Serpentine by Laurell K. Hamilton

Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, 26

Synopsis: Vampire hunter Anita Blake has managed to overcome everything she faces. But this time there’s a monster that even she doesn’t know how to fight…

A remote Florida island is the perfect wedding destination for the upcoming nuptials of Anita’s fellow U.S. Marshal and best friend Edward. For Anita, the vacation is a welcome break, as it’s the first trip she gets to take with wereleopards Micah and Nathaniel. But it’s not all fun and games and bachelor parties…

In this tropical paradise Micah discovers a horrific new form of lycanthropy, one that has afflicted a single family for generations. Believed to be the result of an ancient Greek curse, it turns human bodies into a mass of snakes.

When long-simmering resentment leads to a big blowout within the wedding party, the last thing Anita needs is more drama. But it finds her anyway when women start disappearing from the hotel, and worse–her own friends and lovers are considered the prime suspects. There’s a strange power afoot that Anita has never confronted before, a force that’s rendering those around her helpless in its thrall. Unable to face it on her own, Anita is willing to accept help from even the deadliest places. Help that she will most certainly regret–if she survives at all, that is…

Review: I know that many people have abandoned Anita Blake in the face of the growing number of relationships and the overly polyamorous theme. I know it. I understand it too, but I have a weakness for this series. This is one of the first that I started and although many things tire me, I can not let it go. I sometimes take a long time to read them after their releases, but I do it anyway. I’m not going to tell you that things are changing because it would be lying, it’s in the continuity of previous novels. I concede that I was a little irritated at the beginning of the novel because of the incessant stories in all the novel about Anita’s personal concerns, jealousy, incessant demands for more attention. Yes, it’s still tiring, but we know what to expect when we dive into an Anita Blake novel. At least this time the scenes of sex are limited to the three principal characters Micah, Nathaniel and Jean-Claude and I did not have to think about who were her other numerous partners whose names I easily mix.

Apart from that, how can we resist reading a story about Edward’s wedding? Yes, Edward is here and I did not remember how irritating Donna was. But that’s not all because we also find Bernado and Olaf! Yes, Olaf! Oh I really like that one! It was the icing on the cake and that’s what really enhanced the novel for me. It is a character full of complexity and completely psychopathic but I love it! His interactions with Anita are always a treat to follow!

In addition to all this, our heroes will be confronted with two problems: a population that seems to turn into serpents little by little without a possible return and the disappearance of a woman at the wedding hotel. So of course, and even if it’s complicated, our Marshals will have to get back on duty even on vacation!

 

Serpentine de Laurell K. Hamilton (VO)

Anita Blake, Tome 26

Résumé (traduction personnelle) : La chasseuse de vampires Anita Blake a réussi à surmonter tout ce qu’elle a affronté. Mais cette fois, il y a un monstre qu’elle ne sait pas comment combattre …

Une île éloignée de la Floride est la destination idéale pour les noces du compatriote U.S. Marshal et meilleur ami d’Anita : Edward. Pour elle, les vacances sont les bienvenues, car c’est le premier voyage qu’elle fait avec Micah et Nathaniel. Mais ce n’est pas jeux, amusement et enterrements de vie de garçon …

Dans ce paradis tropical, Micah découvre une nouvelle forme horrible de lycanthropie, qui a affligé une famille pendant des générations. Considéré comme le résultat d’une ancienne malédiction grecque, il transforme les corps humains en une masse de serpents.

Quand le ressentiment qui mijote depuis longtemps mène à une grande éruption en plein milieu de la noce, la dernière chose dont Anita a besoin est plus de drames. Mais elle en trouve quand des femmes commencent à disparaître de l’hôtel, et pire – ses propres amis et amants sont considérés comme les principaux suspects. Il y a un pouvoir étrange qu’Anita n’a jamais affronté auparavant, une force qui rend son entourage impuissant. Incapable de faire face à elle-même, Anita est prête à accepter l’aide des endroits les plus meurtriers. Aide qu’elle regrettera certainement – si elle survit…

