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!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Review of "Passion Unleashed" by Larissa Ione

I received this book as part of a reviewing program, so I wasn't originally aware it was part of a series. But I promised a review, so I read it anyways. Only a few pages into the book, I felt sorry for not reading the previous novels first. However, I stuck with it, and I'm glad I continued reading.
"Passion Unleashed" follows Wraith, a Seminus demon (which is a type of Incubus), and Serena, a charmed human. Wraith, while on a hunt, is shot by an assassin, and is poisoned by the dart he was shot with. He and his brothers, the subjects of the previous novels I believe, try to find a cure or solution, and end up deciding that Wraith must take the virginity of a charmed human (Serena) and take on her charm to heal himself. The novel follows Wraith and Serena while he seduces her, and tries to survive the poison, oh.. and the oncoming apocalypse that he and Serena must play a part in.
This book has it's good points and bad. I think the story is intriguing and fast past enough that you never have a moment to get bored. Once I got to a certain point, I just couldn't put it down. And I think if I had read the previous novels, I wouldn't have been able to set it down from page one. And the author, Larissa Ione, includes a glossary of terms used within the story in the beginning of the book, as well as an encyclopedia of supernatural creatures and a brief history of the Underworld General hospital Wraith works for, in the back. As for any cons, as I mentioned, it was a little confusing to those of us who didn't read the previous books, but I think the book does a good job to explain such an extensive world in the small space she has. The characters are lovable, and have depth to them, which is something that is missing with some popular novels of today.
I'm a big fan of Sherrilyn Kenyon, Laurell K. Hamilton, Katie MacAlister, etc, and I really enjoyed this, so I will definitely be suggesting it to anyone with similar tastes. Or maybe just anyone in general. I'd have to give "Passion Unleashed" by Larissa Ione four out of five stars, definitely a keeper.
I'm on vacation now, so hence why it's taken me so long to finish this book, but look for upcoming reviews on "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" as well as "Skin Trade"!