Bloody Bones (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #5)

ISBN: 0613123395
ISBN 13: 9780613123396
By: Laurell K. Hamilton

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Anita Blake Fantasy Horror Paranormal Paranormal Romance Romance To Read Urban Fantasy Vampire Vampires

About this book

When Anita Blake's boss at Animators, Inc., informs her that she's expected to raise 300-year-old zombies from a field of jumbled bones just to settle a land dispute, she's understandably annoyed. But as soon as she arrives in Branson, Missouri, to do the deed, the job gets more interesting. A psychotic sword-wielding vampire starts committing multiple murders in the area, and Anita must call on Jean-Claude, her powerful fanged suitor, for help. As always, Anita prevails over the undead, keeping Jean-Claude at arm's length, clearing the cemetery land of an ancient enchantment, and nailing the vampiric killer in one fell swoop. "First, there were the dead in the graveyard - two-hundred years dead. I'd been hired to raise them to settle a dispute over who owned the land they were buried in. Then there were the three dead teenagers in the woods, slaughtered in a way I had never seen before. And then they found the dead girl, drained of blood and left in her bed. I knew what that meant, all right. It didn't take a degree in preternatural studies to figure out that something was very wrong in and around Branson, Missouri. My name is Anita Blake. Welcome to my life..."

Reader's Thoughts

Janet Morris

Oy. I've tried to be positive about the Anita Blake books, but this book has been the worst in the series, by far. I almost gave up on it a few times, but I stuck with it.There weren't as many issues with this one & the blatant copy-paste issue that existed in The Lunatic Cafe or other books from the series, but I would've almost traded anything to have those instead of the awkward prose that did exist. I wondered at times if maybe I got a version of the book that just had a choppy writing technique, but I have a feeling that there was no difference in the edition I had as compared to the original hardback version.The plot was not as easy to follow, and the bad guys were all way too transparent. The only character that really had any decent development was Jean-Claude. (His past was nice to learn about.) Anita's past, though, became almost too annoying to constantly go over. I understand why her past had to be covered, but I almost felt like reading about her "pain" was some kind of cruel chore that an abusive parent might force a child to do.I don't understand why Anita, as the narrator, cannot be more of sympathetic character. Sometimes, it seems like reading her thoughts is like having insight to the school bully. She's such a jaded and rude character that her snide remarks don't come off as some kind of snarky wit, but instead come off as the ideas of a character that thinks that she is truly better than anyone else in existence. That arrogance is extremely off-putting. She's also extremely fragmented in her personality when it comes to monsters. Anything or anyone who has any sort of superhuman ability seems to be labeled as a monster & all monsters must be killed, but if she has any kind of warm fuzzy feelings for you, then you're safe. This seems to be a major conflict in her mind, and (since she's the narrator) it gets brought up over and over. It makes me, and probably others, just wish that some big bad monster would off her already.And why must we keep being reminded that she hold such a moral standard with regards to sex? It's disgusting to read about her saint-like prudence, and then turn a page and see that she will kill anyone and not have the slightest bit of grief over their death. She's practically a sociopath when it comes to violence, so it makes the quasi-virginal attitude all the more intolerable to read about. I will continue to read the novels, but I hope the rest get better.


