Crimson Death by Laurell K. Hamilton

27836564Title:    Crimson Death

Series:  Anita Blake Book #25

Author:  Laurell K. Hamilton

Genre:  Fantasy, Paranormal

Blurb:   In her twenty-fifth adventure, vampire hunter and necromancer Anita Blake learns that evil is in the eye of the beholder…

Anita has never seen Damian, her vampire servant, in such a state. The rising sun doesn’t usher in the peaceful death that he desperately needs. Instead, he’s being bombarded with violent nightmares and blood sweats.

And now, with Damian at his most vulnerable, Anita needs him the most. The vampire who created him, who subjected him to centuries of torture, might be losing control, allowing rogue vampires to run wild and break one of their kind’s few strict taboos.

Some say love is a great motivator, but hatred gets the job done, too. And when Anita joins forces with her friend Edward to stop the carnage, Damian will be at their side, even if it means traveling back to the land where all his nightmares spring from…a place that couldn’t be less welcoming to a vampire, an assassin, and a necromancer.

Ireland.

Thoughts:  My number one favorite author is Laurell K. Hamilton.  My favorite series by her is the Anita Blake series.  I was hooked on this series from the very first book, Guilty Pleasures, and through all the various twists, turns, and baddies, I have stuck with it through thick and thin.  However, even I have found myself growing a little frustrated with the last few books in the series – while it is always a joy to see my favorite characters, the story itself has been a bit stale and….well, forgettable.  Not to mention somewhat repetitive.  I was, however, very much looking forward to Crimson Death.  This, I was sure, would be the breath of fresh air the series needed.  I also knew that someone was supposed to meet their untimely demise, and I was eager to see where Ms. Hamilton took the series.  Personally, I envisioned it going one of three ways.  First, the possibility that the author would go all in and kill off a main character.  I am not talking about many of the numerous characters in the entourage, but those closest to Anita – Jean-Claude, Richard, Nathaniel, Micah – someone that truly hit Anita where it hurt the most.  While I figured this was a long shot, and yes, it would have sucked to lose one of the favorites, but I would have loved to see how Anita dealt with that and grow as a character.  I also feel like something big needed to happen for the series to grow and remain fresh.  Second, was the possibility that the author would go in a totally different direction.  I was thinking perhaps Anita herself would ‘die’, only to be brought back with the ability to actually shift into all the animal shifters she carries. And third, I feared the author might just take the safe route and just kill off a minor character.  Out of all the various ways to take this series somewhere new – for goodness sake, where is Otto for example? – the author went and played it safe.  I’m sad to say I am really disappointed.

The saving grace?  The fact that this ‘prophecy’ regarding Anita marrying one of the tigers finally reaches fruition and readers get some answers on that at least.

Regardless, the length of the book was somewhat ridiculous considering a large portion of it could have just been left out altogether.  There are a few things that are interesting and of note in the beginning, however it was mostly just ‘fluff’ for the readers to take up some pages and make it longer for absolutely no reason than to just add more sex and relationship quandaries to the book.  Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t mind the way the series went with Anita being of a line of vampires that feed from sex – however, where is all the rest of the stuff we loved from this series that was present in the beginning?  I need to see more of the kick ass Anita and her being pushed to her limits.  I need more in the action and adventure area tossed in.  I need more of the creativity that built this up to one of my favorites.

I am not quite done with the series yet, although I am tettering right there on the line of potentially calling it quits with this series.  I’ll be anxious to see where the next book takes us.

Rate:  B-/C+

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