Dead Ice (Anita Blake) by Laurell K. Hamilton

Errm… I liked it, mostly.

Anita Blake, U.S Marshal, executioner and professional zombie raiser has to deal with one of the most disturbing case of her life. The FBI have called her in because someone is making porn using zombie’s but there’s something strange with the zombie’s themselves. In between this she has to deal with the supernatural politics of her fiancé being the Vampire king of America and how her powers have connected her to all the lycanthropes in the area.

Okay, I haven’t read an Anita Blake book in a good few years – not because I didn’t like them or anything but because, until recently, I only bought books that were under a £1 that I usually found at the car boot and not a lot of these books are there. According to Goodreads this is book 24 and I think the last one was Obsidian Butterfly (Book 9), so I should have been lost but I wasn’t. One of the good things about this book was that it gives a good description of what has happened in previous books for each character so you can understand everyone’s relationship with each other.

This is really useful if you missed as many books as I have but it’s also kind of a downfall. If you have read all the books you know all of this and it does take up most of the book so there’s less of the main plot. There’s so much detail that I honestly don’t feel the need to read the previous books except to find the bits with Edward – he’s not in this story but he was always my favourite character in the series. As much as it was useful for me I think there should have been less detail.

The plot itself is interesting. I think it should have been about the zombie’s but it felt like the main plot itself seems to be about Anita’s relationships and how other people deal with them. When I was into the last 100 pages or so I actually had to question how much of the zombie plot had actually happened. There was another zombie small plot that was separate – though had similarities to it- to the zombie porn plot but by the end of it I’d nearly forgotten about it.

Saying that, I did find Anita’s relationships and the politics interesting. Hell, last year when I was doing my dissertation I talked about the series because of it. I loved how the series in general portrays poly relationships and I’m incredibly jealous of Anita for having so many interesting men in her life and being able to manage all the different relationships. It was also interesting reading her try to work out how she feels about possibly involving women in her relationships.

Might as well talk about the sex scenes. I’ve read quite a few reviews of the series – not just this book- complaining that it has turned into – as a reviewer called it – directions for porn. I don’t really agree with that even with porn being part of the plot. Yes there are a few sex scenes but it doesn’t happen every page and the zombie ones aren’t too bad. Thankfully the zombie ones are really short and not very detailed, though the few details that were there were disturbing. The first zombie porn is described in less than a paragraph – thank God- while the first time Anita has sex with someone is a few pages long. See the differences? There were a few times that Anita almost did it with people but she stopped herself – well done on professionalism at one point- and there’s lots of talk about sex but its not so bad that I would actually call it porn.

The writing was okay. Like I said there was a bit too much description of previous books. There was also a lot of talking. I feel that a good percentage of the book was direct speech and mostly people going off on tangents that took up more of the book than was necessarily needed. At one point a couple of Anita’s lovers, her old mentor and two of other people were about to be killed by a flesh eating zombie and Anita feels like that is a good time to metaphysically talk to her fiancé because she saw him close to someone else – she didn’t care how close particularly but still felt the need to talk about. Maybe concentrate on the people about to be killed?

There was also a bit of an inconstancy with the minor characters. I think it was Manning but in person she’s professional and treats Anita with respect but on the phone she’s really rude and keeps commenting on how no one in the FBI respects or trusts Anita. Raphael was injured and had to be healed for a big meeting but after Micah and Anita attempt to heal him we don’t hear from him again. Don’t know if he got healed, what happened to the people that did it to him, if the big meeting with all the shifter leaders – I’m assuming that would involve some of Anita’s men so it does involve her- took place,anything. Admittedly I didn’t notice that till I read the reviews. I kind of forgot about it but it should have addressed.

Overall Dead Ice was just ok. I liked it enough to finish it which is more than I can say for some books this month. The idea was interesting – if a bit disturbing- there was some good talks about poly relationships and I enjoyed the sex scenes that didn’t involve zombies. The main problems were the inconstancies and going off on tangents. There’s just a bit too much speech and descriptions of previous books that made it hard to read. I had to take a few breaks so that I could finish it but I did finish it.



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