Although I never really learned to like Anita Blake, she was always tolerable ~ until Bloody Bones. Didn't Anita complain about all of the Were's alpha fight/dominance nonsense in Lunatic Cafe? Really, she is no better than the Were's here. If you take out all of the "I'm a bigger badass than you are" scenes & descriptions of corny outfits, you are left with nothing more than a short story. Granted.... I do like Hamilton's story telling. But at this point I feel as if I am wading through the same crap I have read over and over again in every other Anita Blake novel. Hamilton should give her fans some credit ~ by now we know Anita sleeps with guns surrounding her, and oversize clothes hide her multiple weapons in custom made holsters. We know she wears polo shirts, black jeans, Nike's and sleeps in oversize t-shirts. Must we continue to read this in every chapter? Really?! Furthermore, how does Anita always win every stupid ass contest she begins? I'm not talking about showdowns with the bad guys/monsters. I mean every other character she encounters. The woman has no humility, no shame, no reflection on her actions. Why is Larry so loyal to her? Why do Jean-Claude and Richard love her? She is an asshole. Outwardly and even in her private thoughts.Solidifying my disgust with the entire series was the afterward to the novel. Hamilton gave Anita Blake full Mary Sue status by pointing out all of the similarities between the two of them. I don't know why it irritated me so much, but it did. Perhaps, because in Bloody Bones I realized that despite being so self-righteous, Anita is also a hypocrite. Or maybe it is because I had a crappy weekend and only slept four hours last night? Whatever the reason, I am done with this series for a long time ~ possibly for good. If Anita's boss were to fire her, or Larry turned his back on her... leaving Anita to do some soul searching and change her ways a little... that would be an interesting novel. Really, story line to make her change her attitude. But to know that she will continue to have the last word and solve all problems with guns ... well, I have read that already. No need to read it again.


Book 5 of the Anita Blake series. Anita is called in to raise a graveyard full of zombies and gets called off to investigate murders.This was a solid urban fantasy, but had a couple tropes that I find increasingly annoying.For one, the whole, "Oh no! I could date you, except you are immortal, supernaturally beautiful, strong and powerful! That makes you not human enough" thing. I understand the need for character conflict. And, xenophobia would even make sense for a new character. But, at some point, when the supernatural creatures are simply better-than vanilla humans, it starts to break down.And, the villains are getting more powerful without much change to the main character's relevant abilities. The problem with this is that heroes tend to be underdogs. So, in the first book, they'll have won a scary battle through a combination of cleverness and blind luck. But, in the fourth book, they seem confident when going up against opponents that should annihilate them. This doesn't make sense. Are they expecting ultra-super luck?In practice, there's only so many ways to write a fight. So, we get 'villain erosion'. In book 1 any vampire could have overpowered Anita. In book 5, any old master-vampire could have overpowered Anita, but the newbie vampires are easy.

Katie Kenig

This book was my least favourite of this series so far.It isn't that the writing itself was bad; in fact I can see a great improvement both in style and technique here from the beginning of the series. I just didn't enjoy the subject matter, the characters, the conflicts... it all seemed to rub me the wrong way.In particular there seemed to be a turn for the worse in the character of Richard that bothers me. I don't like it when a character seems to be growing in one direction and abruptly changes without a serious reason why. You think someone is X, but they are now Y, without cause. In a change where it makes me particularly dislike a character I used to really very much like, it particularly irks me.

Jody Mena

My favorite in the series so far! Hamilton's take on fairie lore made for some intriguing twists. Serephina was an intriguing villain, I really enjoyed the imagery of her and her powers really made things interesting. The character development was exciting for me, especially Anita's internal struggle with her mother's death, as wel as learning more about Jean Claude's past. The only thing that tripped me up a bit was that Jason seemed different than in the previous book; this may be because he was out of his mind for most of the previous book, but his character still seemed a bit incongruent between the two plots. Nevertheless, I liked his character in this book, and it was refreshing to have at least one character in the mix who knew how to take direction without constant arguing - that got a little old as the book progressed. Also, I was happy that Richard only played a brief walk-on role in this one, he's not one of my favorite characters, so if you are a big Richard fan, you might be a little disappointed, but there's still great action and suspense and many new colorful characters - don't skip it!

Mary Grace

So we have reached the fifth book of the series. Like the first four series, Bloody Bones is packed with hard core fighting, bitching and all that macho stuff that Anita seems to handle quite well. I have enjoyed reading how Anita manages to maintain a balance in her life and how she handles every obstacle effortlessly. The book is good, but compared to the first four, this was quite a long read. I mean, I didn't quite enjoy this as much as the first four books. But it doesn't mean that it is not worth reading. I enjoy the love triangle but it becomes a drag throughout the story. Throughout the series, Anita is pictured to be a strong independent woman but sometimes she comes off bitchy. I don't know why. Still a good book, though not as good as the first 4.Laurell K. Hamilton

