Review: Crimson Death (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #25) by Laurell K. Hamilton

Crimson Death (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #25)Crimson Death by Laurell K. Hamilton
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

In this 25th installment in Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series Crimson Death, Anita and her merry band of lovers are called to Ireland to assist Anita’s friend Edward in tracking down rampant vampires but get way more than they bargained for. On top of all this, those closest to her will be put to the test and will have to face their fears. Some will rise and some will fall and like always, Anita is smack dab in the middle.

Wow, so I have no freakin’ idea how to review this book. I’ve been a fan since I rediscovered my love of reading years and years ago. I initially gobbled up the books like crack until they started to get weird (fans know what I mean) but like any addict, I kept at it. I even remember being in Vegas with my husband on our anniversary on a release day and we walked the Vegas strip until I found a bookstore to buy the precious and yes, I read the damn thing while on my anniversary vaca. Now you know what an addict I was (past tense).

Just like anything, as time passes, you find new passions, new crack and it’s always hard to go back to the original stuff that hooked you because your tastes inevitably evolve and change. Why am I being so cryptic? Well I feel like I have to explain where this review is coming from because it seems like my opinions are for once not in the minority.

This book to start off with is VERY lllllloooooonnnnnnggggg (717 pgs) and 75% of it is filler. They don’t get to Ireland until about 60% through the book and that’s when the real meat of the story begins. Usually authors find that they have to cater to new and old readers in a series and feel as though they have to do some explaining of not only the characters, the backstory and the world they’ve created. As the series lengthens, they have to walk a fine line as to how much to explain without taking away from the overall story of the individual book. Some authors do this very well no matter how many books are in the series. They find a way to artfully weave the story arc with reminders for old fans and explanations of backstories for new fans without taking up too much of the book by rehashing previous books but it seems like LKH wasn’t able to accomplish this as well with Crimson Death. I guess after 25 books, she felt that she needed to go into great detail about every single character that has graced the pages over the entire series, her relationship to them, their description, any sexual or familiar relations, any work relations, any hang ups or metaphysical ties, whether their Vampire food or not, if they are a body guard or not, if they use the same shower or clothes, who packs her clothes, what torture they have been through in their past, what therapy sessions they go to or not, if they are engaged or just a casual lover, if they have magic, if they are on meds, how their general bubble of reality works whether at home or abroad, how the preternatural laws have changed since we last learned about them, how the water runs, how the birds sing, how she knows something happened because no one used hair care products prior to the event (I am so series about this) and so on and so on and so on…..ad nauseum.

If you’ve read any of the Anita Blake series and are a fan, you know we all got hooked in the beginning because of the PNR/UF elements and then at around book 5, it took a turn into the weird world of poly relations and became flat out erotica. Most people would just say “it’s porn” because at least erotica has a story whereas most of the Anita books never made it past the sex but that’s neither here nor there. We read and kept at it mainly for the myriad of characters who we’ve grown to love as they have evolved over the years. We also know that the Anita Blake series is so far from reality that it’s more a paranormal soap opera on crack. You either crave it knowing it’s horrible for you or you stay far from it because you know it will really mess you up. Same goes for this book. We get to buy the crack, spiral down the rabbit hole for a while and complain about the ride afterwards as we recover from another Anita Blake hangover.

Bottom line: nothing really new, nothing has changed except a few pawns in her life. I dare say it’s kinda a rehash of past stories thrown into a blender. I literally could hear myself saying “oh that’s kinda like what happened in XXXXX and that reminds me of the story line in XXXXXX”. Yep nothing exciting.

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