Book Review #25- Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews

Oh man, this book was so good. It’s one of those series that every one recommends and I’m all “Yeah, yeah, I know the type.” Powerful girl working for magical law enforcement type establishment meets handsome and vicious shapeshifter dude and they both do and don’t hit it off and meanwhile a bunch of absurdly fucked up shit goes on and she tries to juggle her life as a badass with wanting a normal human life…

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Ummm…. the thing is, it’s actually really good. The world in which this takes place is in the future, but magic was unleashed so there’s no advances in technology that would make it seem futuristic, but it’s far enough in the future that all magical things are accepted as reality. Technology and magic alternate so everyone drives weird cars (like Kate’s Karmelion) or rides horses, because machines don’t work when the magic hits. Vampires are ugly and disgusting and have to be controlled by a navigator, Masters of the Dead. Shapeshifters are gross and horrible and drool and smell (and of course they are paranoid and territorial, blah blah woof woof). There are many unique elements. 

Kate Daniels has a magic sword, Slayer, that can cut through undead flesh like buttah, she goes out in search of her guardian’s killer and confronts all manner of weirdness with confidence. She’s not perfect, but she’s pretty awesome. She’s bored by ceremonial pretenses, doesn’t care about looking hot at the cost of being a bad ass (except she keeps her hair long, her concession to conventional beauty standards). She meets a handsome doctor on her quest and that goes as it usually does. Everyone thinks a crazy vampire controlling lady, Olathe, is responsible and that goes about the same as you’d expect. Everyone resumes business as usual thinking the big bad whatever is gone… But then stuff gets really crazy. I won’t spoil it, but there’s a zombie dragon. I mean, that’s just wonderful.

It’s slightly more high fantasy than most urban fantasy type stuff. I’m glad Kate doesn’t appear to be clinging to this “What would it be like to come home from a normal job and have my husband waiting for me and drink a cup of tea?” blah blah (you’d be bored, that’s why we’re all here reading books about YOUR life, Kate) because that’s boring as all hell. Ditch that crap and hang out with the Beast Lord.

I definitely recommend. I will be reading more of this series for sure!

5 bottles of Boone’s Farm

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PS I was going to count this as Team Vampire, but the a Zombie Dragon showed up. That’s both for the Vamps Vs Zombies challenge/bloghop! Oh snap! 

Book Review #11- Kiss the Dead by Laurell K Hamilton

Book freaking 21 of the Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series.

I’ve read all of this series. Some of them were good (including Skin Trade, which is book 17)

Some of them are (OMG) terrible. Just awful. (I’m looking at you, Micah: book 13!)

 

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 bugs me. But I’ve read all 21 of the series (and will read the new one out next month), so I guess… whatever. seriously. I can’t even justify my behavior. 

LKH writes good characters, but then there’s nothing for them to do but act like crybabies, almost die, or have sex. Lots of sex. Most of these books have no plot. It didn’t start out that way. The earlier ones had plot, usually Anita chasing a murderer or having  to raise the dead for some deceptive character, and not just a bunch of sex and action scenes stuck together and then somehow the plot gets wrapped up in broad strokes in the last chapter. The worst. This one was slightly better at not doing that.

With the Mother of All Darkness and the Harlequin handled Anita gets down on some good old fashioned police work. Which is a much better use of everyone’s time. 

But of course, the book begins with an interrogation of a vampire that’s been arrested. He breaks out of his chains (why would they not have vampire proof handcuffs?) and attacks Anita OMG, and Anita has to fight him and during the fight everyone sees her thong and garter belt. Honestly, what the shit are you doing wearing that to police work?

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What didn’t I like: 

LKH obviously discovered the word “heteroflexible” recently. And thusly, she overuses the shit out of it. 

Anita has a crybaby whinefest about how everyone thinks she’s a monster. She starts a fight with Larry about it, vampires call her the boogeyman. blah blah, this happens in every book. Simultaneously, she’s being accused of going soft on the monsters and not being able to do her job. You can’t have it both ways.

Anita Blake is constantly talking about what a “guy she is” how she “understands guy code” yada yada, LKH, on her blog, also says these things about herself. STOP THAT. Girls aren’t all frigging blabber mouths bent on having constant heart to hearts. Meanwhile, there are so many fucking whiny crybaby men in all these books… In this one; Asher, Cynric, Dev, Nicky all stop and have random ass heart to hearts, so does a brand new officer, Brice, who comes out to Anita immediately, even though he’s hiding that he is gay from everyone else. One of these long talks was in the middle of shower sex, why the fuck are you talking so much? And there is less of this in this book than in previous novels, but someone always cries. 

And Anita almost kills someone who is having sex with her (which is pretty typical for this series). And then she walks down the hall and bangs someone else. Really? Someone just had to get his heart jump started, you don’t just want to… like, watch TV or something? Don’t worry, he was fine. He was even at the strip club later. LKH hates killing people off.

Anita always has to stop and have an inner monologue about her boobs. I don’t get it.

And then there was this: 

Jean-Claude: “America would be in its expansive, empire building stage, but you came of age too late. The world leaders, and military would never allow such conquest now.”

Anita: “It would be nice to start keeping some of the land and resources that our soldiers are dying for.”

what the fuck. Don’t use your vampire smut to spout your fucked up political views. 

reality check, LKH: American territories; Guam, the US Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa and Puerto Rico. That shit is fucked up.

The conversation was supposed to be about vampires not blood-oathing to Jean-Claude, instead there was a small minded exchange about Iraq and imperialism. POR QUE??

Things I did like:

There was lots of Nicky. He’s a one-eyed werelion. My personal favorite of Anita’s 16 boyfriends. 

The Mother of All Darkness, dead and gone, not effing up Anita’s shit and random metaphysical ways. I’m glad that story arc has ended. It wasn’t always bad. But I’m glad it’s not being dragged out anymore.

More Zerbrowski! More Claudia! Plot had a conclusion! I like Anita doing Marshal stuff. 

Bottom line:

Chances are, you’re already sucked into this madness, or you probably wouldn’t start reading at book 21. It’s not the best one (for smut or plot) but it’s not bad after the whole exchange with Larry and everybody “Woe is me, am I a monster?” It was a fun read. Seriously, though, kill some people off.  2.5 Silver Bullets.