Tilly Slaton

The creativity that seeps into Laurell Hamilton’s book is astonishing. With that said, Bloody Bones is one of her books in the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series that really doesn’t do it for me.There are parts of this book that make you read super fast in anticipation of how a scene will turn out! Unfortunately, those scenes are few and far between in this book.Bloody Bones is a wonderful book filled with profound imagination and lingering betrayal. The twists in this book are interesting, but other than the few scenes that really gripped me, the book is somewhat boring to me.Anita Blake, an arrogant and rude animator and vampire hunter is stuck between the two men in her life that leave her drowning in lustful sexual tension. This book continues to incorporate mild sexual descriptions, but I can guarantee you that it will not last. A few books later and WHAM .. yumminess. <3It was St. Patrick’s Day, and the only green I was wearing was a button that read, “Pinch me and you’re dead meat.” I’d started work last night with a green blouse on, but I’d gotten blood all over it from a beheaded chicken.Although there are a few key points to this book that are severely disturbing, there is little description which I am thankful for. pedophile vampires. Eww.The homicidal scene that Blake and her protegé are investigating is pretty brutal. As weird as this may sound, I love it! The back of the skull was full of blood and gore, like a gruesome cup, but the brain was gone. The blade had sliced him open across the chest and stomach. His intestines spilled out in a thick, rubbery mass. What I thought was his stomach had spilled out from the wound like a balloon half-inflated. The left leg had been chopped off at the hip joint. The ragged cloth of his jeans clung to the hole like the petals of an unopened flower. The left arm had been ripped out just below the elbow. The bone of the humerus was dark with dried blood, sticking up at an odd angle as if the entire arm had been broken at the shoulder and no longer moved. More violent. Had this one struggled a little?I am looking forward to the next book of this series, The Killing dance.I recommend this book to anyone reading the Anita Blake series. Although there is moderate violence in this book, the sexual content continues to be somewhat mild. I do not recommend this book to immature adults or anyone that is sensitive the wonderfully twisted parts of life that ordinary people are blind to Happy Reading!

