Book Review – Crimson Death by Laurell K. Hamilton
Series: Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter
Copyright November 2016 by d c mallory
After not being able to finish the last Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter book, Dead Ice, I swore there would be no more Anita Blake and her psycho-babble bullshit, her guilt feelings about her sordid sex life, and hundreds of pages of bullshit that have absolutely nothing to do with the plot. This applied to the Anita Blake book before that, as well. And the one before that. And, well, you get the idea. Yet, as we all know only too well, hope springs eternal, and since Hope is my middle name, I went out, plopped down the dough, and walked away with the latest Anita Blake book titled Crimson Death. Wait a minute, Hope isn’t my middle name, but it sounded like a good reason to do something stupid. Oh, and I didn’t walk away with the book, I ordered the Kindle version and Amazon delivered it to my iPad. Thank God I didn’t waste gas to go out pick this book up. At least that was smart on my part.
So what’s my rational for shelling out good money on a book I swore I wouldn’t buy? Damien. Yes, this could make me sound gay, but since this book had Damien in it, I had high hopes for it. Although Damien’s quite a whiner, especially for an official Viking, he’s still one of my favorite characters. Plus he was going to go against his maker – ‘She Who Can’t Be Named,’ or ‘She Who Shouldn’t Be Named’, or ‘Couldn’t Be Named,’ or some cryptic bullshit like that. Whatever.
So, with my imagination going into full overload mode what with the possibilities of where this could go, I decided that LKH had to have at least one more good book in her. One more kickass tale of Vampire Debauchery perpetrated on the innocents, and Payback meted out by their saviors. One more tome of the Little Necromancer Who Could, showing the Vamps who is, and who’s not the Shit. Unfortunately, even with being a glass half full kind of guy, and even with Edward added into the mix as backup material, the book is absolute garbage.
Let me qualify this statement so I don’t feel I’m deceiving anyone; I couldn’t finish the book. Over three hundred-fifty pages into it (out of about seven hundred!) and all I know plot-wise – at least I think this is the plot – is that Edward is in Ireland and needs help big time, as in if he doesn’t get the help, and quick, he could end up dead, and he’s getting married sometime later and Anita is the best man. OK, that’s a little misleading. He doesn’t need any help with the wedding – that’s under control – and has nothing to do with the plot anyway. Unless he gets killed. That would certainly derail the wedding and add to the plot at the same time. Which is possible with the amount of time Anita is spending psychoanalyzing herself.
What Edward needs help with is there are the badass Vampires in a small town, with a huge police force, who can’t do their own job hence Edward being there. These badass Vampires are doing some badass shit to the innocent townspeople, and Anita is the only one who might be able to help Edward solve the Delima before he is killed by these badass Vampires. The reason Edward needs Anita – he’s the only one not sleeping with her so that’s out – is because they don’t act like normal Vampires. I’m not sure how killing people left and right isn’t like normal Vampires, but we’re assured it’s not. Also, I’m still not sure if the Vampires are going to kill him, or if it’s the Irish Police Force that has it in for him, but the situation is dire, at least as far as Edward is concerned.
On top of that, Anita is now having sex with four women, no three women; one doesn’t respect Anita, so no sacred and blessed Anita Blake puntang for her – she can eat crow instead. Which, under the present circumstances, might taste better and be safer to eat. On top of her, I mean on top of that, she’s fucking eight or nine guys, she’s marrying three – of which Edward is the best man for at least one of the weddings. If he lives that long because Anita is spending so much time on her self-mental-health evaluation that she’s delaying leaving for Ireland to help her friend. There are just so many issues she has to contend with before she can go.
She’s getting fed up with being the Queen of the American Vampires, an honorific she gets from banging Jean-Claude and still getting no respect from anyone even with the title, including the damned America Vampires she co-rules over. She’s also pissed off because her triumvirate is suffering from not having sex with Damien, at least according to Nathaniel. This is mostly because Cardinal is extremely jealous of Damien. To appease her, Anita swore she would not share any Carnal Knowledge – or dirty deeds – with Damien while Cardinal and Damien were an item. Oh, and she still doesn’t like to fuck guys younger than she is; maybe it’s a ‘robbing the cradle’ type fetish. It makes me wonder if this is a normal feeling when you let eight or more guys at a time knock your bottom out? Seems strange if that is the case, but it’s not my call. I can guarantee I would feel strange if it was happening to me. On top of her, I mean that, there was a comment made that made me wonder is she’s taking it up the ass. I ask this only because the comment that was made had to do with all her openings being used. Or maybe it was all her openings were being filled. At the same time. With that many guys, I would guess there were quite a few openings being filled on quite a number of participants. Whatever, that’s a fact that I would like confirmed one way or the other. Anita taking up the ass – not all the participants. Not that it’s important to the story, or the plot – if there truly was a plot in this mess – but neither was any of the other issues that Anita suffered over. I’d just like to know for my edification. You know, how far will she actually go. All the way?