Avis : Je sais que beaucoup de monde a abandonné Anita Blake face au nombre croissant de relations et au thème trop présent polyamoureux. Je le sais. Je le comprends aussi, mais j’ai un faible pour cette série. C’est une des premières que j’ai commencée et même si beaucoup de choses me fatiguent, je ne peux pas la lâcher. Je mets parfois beaucoup de temps après la sortie à les lire, mais je le fais quand même. Je ne vais pas vous dire que les choses changent parce que ce serait mentir, c’est dans la continuité des romans précédents. Je le concède, j’ai été un peu irritée au début du roman à cause des rengaines incessantes qu’il y a dans tous les romans sur les soucis personnels d’Anita, la jalousie, les demandes incessantes de plus d’attention. Oui, c’est toujours aussi fatigant, mais on sait à quoi s’attendre quand on se plonge dans un Anita Blake. Au moins cette fois-ci les scènes de sexe se limitent au trois principaux Micah, Nathaniel et Jean-Claude et je n’ai pas eu à réfléchir à qui étaient ses autres nombreux partenaires dont je mélange facilement les noms.

Ceci mis à part, comment résister à lire une histoire sur le mariage d’Edward ? Oui, Edward est là et je ne me rappelais par contre pas à quel point Donna étaient irritante. Mais ce n’est pas tout parce qu’on retrouve aussi Bernado et Olaf ! Oui, Olaf ! Qu’est-ce que je l’aime celui-là ! C’était la cerise sur le gâteau et c’est ce qui a beaucoup rehaussé le roman pour moi. C’est un personnage plein de complexité et complètement psychopathe mais je l’adore ! Ses interactions avec Anita sont toujours un régal à suivre !

En plus de tout cela, nos héros vont se confronter à deux problèmes : à une population qui semble se transformer en serpents petit à petit sans retour possible et à la disparition de femme à l’hôtel du mariage. Alors bien sûr, et même si c’est compliqué, nos Marshals vont devoir reprendre du service même en vacances !

 

Crimson Death by Laurell K. Hamilton

Anita Blake, Book 25

Synopsis: In her twenty-fifth adventure, vampire hunter and necromancer Anita Blake learns that evil is in the eye of the beholder…

Anita has never seen Damian, her vampire servant, in such a state. The rising sun doesn’t usher in the peaceful death that he desperately needs. Instead, he’s being bombarded with violent nightmares and blood sweats.

And now, with Damian at his most vulnerable, Anita needs him the most. The vampire who created him, who subjected him to centuries of torture, might be losing control, allowing rogue vampires to run wild and break one of their kind’s few strict taboos.

Some say love is a great motivator, but hatred gets the job done, too. And when Anita joins forces with her friend Edward to stop the carnage, Damian will be at their side, even if it means traveling back to the land where all his nightmares spring from…a place that couldn’t be less welcoming to a vampire, an assassin, and a necromancer.

Ireland.

Review: Ah Anita Blake, here I am finally on time for all the books! I confess that I was curious but a little anxious of this 25th volume. How not to be? It must be said that Volume 24 had somewhat disappointed me … Despite a good intrigue, Anita’s personal affairs were too present for my taste. But what about this novel? I must say I was pleasantly surprised. Of course, we do not change Anita, but I found that the author had refocused things. Well, on the other hand the first thing to remember is that the book is thick, like really thick, I had the impression to stagnate sometimes.

We find our heroine in a completely new situation. The first part of the story focuses mainly on Damian (it’s been a long time since I didn’t see him) and on the triumvirate with Nathaniel. Damian was quickly featured as one of the principal characters and of course he is quite sad because of the lack of relationship with Anita… Well you suspect that she will help him (yes because she is very nice for that). I found it interesting to turn to this second triumvirate which had been rather left out and to finally see the consequences on the three members. It seems that terrible murders are perpetrated by vampires in Ireland and nobody knows how to handle the situation … Edward on the spot tries to invite Anita to the party (Yes, Edward! I like Edward so I was glad to see him!). When he finally arrives, Anita disembarks, but not in small committee (you suspect that going alone is excluded). Yet I confess that I was surprised to see her taking Damian and Nathaniel … between the first who is terrified to go and the second who should not be part of an investigation, I was surprised. So of course a bit of blabla about her sex life, yes because in all countries it is the same story. Yet there is an intrigue! And more than that a good one! It is true I had the impression that Anita isn’t the same, she has softened. You realize, she can not stand pain well now … it’s quite surprising.

Well, yes, I was talking about the plot … I found it interesting to find out more about this very powerful vampire, to see what she was doing to her mignons. Well I admit that I am surprised that they let her act without doing anything but well. A dead guy (a name to be removed from the list of Anita’s lovers!!!) … But, between all that, it is true that for my part I had a good time. The novel is not based on sex which is a big plus in my case and I was curious to see how it all ended.

