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Saturday, December 5, 2015

REVIEW: Dead Ice by Laurell K. Hamilton

Dead Ice is the 24th installment to Hamilton's Anita Blake series. As a U.S. Marshall, Anita has consulted on countless cases, especially since she has a badass reputation and more vampire executions than anyone else.  She's seen and done it all so when a new case rattles Anita to her core, readers know that its a truly heinous crime.

Someone is live-streaming zombie porn.  Unfortunately, this isn't a new occurrence. However, when it appears as if the zombie's "soul" is still trapped in its body, Anita makes the connection to a case and someone from her past that she knows is long dead and gone.

So, what did I like?

Truthfully, not much. I've been reading the series since around 2002 when a friend insisted that I check them out.  I breezed through the first 11 in a little under two weeks. I was obsessed and loved them.  Things started to go downhill after that for me and a lot of other readers when there started to be less horror-mystery-thriller plot and more supernatural metaphysical bedroom hopping and partner switching.  I'm not a prude and read plenty of steamy fiction, but when that's all there is with little to no intricate plot like we'd become accustomed to with earlier books, I still read the series but always brace myself for disappointment.

That said, the beginning of Dead Ice started with promise. Horrific, creepy case in need of Anita's insight? Okay, cool! Tie in to book 2, The Laughing Corpse? Awesome! However, the investigation is all but left behind as readers have to trudge through yet more of Anita's complicated love life and quite literal power struggles with political and strategic ties to multiple supernatural were-groups.

Quite frankly, after 24 books it's exhausting. I listened to this one rather than reading and for the first time found most of the character highly irritating. There's a lack of focus and no sense of accomplishment.  By the novel's end, I didn't feel like Anita or her people had resolved anything or developed as characters. Listening to the audio only enhanced the whining and as much as I used to like Asher back in the day, I just can't take it anymore.  He's gotta go!

When Anita does finally get back on the case and the action, thrilling part of the mystery unfolds, the pacing and writing is good. However, by this point I just didn't care. The revelation and wrap up just happened way too quickly and then the book was finished.  If I continue to read (and let's face it I probably will), the alarming amped up quality to Anita's necromancy powers will eventually lead to some epic story (I hope) but I'm not sure when or if that will ever happen.

Final rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

#deadice #anitablake #urbanfantasy #vampires #wereanimals #meh

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