So now, Wow! Or just wow. Over three hundred pages into the book and not One. Fucking. Hint. at when she’s actually going to, you know, hunt vampires. Or at least hunt them to do anything other than to fuck them. Physically. She seems to have some sort of built-in “Necromancer Shields” to keep them out of her head, so she’s taken care of mentally. At least some of the time. OK, I admit she gets rolled quite a lot even in lieu of her magnificent shields by the most seemingly insignificant of Vampires. What? Oh, get your mind out of the gutter – you know I meant mentally rolled – not physically – the physically rolled part is well in hand. Everyone’s hand.
So we still don’t know when she’s getting to Ireland either, still having important personal issues to attend to first. And, we don’t have a plan of action of what she plans to do if she ever does get there, which is becoming increasing less likely. At least in time to get Edward from sleeping with the fishes.
Another small issue, unless you’re Edward and waiting for succor, is the Vampires are in Ireland, and my Irish brothers and sister don’t like killing perps, no matter who they are or what they’ve done to deserve it. Hmmm, brings a John Prine verse to mind; “Jesus don’t like killing no matter what the reason for, so your flag decal won’t get you into Heaven anymore.” Yes, you are correct – that had nothing to do with the book or the review – I just like that verse. Because of this dislike of killing, not by Jesus but by the Irish – all good Catholics – she is pretty much in a position where other methods will need to be used to bring the errant Vampires to heel since whacking and stacking them like cord wood is out of the question. Maybe she could fuck them to death during a giant free-style orgy. She could ride them one at a time, or more if she used all her openings, until they up and died. And since she now does women she could work them in, too. Then she could claim it wasn’t her fault they all had heart attacks and died. Wait, can Vampires have heart attacks? I mean they don’t really need their heart for any real functions, since they are basically already dead, but they must have one to survive. I mean if you rip a Vampire’s heart out they die. Unless they’re really old. Damn! Maybe some research is in order for the definitive answer. No, I don’t think so. Don’t care at all.
Of course, all of the ‘killing the perps’ Delima would have to wait until Anita shows up in Ireland, with her team. Of course, picking this team is another issue, as some have to be food for the Vampires, and some have to be food for Anita, and some have to be brought along to keep some of the others in line. In short, this is one more personal issue that will add further delay to Anita getting her ass to Ireland, and probably result in Edward getting killed.
And at this point, I was done with the book. Not one more page could I turn, and not one more personal issue or degrading sex scene could I skim. Put a fork in me – I’m done.
And because I was done, that’s all I can write about the book. Over three-hundred-fifty pages and I don’t have shit to give you. That really doesn’t say anything about me and my desire to achieve a goal. I should have forced myself to get to the end of the book, just to give you, the reader, measurable results. But, with the amount I read I should have more plot details than Edward is in trouble and might meet his end overseas, and Damien doesn’t get enough sex from Anita. Oh, hold on. I meant to say ‘and Damien is scared to death of The One Who Made Him, or The One Who Ate Him,’ or whatever her actual title is. Doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, anyway.
What this whole diatribe involving this book leads me to ask is simple; what happened to a great series? What happened after Book Six, The Killing Dance, that slowly led to the death of a great Character. Where did the action and adventure, the killing and slaughtering, the ‘I’m Anita Blake and I don’t do supernatural critters – especially the Fucking Vampires’ go? Why is it that the only killing that takes place now is those cells that make up our brains? And the bigger question is why is this series like Crack to me; why do I swear I’ll never have anything to do with it again, and then POW! I’m back to using. It’s a sad statement on my life when this is what it’s comes to.
What can I say about the book in general? At least the part I made it through? I can say save yourselves fifteen dollars to spend on a book or books that are genuinely good, like the “Aisley Grimlock” or “The Girls from Alcyone” series. And, I assume from one person I know who braved this depraved volume to the end and lived to tell me about it – although she did hint there was a lot of skimming over sex and personal issue pertaining to sex to achieve this feat – there is still no Fourth Vampire Mark for Anita Blake. Thank God as I’m not sure I want her around forever, but I still want her to take it. About the book? You’ve been warned.