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Kiss the Dead (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter) (edition 2012)

by Laurell K. Hamilton

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6584114,612 (3.34)13
Member:madichi
Title:Kiss the Dead (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter)
Authors:Laurell K. Hamilton
Info:Berkley Books (2012), Edition: 1st, Hardcover, 368 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:**1/2
Tags:Have Read, Don't Buy, Fantasy, Urban

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Kiss The Dead by Laurell K. Hamilton

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minor spoilers are mentioned

Once again, yes, I read an Anita Blake book. I can't help myself; this was the first vampire series I fell in love with, & I really, really, really miss the "original" Anita Blake. I keep hoping she'll show up.

As with the last book, this one is another improvement in the series. The first sex scene doesn't take place for almost 200 pages, & there are only a few scenes in the whole book, rather tame & boring.

The plot - well, I'm not sure what to say on this subject. If you read what the book is supposed to be about, it sounds great -- but, the plot in reality falls really short of that. It's an interesting premise - another reviewer called them the Vampire Tea Party, & I like the phrase enough to use it. But it wasn't very well thought out, written well, & other than the barest mentions here & there throughout the book, the plot never really happened.

You don't see very much of Jean Claude in this one, which makes me happy as I'm rather sick of the guy. Anita sounds pretty sick of him, too, throughout the books, as she does talking about all the men in her life. They finally kick Asher to the curb, though only for a month or two. I was rather hoping Hamilton would kill of a few of the lovers or at least make them go away, so I was happy to see Asher go to the rather vague location of "new city".

All in all, I did like the book, I did finish it in only a few days, & I did like it enough that I'll read the next one, but I am left wondering once again why I am still bothering.

( )
  anastaciaknits | Oct 29, 2016 |
This series has been on life-support for too long. Somebody please pull the plug. The only reason I gave it two stars is because Zerbrowski was in the first third of the book and again at the end.

( )
  eden1013 | Oct 22, 2016 |
followed the typical anita blake timeline: action, small buildup, lengthy sex scene(s), climax, short, seemingly hasty conclusion. ( )
  petrichor8 | Jun 6, 2016 |
Anita Blake- Vampire Hunter. Another fantastic book. ( )
  Carol420 | May 31, 2016 |
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: More drama than a soap opera as Anita uncovers a group of rogue vampires who would rather – funnily enough – die than be forced to live under Jean-Claude’s rule.

Opening Sentence: On TV, Interrogation rooms are roomy and have big windows so that you can watch everything.

The Review:

The year of 2016 continues to be the year of catching up on old reviews. The Anita Blake series has been somewhat of a disappointment for me lately so it is no wonder I’ve been putting this series aside and trying to read other things that hopefully won’t disappoint me as much. Kiss the Dead continues the constant drama of what it is like to be Anita and have the whole population of the world hate you, while being able to have “relationships” with some of the hottest men in the world.

Kiss the Dead starts off with Anita on a job working with the Police to find a kidnapped 15-year-old girl. The girl is possibly being forced to become a vampire, which is against the law. While confronting a mass of ordinary vampires, Anita is forced to confront a bigger problem facing the vampires: They no longer want to be controlled. They just want to live out their undead lives in peace. Kiss the Dead does a good job of reiterating that vampires are just too much trouble if left to their own devices. (I’m still not entirely sure she ever saved the original girl who was kidnapped.) Anita also finds out that power only really works one way with the vampires and they are fed up with it.

“Can’t you tell my age?” he asked.

I thought about it, just a tiny use of power, and said, “Twenty years dead, that’s why the eighties haircut.”

“I don’t have enough power to grow my hair long after death like the vampires closest to you. Your master steals energy from me, from all of us, and uses it to heal his people, and grow his long, black curls out for you.”

I’d know Jean-Claude took power from his followers, and gave power to them, but I hadn’t thought how that exchange of power might affect the other side of the equation. Was Blondie here right? Did Jean-Claude steal power from them just to grow his hair long for me, when they could have used it to heal their wounds, grow their own hair? Was it true?

