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Guest Review: Skin Trade by Laurell K. Hamilton

Posted July 23, 2009 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 5 Comments

Genres: Paranormal Romance

Melissa‘s review of Skin Trade (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, Book 17) by Laurell K. Hamilton

Once you tell someone certain things—say, you got mailed a human head in a box—they tend to think you’re crazy.

Anita Blake’s reputation has taken some hits. Not on the work front, where she has the highest kill count of all the legal vampire executioners in the country, but on the personal front. No one seems to trust a woman who sleeps with the monsters. Still, when a vampire serial killer sends her a head from Las Vegas, Anita has to warn Sin City’s local authorities what they’re dealing with. Only it’s worse than she thought. Police officers and one executioner have been slain—paranormal style…

Anita heads to Las Vegas, where she’s joined by three other U. S. Marshals, including the ruthless Edward hiding behind his mild-mannered persona. It’s a good thing Edward always has her back because when she gets close t to the bodies, Anita senses “tiger” too strongly to ignore it. The weretigers are very powerful in Las Vegas, which means the odds of her rubbing someone important the wrong way just got a lot higher…

Skin Trade is the seventeenth Anita Blake book. Laurell K. Hamilton brings together characters from Obsidian Butterfly – my all time favorite Anita book. Anita, Edward, Olaf and Bernardo meet up in Sin City to hunt the serial killer vampire, Vittorio, from Incubus Dreams.

Anita and her horde of men are living under Circus of the Damned. Vittorio sends her a gruesome gift to work, Animators Inc., were she decides immediately to rush off to Vegas, without consulting the men in her life. She meets up with the other 3 Marshalls and the hunt begins.

But Anita can’t just have one problem at a time. Not only does a blood sucking serial killer want her, but Chang Bibi, the Master of Las Vegas’ wife, has other plans for Anita ~ which includes her son. The Mother of all Darkness makes an appearance late in the book, reaching for Anita. And who can forget Olaf, yeah the hairs on the back of my neck just stood up.

Vittorio is a sick, twisted bad guy. Which makes him a good bad guy. But I wasn’t really understanding the direction his character was going, or rather, the “past” that he had. It didn’t seem to fall in line with Incubus Dreams. Maybe I just missed something, not sure.

Anita is up against the some of the same issues she has been in the past. The frustration with the men in her life, police not respecting her and thinking she gets everything done b/c she is a slut, feeding the ardeur and her ever changing lycanthrope issues. The sex seems to have really toned down.

But, once again, Anita wakes up in a room full of men, not remembering what happened, but “knowing” what happened. Only this time, there is a 16 year old lycanthrope involved….eewww! That one thing, one event, one age pushed me out of the Anita Blake fan club. Lets face it, she has fucked everything else, did we truly need to bring in minors?

The story was just ok, suspense just all right. Overall, I didn’t like the book. I am unhappy with Anita and with the repetition of scenarios. I will not be rushing out to buy the next book, if I read it at all. I would wait for the paperback release rather than lay out the significant cost for the hardback.

3 out of 5

This book is available from Jove. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

Holly says: Did you see that Anita Blake is set to become a television series? Fans how do you feel about this? I haven’t read the series, but I’m curious about how they’ll deal with all the sex…

Also (and totally aside) I really hate LKH’s new website. Its ugly, the print is tiny and its hard to navigate.

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