The status quo of paranormal society is destabilized, and Anita Blake must vanquish the enemies while managing her complicated love life and overcoming her own growing internal demons.
When a teenage girl is abducted by vampires, it’s up to U.S. Marshal Anita Blake to save her. But she and her team find something disconcerting in the rescue—a group of recently turned vampires who are either very young or very old, who are violently against any sort of master and who are willing to die for their cause. Everyone knows that a martyr is a problematic enemy, but martyr vampires are even worse, since they can cause a significant amount of damage when they have little left to lose. As Anita Blake tracks down angry, violent adversaries with her own preternatural abilities, she must also fight long-lived insecurities as a cop, vampire hunter and human, while dealing with the relationship stresses in her household that are due to her myriad lovers and their complicated emotional and supernatural bonds. Fans will find much of the same from Hamilton in this, the 21st installment of the popular Anita Blake series, the erotic paranormal books that put vampires on the map before Twilight had them going viral. But while there’s not much new, there’s also plenty of action, excitement, hot sex and emotional turmoil that will keep most fans of the series satisfied until the next book. A dizzying cast of characters may keep newbies at bay, but Hamilton does a good job explaining relationships and past and present frictions without it being too burdensome on the current story. Nonetheless, it’s likely that this book will be more enjoyable to the legions of existing fans than for new ones, who will probably want to start a little earlier. People who’ve been turned off by Blake’s growing stable of sexual partners and increasing preternatural powers will want to avoid it, but then, they’ve probably already done so a few books back.
Typical recent Anita Blake fare—exciting, erotic paranormal romantic adventure—that gets the job done for its intended audience.