Genre: Urban Fantasy
When a fifteen-year-old girl is abducted by vampires, it's up to U.S. Marshal Anita Blake to find her. And when she does, she's faced with something she's never seen before: a terrifyingly ordinary group of people--kids, grandparents, soccer moms--all recently turned and willing to die to avoid serving a master. And where there's one martyr, there will be more. But even vampires have monsters that they're afraid of. And Anita is one of them...
Anita Blake has been asked by the St. Louis police to help interrogate a vampire. A kiss of vampires has abducted a 15 year old girl, and they need to find her in time to be still alive, and not turned. 15 is illegal to become a vampire, even if the girl wants to become one. So this young vampire will have to break, and fast, so they can rescue her.
The vampire does give up the place where they have taken the young girl, but when it appears as some other officers are going in to rescue the girl, he mutters that it is supposed to be her! It is a trap for Anita, and when she tells him she won’t go, he attacks her. Breaking his shackles without effort. Anita barely manages to keep him from ripping her throat out.
It takes Dolph and some other cops to rescue her, as she just is not strong enough to fight free herself. At the end, it is Zerbrowski with a fiercely growing cross who saves the day. Anita is furious with herself for underestimating the vampire, and putting other people in danger. She might be hard to kill herself, but the cops are purely human.
When the officers send to the scene don’t respond to their calls anymore, Anita knows it will be bad. The house is filled with vampires, very young ones. And they just look so normal! Teens, grandparents, soccer moms, middle aged guys. And they all are afraid for her. The two officers on scene are death, both with lots of bitewounds on them. Which means an automatic death sentence for all of the vamps present. And as soon as they found out, and that they have nothing to loose anymore, all hell will break loose. When Anita finds out, neither of the vampires present have been fed lately, she knows the real murderers are gone. And those are left to be scapegoats, martyrs. But what is it they want? They have saved the girl, and only the new Marshal is hurt so far. The hunt is not over yet, and they will have to get the information on the other vampires fast, before they kill again. They are all terrified of Anita, and she use that fear to extract the information she needs. No matter if that makes her feel like a monster, no matter that her former friend Larry Kirkland doesn’t want anything to do with it. Lifes are at stake here, and what are a few nightmares more?
A deceptively young looking frail girl is singled out as the weak link, and she almost manages to get a police officer on her side. She looks just like his granddaughter. But that is just a ruse, the vampire is a few decades old, and to be able to survive while looking like a victim, she must have killed countless times. She tries to bespell the officer, but in the end, her fear of Anita makes her tell them everything. The safe houses, how many vampires there are and their names.
There are really strange vampires, they would rather die, than life and be blood oathed to Jean Claude and Anita, and loose all their free will. Their freedom is important. But vampires are not capable of handling freedom like that, they need someone to hold their leashes. After all, they are super strong with lots of other superpowers. And it would take a truly good person not to abuse those powers to do whatever they want. Most people are not that good, and temptation to just take what they want is too big. With a master vampire controlling them, they will have to obey the law.
They decide to go out when it is dawn, when all the vampires should be asleep. Anita will have some private time with her guys, to relax and especially to talk to Sin. She is still uncomfortable with him being so young, even though they have been lovers for a year, and he is her blue tiger to call. This is the first time he has seen the images of her work, and he is afraid. But working with the police, hunting the bad guys, it is what she does, and Sin has no right to ask her to stop doing that. The only man in her life who had a problem with that, was Richard, and he is only on the fringes now. It is not easy for Anita to juggle so many men. It is not the sex that is difficult, it is the emotional upkeep. She just cannot love them all equally, and date them all, and take care of them the way they deserve. But her lifes works now, and she has never been more happy.
As always, I was eagerly awaiting the next book by Laurell K. Hamilton. After all, she is one of my favourite authors. And she is certainly in the top 5 of my favourite urban fantasy authors. You all know I really don’t like erotica, and Laurell’s books sure are not without lots of hot lovescenes. Anita has gone from an almost virgin who did not want to have sex before marriage ever again, to having multiple lovers, and now she is even in a bi-sexual relationship. Modern term: polyamorous. She really does love most of the men in her life, and she needs sex to survive. Somehow, Laurell K. Hamilton has a writing style that makes me able to enjoy the sex scenes, even if they go way over my usual boundaries. This book does not have as many love scenes as most, and it has some interesting developments on the Asher front.
I really liked the book, the plot was nice, and the concept of vampires and freedom worth thinking about. But of course, you cannot turn all those vampires loose on society, citizenship rights or not, in a few years there would be no human left, and they would all die out themselves as well.
The new Marshal promises to be a good and interesting secondary character, I am curious about learning more about him, and what choices he will make in life. As I really dislike Richard, I was glad he does not have a role in this story. He is still teaching biology at the local university (instead of highschool), he is still in the closet about being a shapeshifter, the Ulfric of the local wolfpack, and he is still looking for that white picket fence.
Nicky, Anita’s Bride and the local lion’s Rex, is happy with his place in her life, but of course he has no other choice. He literally lives to make Anita happy. And Anita has come to terms with it, it was the only other choice besides killing him, as he was a true psychopath. Anita has become his conscience, and he really likes living with other shapeshifters, sharing her house and her love.
And what is with Detective Arnett? She really loathes Anita and almost threatens her.
I am sorry though that there is no news on the Edward front, and especially about Olaf! After all, he still wants Anita, and now he is a Lion shifter as well! But the book was not that big, and I’ll just keep my hope up for the next book.
© 2012 Reviews by Aurian