She never even brought this up with Jean-Claude even though it was something for her to mull over with the problematic vampires.

How hard is it to wear work appropriate clothing??? Anita goes on a hunt with her fellow Marshalls and officers while wearing a short skirt, stockings and heels. She ends up having to strip because the clothes restrict what she’s doing so much so she ends up flashing her vagina to anyone who was around. And she wonders why all the cops give her shit? It’s not because she’s female, it’s because she isn’t prepared. Thankfully we didn’t have to deal with too many uber-macho males who couldn’t deal with a woman being better than them. There is some at the beginning but it pretty much fizzles out.

Anita is conflicted about her home life. She can’t get over how many lovers that she has amassed. She brings up her issues quite often throughout the story but she doesn’t actually make it home until almost halfway through the book, where she starts in with her kinkiness. She also can’t get over the age gap with Cynric.

I got off the phone in tears. I loved Nathaniel and Micah, so much. There was no guilt there. We made each other happy. Cynric should have been with someone who loved him the way I loved them. The way I loved Jean-Claude. Hell, the way I loved Asher, or Nicky, or even Jason. He shouldn’t have had to compromise for a relationship that got him great sex, and even love of a kind, but I didn’t think I’d ever be in love with Cynric. He deserved someone who would feel for him what he seemed to feel for me, didn’t he? Didn’t everyone? I wasn’t sure I could give that to him, and the fact that he’d stood there and heard the three of us say our cute little trio of I love you, I love you more, I love you most, I love you mostest, which was just ours, made my chest tight and my eyes hot with unshed tears. I had crimes to solve, more rogue vampires to find; I couldn’t afford to be distracted like this, not by an eighteen-year-old kid who happened to love me more than I loved him. And that was the thought that made me wipe the tears away with the back of my hands, that was the thought that cut the deepest. He loved me, was in love with me, and I didn’t feel the same. If he hadn’t been metaphysically bound to me, I could have broken up with him, sent him home, but once some preternatural bonds happen, they can’t be undone. We were trapped, Cynric and I, and there was no way to undue it. Fuck.

Or maybe, her issues with Cynric run deeper than just his age. I know Anita has issues with the men that she loves. She mentions guys just being fuck buddies and I don’t know why she can’t just do that with Cynric. He just has to be more since they are bonded. I feel like I should have problems with her being in her low thirties and Cynric being eighteen but it doesn’t bother me as much as some other relationships. Yeah, it is uncomfortable especially when they mention he is still in high school. With so many lovers, I’m more tired of reading about Anita justifying it to herself and to the readers. Just get it on and be happy about it.

Was my issue with Cynric not him personally, but just being overwhelmed with all of my lovers? I collected them the way a crazy cat lady found strays to bring home, except I could afford to feed and take care of all of them, I was just running low on emotional resources, or so I told myself.

I laughed to myself when she also tried to justify those she liked more than others and the reason why. I think she pretty much just labeled them pussies if they can’t deal with her problems too.

Sometimes when I had nightmares, they got glimpses of it if we were sleeping next to each other. When I was working on a really violent case, some of my lovers started sleeping elsewhere. I didn’t really blame them, though I found that I did take brownie points away from the ones who hid. I preferred the people in my life who could take all of me, not just parts.

Kettle black? She needs to start liking not just parts of other people too.

Anita Blake series is labeled as urban fantasy since that is what it started out as. I don’t really think the series needs to change but it could include erotic romance as part of the label. But I have an issue with that too, I’ve read blushy type romances to erotic romance to porn. Anita brushes the line with the porn angle but I’ve also got issues with that too. I honestly don’t mind the “sex scenes” if there was a purpose. Sometimes these scenes work and other times they don’t. If Laurell K. Hamilton is wanting to teach her readers how to have better sex then that is great, I just don’t want Anita’s inner monologue drudging down the scenes. Her monologues break up all the “action” and instead of titillation I feel annoyed. Why does Anita have to constantly tell me ten times what men like, what they are thinking, why he’s doing something, why she’s doing something, why this person is the tenth on her list and droning on about the lovers she’d rather be sleeping with.

