After reading Bullet, I wasn’t sure I’d pick up another Anita Blake book. It was bad. Really bad. Had no ending or climax, the conflict just sort of went away. However, since I’m an author myself and know how hard it is to write these damn things, and LKH was the whole inspiration for me to take a crack at writing myself, I decided I was a fan, darn it, and fans stick out the rough spots.
So, I got my hands on her latest Anita Blake novel, Kiss the Dead.
Here’s the skinny, courtesy of Goodreads:
When a fifteen-year-old girl is abducted by vampires, it’s up to U.S. Marshal Anita Blake to find her. And when she does, she’s faced with something she’s never seen before: a terrifyingly ordinary group of people—kids, grandparents, soccer moms—all recently turned and willing to die to avoid serving a master. And where there’s one martyr, there will be more…
But even vampires have monsters that they’re afraid of. And Anita is one of them…
All of the Anita Blake covers have that NY best seller look to them, don’t they? I love the colors in this one and the dark feel of it, the man looming in the background and the woman laying beneath the jagged edges. The whole thing is bold and eye-catching, just how I like them.
I liked this book. Enjoyed it. Laughed. Teared a little–yeah, I did, I’m not afraid to admit it. I was so afraid of being disappointed like I was with Bullet, but it appears as though that was just one blip in LKH’s massive lineup of books. I originally rated this a three, but I think that’s because I have an issue with the ending, and that one little piece frustrated me at first, and if I’d given myself some time to think about it, I would have rated it differently.
The more I thought about the story, the characters and the growth of Anita herself, I rethought my rating and gave it a four. It’s well written. It’s entertaining, and we got much more actual police work and relationships than just naked screwing of everything that moves. Not that I have a problem with that in the slightest, there just needs to be a balance, and in this one, there was.
What I really like about this book, is that I get a sense that LKH is figuring herself out while Anita’s doing the same. I think that’s really neat, how her thought processes have changed and her overall outlook on life, what’s important and such. It made me think more about my own life and those of my characters. I like it when a book can do that.
My one little niggle, as I said earlier, came at the end. What first drew me to LKH’s writing is that she wasn’t afraid to get messy, to kill people off, to do her worst to her characters and make everyone that much stronger for it.
This ending was waaaay too tidy for my liking. There is an enormous cast of lovers, and I was sure this book might see a few leave the series during the climax.
Nope. Everything worked out perfectly without a single hair harmed on a single head.
Has LKH lost a bit of her grit because she’s too attached to Anita’s lovers? All thirty or forty of them? That’s just me, though, and you all know how cruel of an author I can be. I expected a bit of harsh reality for Anita because of the buildup. Oh well, maybe next time. 🙂
Overall, I’d recommend this book to PNR & UF lovers, especially those who like crime fiction.