Kathy Davie

First read Nov 19, 2009.Fifth in the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter horror series based in St. Louis, Missouri, although most of it takes place in or near Branson, and revolves around a young animator who raises the dead for a living.My TakeIt’s greed, pure greed for power that drives this story. It does not lack for action, but it’s not one of my favorites, primarily because it’s so sad, the bad guys are too strong, and too many of the innocents die. One in particular just made me cry and cry… It doesn’t help that Seraphina has incredible mind tricks she uses to entice Anita, bringing up memories, dreams, hopes...It’s a number of things that go wrong in this one, things for which Anita will blame herself for not doing or thinking of. Things which Jean-Claude took for granted. Issues of timing and diplomacy that have to be considered, that drag at both Anita and Larry. Then everything starts to go wrong. Yeah, it was bad before, and it just gets worse.I'll give Jean-Claude points for persistence. I suppose being alive for several hundred years helps you take the long view. It's interesting that Jean-Claude doesn't have the power he has later in the series. It's also interesting going back, re-reading and discovering where the various pivotal moments occur. Such as Anita finally giving into her desire to touch Jean-Claude. Our first encounter with the rotting corpse effect…ick!We do find out why Anita is afraid to fly. We also learn more about Jean-Claude’s human history. Ooh, boy. Theoretically, I've known that Richard is a junior high science teacher. But when Anita goes to the school to tell him she can't make their date this weekend for this out-of-town job, it really sinks in when Hamilton describes Richard's interactions with his students. I do like the respect Dolph has for Anita's abilities and the support he gives her.Larry certainly grows up with all the action going down between the child murders (he's got some nice reactions), the encounter with Serephina and the fairy boogey, Rags and Bloody Bones, about which I am curious, pullin' in a bit of the old sod and mixing it in with native beliefs...whoa... Sure, our parents (the royal "our") told us that if we didn't behave… But I don't recall hearing about this one. Could be interesting to explore this.We learn more about the character of Jason's wolf and his laissez-faire approach to life. I can definitely see the benefits of being a beta as it takes the hard choices away.Background info: If Anita wants Richard to stay alive, she has to give Jean-Claude equal time to date her, and the proximity is definitely helping Jean-Claude’s case as Anita wants to touch even though she keeps telling herself she doesn’t want Jean-Claude. Is this the start of the slippery slope?There is also talk about making vampire executioners into federal marshals, and they’re talking about Senator Brewster’s Law. Excellent as always. It blows my mind how Hamilton manages to pack so very much into only one book!The StoryAnita goes out of town to raise an entire cemetery of Bouviers only to run afoul of a vicious-, power-hungry Master who challenges Jean-Claude. A Master with too many other Masters serving in the circle, and they all want revenge on Jean-Claude.Worse, the ultimate Master has a craving for true immortality and will go to tremendous lengths to achieve it.Making things more difficult are the Quinlans who are threatening to sue, and everyone is running for cover.The CharactersAnita Blake is an animator, well, more of a necromancer, dating the Master of the City of St. Louis and a werewolf. Not exactly how she saw the white picket fence and 2.5 children coming about. Bert Vaughn is her greedy, conscience-less boss at Animators, Inc. Larry Kirkland is a sort of an apprentice animator, working weekends. Jean-Claude is the Master of the City of St. Louis and will do most anything to be with Anita. Jason Schuyler is his current wolf pet and snack.Beadle, Beadle, Stirling, and Lowenstein is a law firm that wants to hire Anita to determine who is buried in a particular cemetery. Lionel Bayard is a junior partner who likes the sound of his own voice. Raymond Stirling. Oops, sorry, Mr. Raymond Stirling is one of the partners and practically bludgeons Anita with his need for her to “find” the way he wants it to go. Ms. Harrison is his seemingly cowed secretary. Beau is the construction foreman who finally realizes which side he needs to be on.Magnus Bouvier is an Unseelie half-breed fairy with a love of power, which he flashes in his and his sister, Dorrie’s, roadhouse, Bloody Bones, for the Friday night lover’s night. Llyn Bouvier is their ancestor, the first European in the area way back when. Rawhead and Bloody Bones is a fey boogeyman who eats naughty children. Detective Sergeant Rudolf Storr is head of the Regional Preternatural Investigation Team (RPIT) in St. Louis. Sergeant Freemont with the Missouri State Highway Patrol is eager to garner all the credit. Sheriff David St. John and his wife, Beth, are trying to comfort the Quinlans. Deputy Zack Coltrain is local; Officers Granger and Wallace are staties. Special Agents Bradshaw and Elwood show up since it’s now a vampire serial killer case. Even though Bradshaw has attended Storr’s lectures at Quantico, he behaves poorly with Anita.Ellie Quinlan bought the spiel and then the farm. Raven is the Quinlans’ protective dog. Jeffrey and Sally are the parents; Jeff, Junior, is the younger brother. Andy was Ellie’s boyfriend.Richard Zeeman, the werewolf, works as a teacher at Seckman Junior High School.Xavier has a taste for young male meat; Seraphina is the Master who can call ghosts; Kissa is well-known to Jean-Claude; Ivy is one of her people with a stupid, mean streak; Bruce; Janos is an old foe of Jean-Claude’s and is one of the rotting vampires along with Pallas and Bettina.Lisa and a braver, somewhat smarter woman are a couple of young women who get caught up in it all, simply because they wanted a good time. The CoverThe cover is horrific with its overall green cast, a Celtic cross standing for a gravestone, and bones beneath a naked Anita with her decaying legs crossed and pulled up against her body, her decaying arms holding her thighs in tight. Such metaphors for events in this horrible tale.The title warns us of a bad, bad fae, for its Bloody Bones who’s out to get us.


