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Skin Trade (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter,…
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Skin Trade (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, Book 17) (original 2009; edition 2009)

by Laurell K. Hamilton

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2,367755,163 (3.59)39
When a vampire serial killer sends Anita Blake a grisly souvenir from Las Vegas, she has to warn Sin City's local authorities what they're really dealing with.
Member:patsk
Title:Skin Trade (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, Book 17)
Authors:Laurell K. Hamilton
Info:Berkley Hardcover (2009), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 496 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

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Skin Trade by Laurell K. Hamilton (2009)

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Anita's day is disrupted by the arrival of a box at her office with a human head in it. It seems Vittorio the serial killer vampire she tangled with in the past has set up shop in Las Vegas and called her out personally. He sent the head of Las Vegas' vampire executioner to her as an invitation to play. Duty calls, so Anita is off to Vegas to meet up with Edward, Olaf, & Bernardo for a good old fashion vamp hunt. Hopefully she'll also be able to smooth things over with the local weretiger group whose leader is the wife of Max, the local Master of the City.

Lately, Marmie Noir has been messing with Anita which has caused her to be the lucky carrier of some of the rarest forms of weretiger on the planet. Hopefully she'll be able to make nice with the kitties and survive her encounter with Vittorio's obsession.

This book is very boring. That's it's most notable feature after the repetitiveness. Get ready to hear Anita describe the physical appearance of each man who is introduced down to the clothes he is wearing and her opinions on same. Get ready to her her and her interchangeable associates talk in tedious expository circles, recounting numerous events that the reader is already familiar with. Don't worry, exactly none of your favorite characters will make an appearance in this book and Anita will pick up two new men to take home with her.

The most annoying aspect of this book is the way every man is constantly complaining about how he's not Anita's favorite or they are mad that they haven't gotten to have sex with her yet. When the do get to have sex with her, be prepared to hear them complain about how she isn't enthusiastic enough. It truly beggars belief how every man is obsessed with her and completely without shame when it comes to whining like an aggrieved boyfriend about the nature of their relationship.

Anita says like 100 times that she has too many men in her life. I don't even care if it's true, I just don't want to hear her have the same tedious conversation again. Everything is a ploy to take up more space on the page. This book is excruciatingly padded out. It also features the exact same scene where Anita is taken over by a vampire and forced to sleep with a parade of men in order to somehow (?) metaphysically generate power. In the last book, this was an emotional plot point where Anita is traumatized by being raped. In this book, she barely registers it as a problem. More of like an inconvenience. The way sexual assault is treated in this book is deeply irresponsible and unrealistic.

Another thing which is not aging well is Anita's brand of self-hating feminism. Anita is #NotLikeTheOtherGirls. She's just different. She's tough and strong and blunt. No other woman has ever possessed these qualities and that's why all other women are trash. The number of times in this book that Anita either apologizes for "acting like a girl" or denigrates other women or is told sternly by her male colleagues to quit "being a girl" is staggering and provokes a cringe every time. One such instance is when Anita asks her coworker if it was hard for him to look at the dead body of someone he knew personally. She is then accused of being a girl and told that "only a woman" would asks such a question. ??????? Also, Anita is constantly expounding on her various observations about the nature of gender. Her concept of gender roles are extremely rigid and ludicrous.

There are also just a bunch of stupid plot holes that don't make sense. I can only assume that her editors were so worn out from reading repetitive content and dialogue that they just gave up. I know I was ready to throw in the towel by the end. My favorite glaring plot hole was when Vittorio takes over Anita's body and has her have sex with a half dozen men in her hotel room. Her entire team of body guards just allow this to happen. Also, Vittorio somehow kidnaps a vampire out of the coffin in Anita's hotel room and walks him out in a duffle bag and again, her body guards were, I guess, all on break?

It's all just very very bad. Unforgiveable bad really. Jean Claude only makes an appearance on a phone call where he plays the role of the voice of the reader. He complains that Anita has too many men in her life which makes it hard to have any sort of meaningful relationship with any of them. I agree with him! The constant influx of new characters is out of control and not interesting. I want to spend more time with the characters we already know and love. But alas, it is not to be. ( )
  Juva | Feb 10, 2022 |
Synopsis: 'Once you tell someone certain things, like, say, you got mailed a human head in a box, they tend to think you're crazy.

Anita Blake's reputation has taken some hits. Not on the work front, where she has the highest kill count of all the legal vampire executioners in the country, but on the personal front. No one seems to trust a woman who sleeps with the monsters. Still, when a vampire serial killer sends her a head from Las Vegas, Anita has to warn Sin City's local authorities what they're dealing with. Only it's worse than she thought. Several officers and one executioner have been slain - paranormal style...

