Saturday, July 10, 2010

Werewolves and Assassination Attempts

The dead obey her. The undead fear her. Anita Blake, animator and vampire hunter, lives a dual love life. She's involved with both a vampire and a werewolf in Laurell K. Hamilton's New York Times bestselling novels. But when Anita becomes a wanted woman--with a price on her head-- she'll be forced to do something she could never have imagined: chose between them.

Nothing new there, but this someone was hiring expert help... I almost wished I had been scared. Fear will keep you alive; indifference won't. Somewhere out there, by tomorrow, someone would have my name on a to-do list. Pick up dry cleaning, buy groceries, kill Anita Blake."

Title: The Killing Dance
Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
Series: Anita Blake, Book 6
Start & Finished: 7/5/10- 7/6/10
Published: June 1997
Publisher: Ace
Pages: 387
Genre: Mystery-Horror, Urban Fantasy


The sixth book Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series The Killing Dance has Anita running from assassins. There’s also trouble with the werewolf pack since Richard refused to kill Marcus for leadership (Ulfric) and the Anita, Jean-Claude, Richard love triangle is coming to a boil too. There’s also a bit of a police investigation where Robert (one of Jean-Claude’s vampires that Anita doesn’t like very much) is killed using necromancer magic, which is what Anita is now. This was the first time that the title of the book wasn’t named after a building in the story. Instead, it’s a reference that the werewolf pack members use for sex and fighting for dominance in the pack.

One of the things I admire most about Anita is the way she protects those who can’t protect themselves and though she’s shown this in previous novels, it’s readily apparent in this one, especially once she’s acknowledged by the pack as both dominant and Alpha. Oh, and she wears my favorite outfit in this series for the battle, it’s "biker slut from hell meets soldier of fortune pinup."

The Killing Dance was the vampire Damian’s first appearance. He’ll become important later on in the series. This was also the first time Asher is mentioned though he’s not in this one. He was a companion of Jean-Claude’s back when he was newly made. Edward has a role in this book since he turned down the hit contract on Anita and is trying to keep her alive. He’s not too common a character in this series and only appears in seven books I believe (he was in all but Bloody Bones up to this point though) but he’s one of my favorites. Raina, Gabriel, and Marcus are all in this book as well, they were introduced during The Lunatic Café.

This one isn’t quite as action-packed as the previous books (except near the end) in the series even with assassins after Anita. I felt like it was more about Anita’s love life, which was fine with me because her “nunnish ways” are becoming a strain on everyone but they figure out a way it’s also useful in this story with a triumvirate (the first sex in the series is in this book though). It’s also a lot about how far Anita has come from the beginning in Guilty Pleasures at how she values human (and not-so-human) life: ‘Just lately I had noticed that I could kill people and not blink. No attack of conscience, no nightmares, nothing. It was like some part of me had turned off. It didn't bother me that I was able to kill so easily. It did bother me that it didn't bother me. But it had its uses, like tonight. I think every last furry one of them had believed I'd do it. Sometimes, it was good to be scary.’

He could be mine: lock, stock, and fangs. I just wasn't sure I wanted him.

Domestic bliss? Who me? My life was a cross between a preternatural soap opera and an action adventure movie. Sort of As the Casket Turns meets Rambo. White picket fences didn't fit.
Jean-Claude was right about that.

I huddled in my seat, suddenly miserable. I'd have almost welcomed a hit man appearing out of the darkness. Killing I understood. Relationships confused me. Admittedly, this relationship was more confusing than most.

All I had to do was kill the assassin before he or she killed me. Trust Richard not to let Marcus kill him. Keep Raina from killing me. And let's see, I was sure there was something else. Oh, yeah, decide whether I'm going to sleep with Richard, and if I did, what that would mean for Jean-Claude and myself. There were days when my life was too complicated even for me.

Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter
1. Guilty Pleasures (1993)
2. The Laughing Corpse (1994)
3. Circus of the Damned (1995)
4. The Lunatic Café (1996)
5. Bloody Bones (1996)
6. The Killing Dance (1997)
7. Burnt Offerings (1998)
8. Blue Moon (1998)
9. Obsidian Butterfly (2000)
10. Narcissus in Chains (2001)
11. Cerulean Sins (2003)
12. Incubus Dreams (2004)
13. Micah (2006)
14. Danse Macabre (2006)
15. The Harlequin (2007)
16. Blood Noir (2008)
17. Skin Trade (2009)
18. Flirt (2010)
19. Bullet (2010)
20. Hit List (2011)

First Paragraph: The most beautiful corpse I'd ever seen was sitting behind my desk. Jean-Claude's white shirt gleamed in the light from the desk lamp. A froth of lace spilled down the front, peeking from inside his black velvet jacket. I stood behind him, my back to the wall. arms crossed over my stomach, which put my right hand comfortably close to the Browning Hi-Power in its shoulder holster. I wasn't about to draw on Jean-Claude. It was the other vampire I was worried about.

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Source: From personal collection

About First Sex Scene:

Picture Explanations
Wolf: The werewolf power struggle comes to a climax in this book
Filming: Raina, the lupa of the pack is a sadistic sick puppy who is forcing people to participate in her little films. Richard and Anita have to rescue Stephen at one point.


  1. Did you just reread all of these books, or did you decide that as they are favourites you're posting reviews for all that you've read so far?

    I gave up at book 11 by your list. And the first book I ever read was #9 (though I thought it was 8) and I LOVED it and started from the beginning only to discover that the rest of the books were nothing like Obsidian Butterfly. I was ok until the love triangle got too irritating.

    And my husband still claims that a slice of cheese is more powerful than Jean-Claude. hahaha!

  2. Sounds like you're having fun rereading this series. I've read and reread them, too - it's one of my very favorites!

  3. Cat: I just decided to re-read them all and review them as I go. I'm not that talented! These books start to blur together after awhile. Narcissus in Chains is where everything started to really change in the series and a lot of people started having trouble with it. The first books I read was #8 and 9 and I liked them so much I went back and started from the beginning. It does change a lot but I've heard that Skin Trade is somewhat like Obsidian Butterfly but I haven't read it yet so I dunno. There's definitely more than a triangle in the later books, more like a harem.

    Darla D: I can't help but hope that some of what I loved in the earlier books make an appearance soon but I still love this series.

  4. It's sad that the change was so OMGDIFFERENT!! because I was really enjoying the series up until then. I'd recommend it to people who came into my store (when I worked in a bookstore) and now I tell people to stay away - at least after book 10. ;)

  5. Cat: The newer ones are better but they still need a little work.



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