Skin Trade - Laurell K. Hamilton

Started: February 14, 2010
Finished: February 20, 2010

This one starts off with Anita getting a human head mailed to her in a box from Las Vegas. Yes, the whole story takes place out of town again, which is odd because so did the last book in the series. Vittorio is behind the gruesome package and despite this being a trap she runs off to Las Vegas to confront him. Edward, Olaf, and Benardo Spotted-Horse are back!

I started reading the Anita Blake series at the end of last year and this is the longest it has ever taken me to read any of the books. It wasn't boring but let's just say it could have been better, but isn't that the complaint for a lot of the books in the this series?

Let's start with the positives. Edward was back and usually she waits longer between books to pull his card so I wasn't expecting him to be in this book since he was just present two books previous. I like that they were reunited with Olaf and Benardo(who hasn't been mentioned since Obsidian Butterfly) Positive #2: She worked with the police and embraced her title as The Executioner. She actually had to so some investigative work. Most of the book didn't revolve around sex. LKH could not write an entire Antia Blake book without sex especially this far into it. I was expecting it to happen the whole time I was reading but it didn't happen until toward the end of the book.

Okay, now to the negatives. Since this is the second book in a row where she is not in St. Louis, there were a lot of characters that readers have grown to love noticeably absent. Jean Claude, Richard, Nathaniel, Micah, and just about everyone else. The only characters we are familiar with who are a presence in the majority of the book are Edward and Olaf. It's not until later that Requiem and the Wicked Truth make appearances.

Highlight below to see spoiler:
This is a definite negative. Marmee Noir is killed but it was definitely in a very anti-climactic type of way. It was very disappointing that Antia and Edward didn't go to Europe and tag team her. In fact, Edward declines the opportunity to kill her which, to me, is very UN-Edward like. I'm just glad that it wasn't Vittorio who killed her. The fact that human made bombs did the trick makes me fell a little better about her demise. Maybe, she found a way to survive and she will make a comeback in the future so Anita can have another wack at it. *crossing my fingers on that one*
Then, she ends up sleeping with the Wicked Truth? Honestly, I don't feel like that was completely necessary. I like the agreement they came to after all was said and done but I don't think they needed to have sex for that to happen.
------------------------------------Spoiler End -----------------------------------

Overall this one was okay. Since she is in Las Vegas, she has interactions with Max, the Master of the City, and his wife Bibiana the queen of the tigers. As you may have guessed, Anita struggles with her internal tigers, which was a little interesting part of the time. Marmee Noir messes with her again for the last time but her last appearance is disappointing. Once the sex begins toward the end, the book looses some of it's edge. The final encounter with Vittorio was both good and bad. Bad how it lead up to it but good that she used an unlikely power to defeat him. It was nice that there was more plot and less of her screaming out her pleasures. I may get the next book in the series but it will be from the library not the bookstore. If it's not available I won't break my neck to get it.

3.5 out of 5 STARS

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