I feel like these books are really ramping up now. The story is progressing and I keep holding my breath waiting for Anita to make a decision to shape the way the rest of the books will progress... but we're still not there yet. There was a distinct lack of Edward in this book, which I didn't notice so much because there was *way* more Jean-Claude and way less Richard (which is kind of how I like things). From all I've heard about the direction the next few books take, I can't say that I am planning on being dissapointed. After all this build up, there better be a giant event that pushes things in one direction or the other. Like Richard dying. Or Larry dying. Or someone big dying. Or maybe just everyone dying :-)

Barks & Bites

Bloody Bones is one of the more brutal outings in this series. A huge portion of the book follows Anita Blake as she’s working and this time she’s called in on a case that is particularly gruesome. Three teen boys are brutally slain, a young teen girl is left for dead and a young boy has been kidnapped, possibly by a deviant sexual predator of a vampire who enjoys toying with children. It’s dark and painful to read the grief instilled within some of these pages.Anita must also raise an entire graveyard of the dead for a client with only Larry the apprentice as backup. Even she realizes this may too much to handle and is struggling with how she’s going to do it without a human sacrifice. As if all of this weren’t enough to handle, she has to deal with a fey being that may or may not be a bad guy. The only thing she knows for sure is that he’s screwing up her latest assignment and is using magic when he shouldn’t be. I really loved this format for the books. I’m so PO’d that it has been screwed with so much in later books. Anyway, as we all know Anita is still dating Richard and Jean Claude. And, surprise, surprise she has to call in Jean Claude for assistance on her vampire case. Once he arrives in his triple poofy armed shirt and spiffy cravat the story takes a little detour from hard boiled vampire executioner and zombie raising mayhem to Anita fending off sexy Jean Claude’s flirtations and dealing with vampire politics and protocol and a new master who uses Anita’s past to heart-breaking effect.This book here is Jean Claude’s book, all you Richard and Edward fans have been warned. It’s pretty easy to see which guy Anita is really digging here. The “monster” line begins to get real fuzzy for Anita and the sexuality is ramped up a notch but I’m still okay with that because there is a plot to this book and it moves. I was always entertained and never bored, irritated or lost. Hamilton excels at keeping all of these plot threads going without confusing her reader all the while giving us tantalizing new tidbits about her main characters. The only thing missing is the darker edged humor that I enjoyed in the first few books. Bloody Bones was so intense it really would have benefited from some well placed sarcasm and dark humor.

Eneya Vorodecky

Oh, damn...Really?Such a disappointment.Once, Anita is this huge Mary Sue, which is utterly ridiculous.Second... enough with the idiotic sex scenes already... I picked the series because of the "the vampire hunter part, this should be changed to - the vampire boner).Don't get me wrong. I am interested in the fact that we are seeing a complicated polygamous relationship and that we see BDSM and the like, but... something is rubbing me the wrong way about this. Also... seriously, in every friggin book we have to read how awesome and NOT LIKE ALL THOSE OTHER WOMEN Anita IS!! And some exclamation marks to drive the point home.Seriously, Anita is quite the asshole and is quite sexist towards women.It's cool to show the sexism but... sorry, she doesn't have even ONE woman she is friends with which she admires. As far as she goes, she tolerates them. And the way her best friend (the private detective, for which I rooted for) turned for the worst.In order to make Anita good the author doesn't have to make all other women suck but that's exactly what's happening. If I want to read about the uber-cool and unique snowflake the main character is for the fact that she's a completely normal human being... I have Twilight for that.Gah!


While not perfect, I think this has been the best of the series so far. I've always loved the plot action in these books but found the over-the-top caricaturization of the main character incredibly annoying. In this installment Anita actually makes mistakes, she experiences doubts, desire, and even some defeat which goes a long way towards making her a character rather than just a caricature. Giving her a side-kick, and thereby a mirror in which to see herself differently, really helped add dimensions to her. Yes we still have to hear about her black Nike's and her inner-pants holster (time after time), but she comes across as much more natural in this book. That, along with a wide and varied host of new monsters, made for an excellent read.

