Sweet Vernal Zephyr

Succinct Book Reviews
(aka Creating & Whit)

The Anita world is changing, for the better or worse?

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Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter Novel 20
by Laurell K. Hamilton

320 Page Hardcover, Published June 2011

A serial killer is hunting the Pacific Northwest, murdering victims in a gruesome and spectacular way. The local police suspect "monsters" are involved, and have called in Anita Blake and Edward, U.S. Marshals who really know their monsters, to catch the killer.

But 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.

The Harlequin serve the Mother of All Darkness, the first vampire. She was supposed to be dead, but only her body was destroyed. Now she needs a new one, and she’s decided that Anita Blake’s is the body she wants. Edward thinks the serial killings are a trap to lure Anita closer to the most dangerous vampire they’ve ever hunted. The vampires call Edward “Death,” and Anita the “Executioner,” but Mommy Darkest is coming to kill one and possess the other, and she doesn’t care how many others have to die along the way.
My review guidelines can be found HERE.

• "Tiger" color scheme, violent movement
• Questionable font usage and hierarchy
• Suggestive model matches current series tone
• Is that Edward or a bad vampire?

• Weretigers
• Werewolves
• Werelions
• Vampires
• Necromancer

• M/F, Were/Necoromancer

• Anita Blake is my drug.


• Once again I can't put it down. Totally want to sneak chapters at work.

• Was there a rush to get this novel out? Because I have caught a few editing mistakes already.
Confused pronouns
Consistency with numbers (3 vs. 4 tigers)
Repetition of introductory facts
Just plain mistakes: "She laid out her clothes in a neat line on the bedspread" and then a few bit of dialogue later "she dumped her clothes in a pile on the bed and began to sort them"

• Anita is still forgetting to eat solid food as a preventative method to raising the beasts inside her.

• She always seems to find at least one male that she just has to have, not mentally of course, its all metaphysical.

• I thought that we might not get any sex! Didn't happen 'til midway. Makes me feel like Ms. Hamilton is listening to what her readers are saying. (Though I happen to enjoy all the smexing.)

• Anita is very self-aware (as much as her integral character can be) and realizes she is being prude. She also vocalizes that she missed her men (and I do too).

• Olaf just got even sexier for me when Anita snuggled up to him. I have a weakness for men that make me feel small (at 5' 9" that is a rarity for me) but Olaf... my, oh my. Yeah, I know. Playing with fire and all that. He's a dangerous SOB.
"I ended up pressed to the front of his body with my entire head below his chest, so sort of his upper stomach/chest area.

God, he was big.

I had enough guy friends that I’d automatically put my arm around him for the hug, like body memory.

His much bigger arm was around me, and what was supposed to be a quick, manly, I’m-not-gay hug turned into more.

His arm tightened around me, keeping me against his body.

My right hand was in his, his arm behind my back, my left arm around his surprisingly slender waist."

• Edward is totally morphing, it feels wrong but I am willing to accept it because it is acknowledged.
"Once I’d believed that if he had to he’d kill me—he might miss me, but he’d do it.

Now, I realized maybe he wouldn’t.

Maybe he was finally emotionally attached to me in a very un-Edward-like way."

This book made me feel dirty. It's my own fault I went out and bought the new release hardcover at full price BUT I feel like I am being strung along for my money.

Rationally, it is true. An author wants to make money. But half way through this relatively short novel (300 hardcover pages in large type is NOT that long at all) the story was still being set up. Once again we get lead to the FAST climax (I want more details!) at the end and left without anyone to cuddle with. Take out the backstory (which is ridiculously redundant to a loyal Anita fan) and you're looking at a novella.

It is obvious the series is laid out in stickynotes on the wall, but flesh out these steps into generous rubenesques. Jean-Claude prefers curves and so do I. What happened to Incubus Dreams length stories that left me gasping and shuddering at the end with enough plot to ruminate on until the next release?

• Foreshadowing the series (what I think might happen next):
An evil werelion king for Anita
Hunting with Edward and his "son"
Voluntary Lycanthropy for Edward

• Read my Tuesday Teaser partially undressed.
• Read an excerpt from Ms. Hamilton's website.
• I've also reviewed the other 19 books in the series - HERE!


I've never read these books and I don't mean to be bitchy, but does the blurb not sounds like it was written by a Grade 9 English student? It just seems overly simplistic and choppy to me. *shrug* Although I suppose fans of the series who have read all the other books don't really care and likely don't read the blurb since they know they are going to get it. It's not like a yes or no based on that.

I hate when that happens with a long book, lots of repetition. I remember when I bought Acheron, 800+ pages and I swear to god some of it was lifted driectly from older books as backstory. I didn't need to pay for the same text twice.

Tam - I didn't notice at first, probably because I just skimmed the blurb... but yeah, that last paragraph is a bit cringe-worthy.

The backstory stuff is an old pet-peeve of mine with these books. I don't mind backstory in general, but tell me it a little different each time or something!

Love this frank and honest review. I enjoyed how you broke things down and brought to light many things that went on in the book.

Not bashing or anything just a very good breakdown.

Thanks SVZ! =)

Do I really even need to comment? :D

Redd - Thanks! :D

Chris - Yes, please.

I haven't visited in a while but saw the format of this review and had to come by to tell you how much I enjoyed it! I haven't read these books, though I've been offered review copies of the last couple. I feel I'd need to start at the beginning.

Typos are a sore spot for me and make me cross-eyed and twitchy as I'm reading, especially if it's a finished copy!

I actually put up a post this week asking for opinions on loyalties to series'; I hate when characters/books you love head down hill.

Great review!

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Thanks so much for delving into my head. It's scary in here sometimes, so it is nice to have company! Don't step on the zephyr...

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