Friday, July 17, 2009

Review of "Skin Trade" by Laurell K. Hamilton!

"Skin Trade," by Laurell K. Hamilton, is book 17 in the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series. The vampire named Vittorio is back, this time in Las Vegas, and he sends Anita a human head in the mail to get her to come play. It's up to Anita as well as some new and familiar friends - such as Edward, Olaf, Bernardo, Wicked and Truth, and Requiem - to stop Vittorio before he gains all his old power, and kills even more people. Among the interesting characters in this new book are a SWAT team comprised of mostly magic or psychic practitioners, and some new and intriguing weretigers.

I've always enjoyed the Anita Blake novels, but I will admit that the last few books have made it hard to keep going. Anita's life is hard, and interesting, but it seemed to be too much sex and too little plot. Which was why I was so overjoyed with "Skin Trade." This new book took me back to the good old days, when there was a real plot, and you wanted, no - NEEDED, to see these characters make it through alive. The characterization of the new arrivals was excellent, and I'll be sad if some of them don't show up in future novels, especially some of the SWAT members. But I was a little let down to see so few of the older characters in the story. Yes, Edward is there during the whole thing, and she talks to Jason and Jean-Claude, but what about all the other men I've grown to love? And I know this may be nitpicky, but if she loves some of them as much as she says she does, why is it that she doesn't talk to them to say goodbye when she leaves, or during the whole course of her stay in Las Vegas? Or maybe I just talk to my loved ones too much!

I highly recommend this book to those that have "divorced" the Anita Blake series, because LK Hamilton has taken Anita back to where she needs to be. Don't get me wrong, I love the steamy sex scenes Anita finds herself taking part in, but I loved the plot, the thrill of her life, and I missed that. "Skin Trade" had a better balance of sex and plot than the last several books, and I'm hoping this is just what LK Hamilton needed to do to get some of her older readers back, I know she definitely pulled me back in! I would have to give "Skin Trade" by Laurell K. Hamilton four out of five stars, because I really couldn't put it down. In fact, I'm on vacation, and skipped going to the pool just to stay home and finish it - it was worth it!

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