Saturday, 7 September 2013

The Killing Dance

Level: Explicit
Genre: Fantasy> Urban Fantasy > Vampire
Obtained: Purchased at Border's
Reviewed by: Nic Echo

What to say about this cover? Busy and confusing sums it up nicely. While confusing kind of works as this books focuses a lot on Anita's love life. The Killing Dance also features the first sex scene, and sex certainly can be confusing at times. However, just because it shows the confusion in the book does not make it visually appealing. Every time I look at this cover, my eyes don't know where to look as there is no focal point. Also, maybe it's just me, but the place where the model's breast is against her arm looks like a butt to me at a glance because of the shadow placement. Now, the pink is eye catching, but overall, this cover is just a mess.

About the Book:
Anita has always been used to having enemies, but for the first time, she has a professional hit on her. Then, if that wasn't bad enough, she is also having to deal with her two boyfriends, Richard and Jean-Claude. On one hand, she is starting to see Jean-Claude as less and less of a monster while Richard, on the other hand, seems to becoming less and less perfect, and Anita isn't quite sure if he can fit into her life.

Rating: 7/10
Originally when I read this back in high school, this was one of my favourite Anita Blake books. I'll admit that I loved the sexual tension and romantic drama mingling with Anita's adventures. Now? Well, it's definitely lost its pleasure. That's not to say I hate it, but with how the current books are, anything focusing mainly on Anita's love life bores me. Still, that's not to say everything was a complete drag. I found the werewolves to be a lot of fun. LKH did a wonderful job at mixing humanity with the monstrous. It was especially nice to see LKH not blaming the animal for all the killing and blood lust. I will say that The Killing Dance made me mourn on how LKH used to write her wereanimals. They used to be frightening, and powerful creatures used to be a rarity. In here, Richard seems to be the only alpha (except Raina) that can share his power. In the recent books, it seems that every lycan and their uncle are able to. Speaking of powers that used to be rare, this is the book that introduces the triumvirate. I won't go into it too much for those who haven't read the book, but this ends up being only the third one Jean-Claude knows about. The later books seem to introduce a new one every other book. As far as this particular book, originally when I read it, I had found the triumvirate to be really interesting. It was new, fresh, and I wondered where it would lead to. Upon the reread, I couldn't wait for it to end.

However, whether it is a reread or a first time read, the exploring of the triumvirate went on much too long, I do understand that it is something new, but it felt as if chapters went by just TALKING about the power and the zombies. Yes, just talking. It's like get on with it already! This is definitely the book where the talking and repetition really come into play (though still not as bad as the more recent books). Hamilton starts referencing blue, blue eyes, and I lost count of how many times I was told Richard had brown eyes. This is also where Hamilton starts focusing on clothing more. Personally, I did not find it excessive, but those who could care less about clothing may.

So I have talked about some major issues that I had with The Killing Dance, but there is still plenty to enjoy. I already mentioned the werewolves but in particular, I love Richard. I really enjoyed the way Hamilton showed the shades of grey of morality. I love getting to see Richard try to use other means than death to become Ulfric (main alpha) and the cost upon him when he makes the decision to do otherwise. Granted, I did feel that Richard started threatening death too often after that, but my head cannon has him not fully realising his decisions so it's all words really. Even so, it was great to see Richard and Anita arguing about what is right in such a grey tinted world. Another thing I liked was more Edward! We get more action, more mystery, and even humour! The Killing Dance also had a fairly fast moving plot as assassins try to off Anita, and there was also lots of steamy scenes for those interested in the romance. All in all, The Killing Dance was an enjoyable book (even if it had more negative aspects than the prior Anita Blake novels). It had action. It had sexual tension. It was definitely better as a first time read, but it is still rereadable. Not as good as the first five, but still plenty of fun.

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