Laurell K. Hamilton wrote the first Anita Blake book in 1993, so it is a bit odd when Anita mentions how old she feels, now that she’s 31, instead of the 46 she should be. Of course, being the Human Servant of a Master Vampire, she’s not aging much anyway.
Dead Ice starts off like an old fashioned Anita Blake Vampire Hunter book. There’s a bit of zombie raising that doesn’t go exactly as planned followed by a call from the Authorities that they need her help on a case. Be still my heart, monster and slayer action!
Then we get to the bulk of the book.
Antia Blake is Queen of America now, but that doesn’t mean she gets to quit her day job. But it does mean she gets to spend the bulk of this book talking about vampire politics and decide which women to add to her polyamorous football team. Well, not really a football team, she could never cut the roster down to only 53.
The zombie bits were still damned good and her interactions with her co-workers were good. Laurell seems to have gotten the memo that not all of us need blow by blow sex scenes in our vampire books. Amazingly, she decided to replace the boring sex bits with even more boring interpersonal relationship bits. We hear about Anita and all of her many lovers and how none of them seem to get along as well as they could. Trouble in polyamorous paradise? Oh no, never that.
One odd thing is when we have three near identical scenes. A common note struck over and over and over again in the Anita Blake books is that the world is filled with sexist bastards who don’t respect Anita because she is a small woman. Ok, random cops and such, I’m fine with being racist or sexist or Wereist or whatever. But three times Anita runs into people who disrespect her and almost get killed for their trouble. These people are guards and another Super that lives at the Compound with Anita. How does anyone living or working at The Circus of the Damned not know who Anita Blake is? And how do they further not know she’s a super badass who kills Supernaturals for a living.
Anita comes close to murdering someone in this book, as she has murdered others in the past. This little character quirk kind of bothers me, since Anita Blake likes to prattle on about what a good person she is. She is not, and has not been for some time, a good person. Other characters can see she is a monster and she gets pissy when they comment on the fact. I don’t like my heroes murdering people, even if they are people she really doesn’t like.
I wish Laurell K. Hamilton would do more separation books. Books like Jason and Micah don’t even pretend to be Vampire Hunter books. They are just soft porn. She needs to write separate books that deal with all the Vampire Politics nonsense. I don’t care about Anita’s wedding, whose in her bed, who wants to kill whom, and who is making who their Whatever to Call. Make that a Separate Series and go back to writing Vampire Hunter books with Edward and Olaf and the boys.
These are books that are fairly complex and have so many layers that Laurell has now reached a point where she can’t write a book that will please everyone. There are people that love the elements that I hate and may hate the elements that I love. I still like Anita Blake, even if she is a cold-blooded murderer and a monster.