be sadly disappointed. There's way too much talk and explaining of EVERYTHING. She infodumps in such a way that make it nearly like listening to a technical manual, a dry boring one at that. I may edit this review if I can manage to listen to the rest of the book but when I find myself able to listen to an Audio book while doing other things, not caring if I miss parts of the 'story', that is a bad sign. I can't say this a BAD Blake novel. It's probably the best one since before she got so wrapped up in the ridiculous sex infatuation, but it's just..boring. I find myself not caring much and wishing for something with a bit more meat to it.
This is the best Anita Blake book in the last few offerings. It is a good read(listen) all the way through. While Hamilton writes hot sex scenes, this one has more plot and I enjoyed it as much as the first Anita Blake books where she kicked butt and took names. Hamilton is back to writing good characters and story and much less sex. My only complaint is that the narrator was different from the one who has been reading the audio for all of the previous ones, and I prefer the first narrator. The characters do not sound quite right, especially Jean Claude.
I am sooooo glad to see this series get back to the plot and character heavy books that I enjoyed from the first.
I admit the book is a little slow and drawn out but it beats the hell out of the last few books. This is closer to the original books. I gave it an extra star just for dropping all stupid drawn out sex scenes. I don't know about the rest of you but I personally didn't recognize the the character Anita Blake and actually started to dislike her after Cerulean Sins. It was like someone else who knew nothing about the character wrote the books. The only reason I keep reading is in hope that the real character will come back. This book gave me that hope. And if you feel the way I do, then you should read the book. The question is, "Will I read the next book?" the answer, "Yes, I will. Will I regret it? Maybe! But what's life without a little regret. (Anita Blake 101)
I loved the first Anita Blake books. However, as the series went on the romantic/sexual portions of the book bogged down the narrative and made them a lot less fun. Now I only really perk up when Edward comes on the scene. Unlike a hardcopy where you can skim through the padded conflict scenes between Anita and just about any authority figure, with audio book it's a lot harder. I couldn't force myself through this book even after several attempts.
I used to be a huge fan of this series but now it is nothing more than smut. About every 30 or so pages there is some graphic group escapades which add very little to the story and just makes the book even worse. I began reading the Anita Blake books back in the early 1990s when they first came out and the books had the campy covers (which I miss). The Anita Blake books USED to be good. Now they are nothing more than a smut fest. Don't waste your Audible credits on this. Get a paper copy from the bookstore when it goes on clearance for $5.99 or less.
The characters kept saying the same things over and over again in the same conversation. What, no editor? I almost never stop reading a book, but I couldn't finish this one because it was too boring.
While the actual plot of the book is better than many of the more recent titles in the Anita Blake series - reminiscent of the plot of Obsidian Butterfly and featurning many of the same characters - the narrarator's character voices are shrill, grating and horribly distracting to the point it was painful to listen to at times. This is definitely a title you want to pick up in bookstore and read, NOT listen to.
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