September 1, 2016

Book Review: Crimson Death by Laurell K. Hamilton

Title:  Crimson Death 
Author:  Laurell K. Hamilton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Synopsis:  Now, in her twenty-fifth adventure, vampire hunter and zombie raiser Anita Blake learns how far she’ll go to save someone she loves… 

When Damian—Anita’s sometimes lover, servant, and friend—is kidnapped, Anita heads to Ireland. There she must face off against the vampire who created him. M’Lady, Moroven, Nemhain…under every name she brings terror and destruction. But Anita brings her own weapon to the party: Edward, the man known as Death itself…

My Review:

I want to preface this review by saying that I have always loved the Anita Blake series, and I probably WILL always love the Anita Blake series. I have read every single one, and I will continue to read until the bitter end. However, there are a couple of things that have become very common throughout the last 10 or so books that do bug me.

#1 - Anita still constantly questions EVERYTHING around her. Especially when it comes to her relationships, her men/women, anything involved with that. It gets a little old when you have to read a two page explanation or dialogue discussing why she does or does not kiss one man or another, or why or why not she used to kiss this person, and why she feels guilty because she doesn't anymore. Or something along those lines.

#2 - Every time Anita goes somewhere to do actual police work, there is always at least one person who offends her because they judge her for sleeping with the "monsters" or looks down on her because she's a woman. We get it! This always happens to her, everywhere she goes. I'm just kind of getting tired of reading about it in every single book.

#3 - So much of the good part of the story gets bogged down by Anita's personal relationship drama. If you're new to this series, then for god's sake don't start at book #25 - go back to the beginning so the rest of us don't have to repeatedly get a refresher course! And Hamilton needs to give us all credit. We know who Anita's lovers are, we know how they became lovers, we know how they all fit together. We don't need yet another detailed explanation of a person's history just because they walk into the scene.

#4 - The ending was rushed, as usual. So. much. build. up. and then the finale is over in a dozen pages. I didn't get the satisfaction out of it that I wanted. There needed to be be MORE to the ending. The final battle was literally a couple of paragraphs. So disappointing! Probably a good quarter of the first part of the book could have been cut out so that we could have gotten the payoff at the end. Ugh!  And based on the synopsis, there should have been so much more of Edward involved when Anita fights the big, bad, ugly, but he pretty much disappears for the whole last quarter of the book.  The biggest let down was that there was so much that happened at the end that needed more explanation, or at the very least a couple of paragraphs description.  It was more like a list of this happened, this happened, and then this.  This should have been the payoff for the entire book, and it just fizzled out.

Overall, I liked it, but only because I love this series, and I love these characters. I'm invested enough that it would take something awful to drive me away from reading these books. But, I can agree with a lot of reviewers that over time the story has lost something as more and more of the polygamy/polyamory angle is incorporated. I wish it would go back to being about the crimes, the police work, the magic, and while I do love the romance/relationship aspect of it, it needs to be done differently in a way that doesn't bog down the story so much.

If you are a fan of Hamilton or this series, you will definitely want to add this to your TBR list. There's still way more good than bad in these stories that 100% make them worth the read. I'm still a fan, and will be anxiously awaiting the next Anita Blake book!

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