Now, I actually finished this book shortly after it came out, but I’ve just now gotten around to writing my review.
With every Anita Blake novel, I have some trepidation that “this” will be the last novel. However, there is certainly to be at least one more novel after this one.
The premise of this novel is that the Mother of All Darkness has begun to take the Vampire Council members under her control. Therefore, it is necessary for the St. Louis vampires to draw definitive lines as to who is on which side and try to create their own council to stop Mommy Dearest. The Master of Las Vegas has sent some of his weretigers to St. Louis to help the powerbase. If Anita can bond to a gold tiger, she will have control of all the tigers, and that will bring them one step closer to stopping Mommy Dearest.
Richard makes his triumphant return near the beginning of the book, begging forgiveness of both Anita and Jean-Claude. This allows them to reunite the triumvirate for real — yes, there is finally, finally real slash in this novel.
The part of the novel that disgusted me, however (and the more I think about it, could be the reason for the title) is that (highlight for spoiler information) Anita was forced to shoot Haven dead because he was going to kill Nathaniel if she didn’t. I’m not sure how much I agree with that plot device. Then again, Haven was my favourite character. (end spoiler)
I was also disappointed in the lack of time/movement and (even though I enjoy it) felt as though there was too much sex. Nearly half the book was spent having sex, and the whole thing moved over the space of about 48 hours. I feel as though we already got that in Skin Trade and need to get moving plotwise.
Overall, this was not my favourite Anita Blake novel, nor do I think it was Laurell K. Hamilton’s best. The comforting news is that the plot has not been wrapped, and we are sure to have at least one more adventure with Anita.