Regina Martinez

had started to read this book about a year ago and I kept putting it down and had finished the first 8 chapters and just put it away on the top shelf of my room. I picked up countless other books and decided that Anita Blake was not for me...then I ran into a problem, I had finished all the Night Huntress series, and for some reason had picked up Black Dagger Brotherhood books 1, 3 and 4 and not picked up #2!! I had read #1 and wanted to read #2 and was told I must read them all in sequence...normally I would have gone right to the book store or download it onto my Nook but I was low on funds, (saddddd) so I decided after some gentle urging by my fellow book club friend Melissa to pick up Bloody Bones again...I had to dust off the cover and of course start it all over because I can't even remember what I did yesterday let alone 8 chapters of a book I read 12 months ago...I must say I was pleasantly surprised...I actually enjoyed this one and yes there were so many other questions that come up, however, there are what 19, 20 books in the series, I'm sure they will be addressed by then (fingers crossed)...of course I missed the usual suspects like Dolph and Edward, and Richard...I found it interesting how Anita was/is starting to see JC as not so much a monster since there are scarier ones than him out there...speaking of JC although I do like his wit and charm, I find his description to be too feminine for my taste, (thigh high boots) really??? I know that is the French period he is from but with his long curly locks, form fitting clothes with all the ruffles it just smells too foo-foo for me, I'm thinking I'm def a Richard girl in this series...Although I was honestly hoping Anita would break down in the hotel and just give it up already, he did sound pretty yummy all wet but dang girl has bigger morals and self control then I do…because I probably would have jumped on that! Lol…Phewwww it’s hot in here!! I did feel for him in that he was used by every and all vamps in his centuries on earth, and maybe he’s not sooo bad after all....Moving right along…I was glad more time was dedicated to Larry and Anita's relationship, I liked how she is supposed to be his mentor/teacher and yet he seemed to be the one giving her lessons and chastising her...his innocence was annoying for me at times, but I understand he is learning and he has to grow up sometime….Anita's attitude was somewhat monstrous at times but she didn't deny it or try and hide it, I liked that because she is cool and calculating but there were also times she was scared and admitted it, if not out loud, I enjoy the fact that she dresses so comfortably and not all sexy and leathery…it’s more practical and I like that! lol I did feel however, that there was toooo much going on here….I think LKH was trying to bring it all together and have the stories connect neatly but it didn’t work…I was confused how Anita was called in to raise the dead, then she was at a murder scene of the kids, then the body of Ellie (??) then a whole lot of other people were killed and then Jeff was kidnapped….ok so we find out that Xavier had something to do with it and there are some other vamps involved as well so then Jeff is moved to the back burner and at first it seemed that Larry and Anita were concerned for him but it kind of got lost in the story line…I didn’t get how Rawhead Bloody Bones was the one who actually murdered the children, I thought he had not escaped until Anita had felt him escape…I know when she went to the mound with Dorrie that she felt some other magic there and if Magnus was there at the mound wouldn’t Rawhead be there too or was he already somewhere else?? I missed that part maybe….So obviously there is more to the story of Anita’s mother and how is it that Seraphina knew that unless she reads minds as well?? Or did Magnus tell her that when he touched Anita he discovered about her past??? Then poor Jeff, he was brought back into the story for all of what 5 minutes and then the next thing we know he is dead, that was hard to accept because the whole darn story was basically about them trying to save Jeff from becoming a vamp and they didn’t succeed at all…all that happened was more story was added to prolong the series maybe??? I was also surprised that Dolph and his team didn’t come out the moment it was discovered that Anita was taken by Seraphina, she is such an asset to their team and yet I don’t recall any of them coming in…All in all to me the book was a refreshing change considering we actually see vamps as monsters and not so much as romanticized as in our other reads and we see a heroine who is not perfect and has her flaws but is actually sticking to her guns when it comes to falling to the desires of JC… a lot of questions come up, parts of the book wasn’t cohesive but I think the book is a pretty good read, it actually makes me care about what happens next to Anita and hoping that she gets some action with Richard ;o) Sorry if it’s random and run-on.


