Laurell K. Hamilton's legions of eager fans will be pleased to see Cerulean Sins
, the eleventh novel in her Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series, which is set on an alternate Earth where magic works and vampires and werewolves are real. When a sinister stranger tries to hire the magically potent Anita Blake to raise the dead, she finds herself embroiled in the search for a vicious, supernatural serial killer, and also in the clandestine international politics of the vampires. And as she becomes more deeply enmeshed in cruel plots and counterplots, her tangled personal life only becomes more demanding, more wrenching, and more erotically fraught.
With ten previous books in the Anita Blake series, Cerulean Sins is not the place to start. Though author Hamilton artfully reveals the backstory in small doses, the numerous returning characters and the complex history will overwhelm most newcomers (and even the most devoted fans may find that the backfilling slows the pace). Also, the characters frequently stand around talking and psychoanalyzing one another, which makes for static stretches unlikely to hold a new reader's attention. Newcomers should start with the first book, Guilty Pleasures. --Cynthia Ward
From Publishers Weekly
Anita Blake is one the more fascinating fictional heroines since Scarlet O'Hara-and a hell of a lot more fun than most. Despite her satin lingerie, short skirts and high heels, she kicks both human and non-human bad-guy butt-hard. Having gained immense supernatural powers and become an important force in the vampiric and lycanthropic communities of St. Louis in the 10 previous books, Anita begins this fantastic dark adventure by raising the dead and ends it by tackling a murderous monster. In between, she wades (literally) into a bloody investigation of a preternatural serial killer and (metaphysically and physically) into dangerous vampire politics. ber-vampiress Belle Morte has sent her dreaded surrogate, Musette, to demand that Anita's paramour, Jean-Claude, Master Vampire of the City, return the vampire Asher to her-a fate worse than a stake through the heart. In order to save Asher, Anita must be both sexually and psychically creative. Anita and the vampires also need head werewolf Richard to help defeat Belle Morte's designs. But can Richard, who recently dumped Anita because she was more "monster" than human, be relied on? Meanwhile, cop Dolph Storr, who's gone violently anti-preternatural, won't let Anita (now a federal marshal) help stop a series of gruesome murders. If this all seems complicated, it's nothing compared to Anita's sex life. There's plenty of the hot stuff, but it's presented with a certain morality and definite hilarity. After unraveling, to the detriment of writing and plot, some character and story line knots in previous bestseller Narcissus in Chains (2001), the author is back on track with the best Blake yet.
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