He took me at my word, and began to move faster, harder, but each stroke ended in that caressing roll of his body, as if he were petting, massaging deep inside me. It was an amazing sensation. I felt him hesitate, and looked back over my shoulder to see his face. He had his eyes closed; one, so he could concentrate on his body, feel his way inside me, but the other reason was so he could last. Most men are visual, and without being able to see himself going in and out of me, he was able to fight off that last moment a little bit longer. I watched the concentration on his face as my body rocked and moved against the bed under the push and power of him. I had a second of warning, and then the orgasm caught me. It dug my fingers into the bed, it screamed its way down my throat, and out my mouth.

Honestly, I feel like Anita is very scientific during these scenes instead of being passionate about what is going on. It’s like reading a manual. In Kiss the Dead, I didn’t really like the recap scene with her, Nathaniel and Micah. It droned on and on. The scene above doesn’t accurately show that but then I would be filling pages of this review, I just wanted a paragraph. I understand they may be a new reader who has never read that before or just reminding the older readers, but you don’t have to remind over and over again. Anita’s scene with Nicky was good but I thought that her scene Devil was way better. It was short, sweet and to the point. Basically the fun was had and I didn’t have to read over and over about his eyes, his family history and how he compares to all her other lovers.

Or maybe I’m just being cynical…

After I’ve said all that, Kiss the Dead didn’t really annoy me as some of the previous books did. The main story line was resolved. The climactic scene happened at the end instead of in the middle of the novel. I don’t recommend to starting here though, start at the beginning if you want the full story or start around Narcissus in Chains if you would prefer the uber-sexed Anita instead of excellent plot lines. If I could actually give half points, I would say this was more of a 2.5. This series doesn’t have the passion it once did for me but since I’m a glutton for punishment, I will keep reading until it is over.

Notable Scene:

I drank down his anger as he breathed heavy and loud, through the pounding of his heart, the pulse and beat of his blood, and as I swallowed the thick, red fire of his rage, I smelled his skin so close: sweat, and the scent of his fear, which was what lay under all that anger. Beyond that I smelled his blood beating just under the bitter sweetness of his anger, so that Billings was like a piece of cupcake with dark bittersweet chocolate icing that could be licked away, to the warm, moist cake, and then the hot, liquid center where the sweetest, thickest chocolate lay waiting like some hidden treasure that would make the anger even tastier.

FTC Advisory: Berkley/Penguin provided me with a copy of Kiss the Dead. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. ( )
  DarkFaerieTales | Mar 22, 2016 |
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Epigraph
Dedication
To Jonathon, my husband,
who understands that the journey is long, but worth the ride.
To Shawn
for all those calls about police work and for just being that lifelline call over the last two decades. All mistakes in this book are mine and mine alone.
To Jess: 
who has taught both Jonathon and me that mischief is both fun and damn near necessary in our lives.
To Pilar, my sister of choice
who taught me that it's never too late to have a happy childhood.
To Steven, 
who helped me with research I didn't even know I was doing
First words
On TV, interrogation rooms are roomy and have big windows so that you can watch everything.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
When a 13-yr-old girl is abducted by vampires, it's up to US Marshal Anita Blake to find her. And when she does, she's faced with something she's never seen before: a terrifyingly ordinary group of people - kids, grandparents, soccer moms - all recently turned and willing to die to avoid serving a master. 
And where there's one martyr there will be more ...

But even vampires have monsters they're afraid of ... and one of them is THE Executioner Anita Blake.
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"When a fifteen-year-old girl is abducted by vampires, it's up to U.S. Marshal Anita Blake to find her. And when she does, she's faced with something she's never seen before: a terrifyingly ordinary group of people--kids, grandparents, soccer moms--all recently turned and willing to die to avoid serving a master. And where there's one martyr, there will be more... But even vampires have monsters that they're afraid of. And Anita is one of them.."--… (more)

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