Book 20 of Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter Series
by Laurell K. Hamilton
Published: Berkley – June 2011
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 320 (Hardcover)
Rating: ★★★½☆ (3.5 stars)
A serial killer is hunting the Pacific Northwest, murdering victims in a gruesome and spectacular way. The local police suspect “monsters” are involved, and have called in Anita Blake and Edward, US Marshals who really know their monsters, to catch the killer.
But some monsters are very real. The Harlequin have been the bogeymen of the vampire world for more than a thousand years; they are a secret so dark that even to speak their name can earn you a death sentence. Now they are here in America, hunting weretigers…and human police.
The Harlequin serve the Mother of All Darkness, the first vampire. She was supposed to be dead, but only her body was destroyed. Now she needs a new one, and she’s decided that Anita Blake’s is the body she wants. Edward thinks the serial killings are a trap to lure Anita closer to the most dangerous vampire they’ve ever hunted. The vampires call Edward “Death,” and Anita the “Executioner,” but Mommy Darkest is coming to kill one and possess the other, and she doesn’t care how many others have to die along the way.
Compared to the last few books in this series, I actually really enjoyed reading Hit List. There was fast-paced action, new characters that I enjoyed reading about, and we get Edward and Olaf, the best characters ever written.
In this book, we finally get the Mother of All Darkness situation resolved. Mommy Darkest has been a fixture in many of Hamilton’s latest books. I was ready for this storyline to end once and for all. I actually let out a sigh of relief at the end because I like when loose ends are tied up.
I always love when Edward and Olaf are brought back for a book. Edward is a sociopath with no feelings. But Hamilton makes us love him. He respects Anita and their friendship is fascinating to watch. Then we have Olaf. A psychopath serial killer who’s Edward’s backup on monster hunts. He is creepier and has only gotten creepier by the book. He is obsessed with Anita because she fits the description of his ideal woman to torture, rape and kill. Yup, good times. Anita may be unnerved by his interest but she knows how to hold her own.
I liked Ethan and the red tiger clan. It was a neat little side story and added spice to the main plot.
As always, the politics and interactions between the male-dominated Marshals and Anita was hilarious and frustrating. But I really felt bad for the Marshal who was attacked and turned into a werewolf. I know the writing is good when I actually feel sympathy towards a fictitious character.
Though I really did enjoy reading this book, it did have its problems. The editing was poor. There was information that got repeated in separate chapters. Plus, someone close to Anita is shot but we never find out if he died or not in the wrap-up chapter.
The constant mention of cold stares and blank faces got annoying. And the rehashing of old news and regurgitated problems makes Hamilton seem unoriginal.
I am not sure I like the direction Hamilton is taking Edward and Olaf. If either become romantically involved with Anita I think it will upset a lot of fans. This line should not be crossed.
The ending would have been better if it was longer and more intense. It left me a little wanting because of how short it was.
Only one sex scene which was a nice change of pace since Hamilton insists on making her series more erotic.
This book makes me feel like there might be hope for the Anita Blake series. The first half of the series was mind-blowing, then it started to get a little weird. But I felt like Hit List shows that Hamilton can still write a good Anita Blake book like the ones we have come to love. Let’s hope she keeps it up. If you have read the series already, I would definitely suggest reading this book.