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The Killing Dance: Torn Between Vampire and Werewolf, a Decades-Old Cliche

Updated on May 19, 2018

The Killing Dance by Laurell K Hamilton

The Killing Dance by Laurell K Hamilton

I don’t know if I mentioned this before, but I love the Anita Blake series. Well the earlier novels to be more specific. I love the characters, the world, and the wry humor. And yes, I know the series derails, from what make it so great. But I guess I’m like the geeky fan girl. It’s only so long before I come back for more hoping that its not as bad as I remember. So this time around it’s the sixth book in the series called the Killing Dance by Laurell K Hamilton and when I began reading I made a prayer that this might one more good Anita Blake book.

So what is it about? The back of the book says an assassin is out to kill Anita Blake and she has to get the help from Edward to find out who it is. Now Edward, for those who haven’t read the books, is a vampire/monster killer much like Anita Blake, but is much more psychotic. Up until this point in the series things have always been fun when he shows up. It meant a lot of action is going to take place. That didn’t happen though. Actually in this story, Edward goes out looking for the assassin as Anita lays low hiding with either Richard or Jean Claude. Given the book is almost four hundred pages long, during this time of hiding Anita finds that she is torn between Jean Claude, a vampire, and Richard, a werewolf. It’s a love triangle cliché that is very old at his point, but I’ll cut Hamilton slack as this book series started in the eighties so she might have been the one to kick it off. So it’s a lot of soap opera drama featuring werewolves and vampires. Also Richard must kill the current leader of his pack, so there can be peace among the werewolves.

So good? It’s Anita Blake. If you love her character enough, you may get something out of this. But I feel she isn’t as witty as in past books. The detail and world is strong. And the sex scenes are incredibly well done.

The bad? Oh dear where do I begin. I’ll start with the false advertising of this book. It sells itself as action when it’s a drama. And the love triangle is the biggest crime here. Now I have nothing against loves stories. But there are psychotic werewolves who want Richard and Anita dead. An assassin is after Anita. There are huge things going on in the book, but it takes a back seat to this love triangle that devours the entire book. I mean if someone was trying to kill me, I wouldn’t be going a date. It was just so unrealistic. Someone would be worried about living, not their love life. The action that does happen is very minimal. Some of it felt tacked on at the end like the author forget the very plot she began the book with. Also, there is a murder in the book that seems unrelated to anything else and I ‘m rattling my mind right now trying to figure out if it had any point at all. The last biggest crime is the under use of some larger characters. Both Dolph, a police officer and Edward, a psychotic monsters killer, are larger characters that typically are game changers in the Anita Blake books. If they show up usually some serious crap is hitting the fan. But here it felt like they only had cameos. For example, think about a TV show about a couple detectives hunting down this mass murderer. Then on one episode, as they’re doing paper work in the police station, the killer steps in covered with blood, pours himself a cup of coffee and then leaves. That’s what this book did with these characters. They show up and vanish holding little value to the story when their presence should have been monumental.

Okay. I could keep complaining, but I’m not. This book is the book in the series when Laurell K Hamilton begins to make the shift from hard boiled monster crime dramas to relationships and sex scenes. This is not terrible. It’s just not what is expected from an Anita Blake Vampire Hunter novel. So if you’re reading this, consider yourself warned. This is no way shares the same level of quality or action as the previous books. It was hard for me to finish because of boredom, but I know there’s a percentage of people out there who do like it. If you’re reading this, I think you know what side you fall on.

1 ½ smoothies out of four.

Overall Rating: Torn Between Vampire and Werewolf. A Decades Old Cliche

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