by Laurel K. Hamilton
Borrowed from my mom
Man, I used to love these books, and they still go down like candy, but so many things irritate me. However, I hear that the newer books have gotten better, a little more like the old Anita, so I borrowed this and the next couple from my mom – I got her hooked a long, long time ago and she has stayed caught up with the series.
If you have read this series, you know what I mean about the changes to the books, if not here is a little background. Anita Blake is a vampire hunter known as The Executioner. Vamps live next to humans in this world, but if they step out of line they don’t go to jail, they call in people like Anita to stake them. She is also a necromancer and raises the dead for her “normal” job. This series started out with Anita animating corpses, hunting down rogue baddies and dabbling in vamp and shifter politics. Now it is a lot of emotional backlash, she is dating vampires and shifters, there are less mysteries, more politics, more multi-chapter smexing…
Skin Trade opens with Anita being called to Las Vegas. She received a human head in the mail, a sort of love letter and call to action from Vittorio, who is a serial killer and a vampire. He has killed in St. Lois, but now he is bringing her to Las Vegas, where the tigers make their home. Anita carries 5 types of lycanthropy in her blood, but hasn’t changed shape yet. Once she changes, it will dominate the others and she will be a shifter. She has 2 or 3 types of tiger in her blood and they all want to dominate. Being around the other tigers isn’t a good thing, since Anita doesn’t want to shift and the other tigers bring her beast to the surface.
So, she is away from all of her normal guys. Also, Anita has this hunger called the Ardeur that she has to feed by smexing it up. Yep, lots. But this book only has a couple of scenes and they don’t last all that long. It was refreshing actually. The one thing she had to do A LOT of in this book was deal with the human police and their hatred of her and the fact that she is sleeping with monsters. They don’t like it, don’t trust her and they never resolve their issues. The guys are jerks and Anita has to deal with them all. Again and again and again… Luckily Edward and Olaf are there. Though I have to say I used to like Edward more when he was a cold-blooded crazy man, but now he is trying to help Anita too much, he is softer and cares for her in a way, though thank goodness not as another lover! There are just too many men who get their egos in a bunch when Anita sleeps with another guy or seven. She is forced to be a slut, I guess that makes it better. Ha!
Well, the whole book is a little tense, Vittorio is powerful and The Mother of All Darkness is still lurking about wreaking havoc. It just got too bogged down with the cops pissing contest with Anita so we end up only getting to see the cleanup, Anita just isn’t as involved in kicking ass this time around. The book is well written and I sucked it down, I just am getting a bit impatient with the politics, in and out of Anita’s bed. Though the conversations between Olaf and Anita were interesting and funny.
If you have read the series…this book is necessary as some storylines are resolved. (Resolved a little too quickly though, as in – Really!? That was it!? What the?) I am hoping the next one, Flirt picks up a bit in the action/mystery department. I felt a little between “liked it” and “it was ok” so I give it 2.5 stars.