Not bad. I rated a 3 because there were just to many "things that make you go huh?" moments. I didn't always get everything. I never did exactly understand how and when Serephina became more powerful. Was it from feeding on the fey? If feeding on an immortal or fey made a vampire more powerful, I'd think they would have figured that out by now and all be feeding on immortals and/or fey. I never did exactly figure out the whole sword thing and who or what (tho it was narrowed down to two) was doing that. How Serephina was able to effect Anita so much confused me too. And, Xavier's actions in the fight scene near the end absolutely confused the crap outta me. I have no idea why he chose to protect certain beings and slay others. See? Too many "huh?" moments. I also thought the thing with Anita's mother went too far. It was kinda...I don't know, not as climatic as the author intended it to be. Richard has limited show time in this book, which is fine with me. And Anita's world definitely breaks into a lot a shades of gray. She begins to see that there is perhaps a little bit of "monster" in us all. Except Larry. Whatever. Anyway, the book was good, but not great. It had peaks, but also moments of blah. I am beginning to feel a bit of Anita burnout.

Fangs for the Fantasy

Anita Blake has been called out to an animating job in Branson, far away from her usual connections. But she’s the only one in the country who may be able to do it – raise an entire graveyard full of 200 year old bodies, preferably in one night.As if that weren’t a big enough problem, the motivations of the parties involved is far from clear – and the presence of fae magic in the graveyard, and faeries willing to guard it, raises many more questions.And there are vampires running amok – as the neighbourhood vampire expert, Anita is called in but the local police are far from welcoming. The resulting lack of communication is beyond difficult when there seems to be 2 separate vampire killers.Negotiating with the local vampires, of course, requires getting further involved with Jean-Claude and he never keeps anything simpleLike in previous books, this has several storylines intertwined – but also like the previous books, they all come together. From her original job to raise the graveyard, to the vampire death, to the serial killer all three plot lines are paced really well. If I had a slight criticism, it would be that her job to raise the zombies was put too far on the backburner. It was her actual reason for being in Branson in the first place and it seemed extremely low in her priority list. I can understand that since she was dealing with serial killer cases, but I’d have least expected Sterling or someone to ask where she was and what she was actually doing while they were paying her to complete a time sensitive project. Still, it was understandable given the circumstances and doesn’t bog down the story. I really like how all three storylines come together, how they’re all linked and make up important aspects of the whole – and can all be handled in one big finale that doesn’t feel contrived.Having read both the books before and the books after this one, I’m left with the feeling that this book is vaguely filler. Because they’re pulled out of St. Louis we’re not advancing a lot of the plot or relationships. And the creatures in this book are fae. Now, don’t get me wrong, I like fae in a book, they’re some of my favourite supernatural beings. But the fae here appear briefly, with precious little foreshadowing or depth, do some shiny stuff then disappear again, never to be heard of again. Short of giving Anita an extra-special shiny vampire to kill, I’m not sure what the point of the fae even were – and a powerful master vampire could probably have filled Xavier’s spot just as well. Because of that, I don’t think this book added anything to the world building – while technically introducing whole new creatures, it just doesn’t fit the overall theme and shape of the series.We had some development of her relationship with Jean-Claude, but it was mainly her letting him closer to her more than anything. Still there’s closer connections and we also see some more fleshing out of Jason as he grows further into the full character he will become. But largely that’s all it is, we don’t get especially new insights into either characters and they’re mainly around more to show that, yeah, they’re around more.I’m still all kinds of uncomfortable with how the relationship between Jean-Claude and Anita began. He constantly ignores her “no” and keeps pushing. Then she forces her to date him by threatening Richard’s life (because she has to give him a fair chance to seduce him? Why does she?) and then we continue with the constant boundary pushing regardlessFinally, there’s an ongoing issue with how Anita relates to other women. Other than villains and victims, Anita deals with 2 women in this book – Dorcas Bouvier and Sergeant Freemont. And in both cases Anita strikes sparks. It’s like strong willed, independent women have territories that need to be defended against other women like them. She had a similar worry in Lunatic Café when she saw Deputy Holmes – she could be a friend or, equally as much, they’d hate each other and this is before she even spoke.Both women were also aggressive and hostile for little reason – or they overreacted in an aggressive manner with little provocation in a way that made Anita seem almost clam. It’s a strong case of Keillie Independence.Read More

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