Anita heads to Las Vegas, where she's joined by three other federal marshals, including the ruthless Edward hiding behind his mild-mannered persona. It's a good thing Edward always has her back, because, when she gets close to the bodies, Anita senses "tiger" too strongly to ignore it. The were-tigers are very powerful in Las Vegas, which means the odds of her rubbing someone important the wrong way just got a lot higher...'
Review: Olaf is back and creepy as ever. Let's hope 'Mommie Dearest' is really gone, but she seems to be replaced by another bad guy. ( )
  DrLed | Jan 28, 2022 |
Maybe I'm giving 5 stars because so many of the last books in the series I read have been mediocre at best. But this is the Anita Blake I fell in love with. This had a crime for Anita to solve, brought back the villain vampire Vittorio, and Edward (along with Bernardo and Otto). And no long, drawn-out boring sex scenes that have marred the last few books.

Although as usual, the big finish comes at the very end of the book.

Speaking of sex scenes, does Hamilton always have to have some sort of blood play in all of them. Anita never seems to have loving sex. There is always something that forces her to have rough sex. Rough sex is fine, but like anything else, there should be some other things on the menu.

I thought with the title Skin Trade, there would be a vamp or other creature who could jump bodies. But as far as I can tell it was titled this because someone is killing strippers.

I was surprised at how the book ended. The Mother of Darkness made an appearance and We learn about Vittorio's origin. We also learn more about the different colored tigers and why the MoD placed some inside Anita. The Jinn, creatures of air also were featured, although they are powerful, they were dealt with rather quickly.

Hamilton slowly sets some things up, but then deals with them abruptly and always rushes the endings. I'm not sure what will be happening next. I wouldn't have ended this book so abruptly.

Spoilers below, so stop here if you don't want to read about how the book ends.

I couldn't believe that not only did Hamilton kill off Vittorio just when he became more interesting by being the Father of Day, but she also seemed to kill of the Mother of Darkness, as well. That's two really Big Bads in the same book. It seemed too easy. They finally found the MoD's resting place and firebombed it. Bam! Done.

Anita uses the ardeur on Vittorio which distracts him enough so the weretigers under his control are free. They attack and kill him. This made more sense. He is not coming back from this unless he has some super power to put his essence into another body. But that would be lame since something like that wasn't even hinted at.

Perhaps one or both will come back in future books.

I am planning on going ahead and reading the next books that feature Edward, and I think those will get me up-to-date. But once that happens, I won't be reading any more Laurell Hamilton books. Too poorly edited, too repititious. ( )
  jezebellydancer | Nov 1, 2021 |
I really loved Laurell K. Hamilton's early Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series books but I did feel like she lost the thread a bit in the middle of the series. I am glad to say that it seems like she is focusing more on the story line and less on the sex of late which makes the books better in my opinion. I think Anita is a great character and Laurell K. Hamilton can write a great plot but her overly complicated sex scenes can somewhat take away from the book. ( )
  KateKat11 | Sep 24, 2021 |
hb
  5083mitzi | Jul 1, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 76 (next | show all)
"Skin Trade" is a solid effort from a first-class storyteller.
 

» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Laurell K. Hamiltonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Alexis, KimberlyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Sudden and swift and light as that

The ties gave,

And he learned of finalities

Besides the grave.


—From “The Impulse” by Robert Frost (The Hill Wife, 1922)
Sudden and swift and light as that
the ties gave,
and he learned of finalities
Besides the grave
The Impulse - Robert Frost (The Hill Wife, 1922)
Dedication
To Jonathon, who understands that I’m a moody bastard, but loves me anyway. Some days he loves me because of it. Of course, it takes one to know one.
To Jonathon
who understands that I'm a moody bastard,
but loves me anyway.
Some days he loves me because of it.
of Course, it takes one to know one.
First words
I'd worked my share of serial killer cases, but none of the killers had ever mailed me a human head.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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When a vampire serial killer sends Anita Blake a grisly souvenir from Las Vegas, she has to warn Sin City's local authorities what they're really dealing with.

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When a vampire serial killer sends Anita Blake a grisly souvenir from Las Vegas, she has to warn Sin City's local authorities what they're dealing with. Only it's worse than she thought. Ten officers and one executioner have been slain - paranormal style. Anita heads to Vegas, where's she's joined by three other federal marshals, including the ruthless Edward. It's a good thing he always has her back, because when she gets close to the bodies, Anita senses 'tiger' too strongly to ignore it. The weretigers are very powerful in Las Vegas, which means the odds of her rubbing someone important the wrong way just got a lot higher.
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