For me this volume was really superior to the previous one!

4 

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Mort Ecarlate de Laurell K. Hamilton

Anita Blake, Tome 25

Résumé : L’amour déplace les montagnes, mais la haine fonctionne aussi.
Damian est le serviteur d’Anita, mais c’est aussi son amant et son ami. Aussi, lorsque la vampire qui l’a créé le soumet aux pires tortures, Anita est prête à tout pour le sauver, y compris embarquer pour la terre la plus inhospitalière qui soit pour une nécromancienne et un vampire : l’Irlande. L’une des plus grandes maîtresses vampires de l’Histoire, son ennemie a fait trembler l’humanité sous les noms de Moroven, Nemhain ou M’Lady. Heureusement, Anita a son propre atout à jouer : à ses côtés se trouve Edward, l’homme que l’on surnomme la Mort…

Avis : AH Anita Blake, me voilà enfin à jour ! J’avoue que j’étais curieuse mais un peu anxieuse de ce 25ème tome. Comment ne pas l’être ? Il faut dire que le tome 24 m’avait un peu déçue… Malgré une intrigue qui tenait bien la route, les affaires personnelles d’Anita était trop présentes à mon goût. Mais voilà qu’en est-il de ce roman ? Je dois dire que j’ai été agréablement surprise. Bien sûr, on ne change pas Anita, mais j’ai trouvé que l’auteure avait bien recentré les choses. Bon, par contre la première chose à retenir c’est que le livre est épais, genre vraiment épais, j’ai eu l’impression de stagner parfois.

On retrouve donc notre héroïne dans une toute nouvelle situation. La première partie de l’histoire se focalise principalement sur Damian (tiens lui ça faisait longtemps que je ne l’avais pas vu) et sur le triumvirat avec Nathaniel. Il faut dire que Damian a été rapidement mis sur la sellette et bien sûr le manque de relation avec Anita se fait ressentir… Bon vous vous doutez qu’elle va l’aider (oui parce qu’elle est très gentille pour ça). J’ai trouvé ça intéressant de se tourner vers ce second triumvirat qui avait été plutôt laissé de côté et de voir finalement les conséquences sur les trois membres. D’ailleurs, en suivant Damian, c’est à son tour d’être sur le devant de la scène dans cette histoire. En effet, il semblerait que des meurtres terribles soient perpétrés par des vampires en Irlande et personne ne sait comment gérer la situation… Edward sur place essaie tant bien que mal d’inviter Anita à la fête (Oui ! Edward ! Bon, moi il faut dire que je l’aime bien Edward donc j’étais contente de le voir !). Quand il y arrive enfin, Anita débarque, mais pas en petit comité (vous vous doutez qu’y aller seule est exclu). Pourtant j’avoue que j’étais surprise qu’elle prenne Damian et Nathaniel… entre le premier qui est terrifié d’y aller et le deuxième qui bon n’a pas vraiment sa place pour une enquête, j’étais surprise. Donc bien sûr un peu de blabla sur sa vie sexuelle, oui parce que dans tous les pays c’est la même rengaine. Pourtant, il y a une intrigue ! Et une bonne en plus j’ai trouvé ! C’est vrai qu’on a l’impression qu’Anita s’est un peu ramollie. Vous vous rendez compte, elle ne supporte plus aussi bien la douleur… c’est assez étonnant pour le coup.

Bref, oui je parlais de l’intrigue… J’ai trouvé ça intéressant d’en découvrir plus sur cette vampire très puissante, de voir ce qu’elle faisait endurer à ses mignons. Bon j’avoue que je suis surprise qu’ils l’aient laissé agir sans rien faire mais bon. Un mort (un nom de moins à rayer de la liste des amants d’Anita)… Mais, entre tout ça, c’est vrai que pour ma part j’ai passé un bon moment. Le roman n’est pas basé sur le sexe ce qui est un gros point positif dans mon cas et j’étais curieuse de voir comment tout allait se terminer.

Pour moi ce tome était vraiment supérieur au précédent !

4 

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Dead Ice by Laurell K. Hamilton

Anita Blake, Book 24

Synopsis: Anita Blake has the highest kill count of any vampire executioner in the country. She’s a U.S. Marshal who can raise zombies with the best of them. But ever since she and master vampire Jean-Claude went public with their engagement, all she is to anyone and everyone is Jean-Claude’s fiancée.

It’s wreaking havoc with her reputation as a hard ass—to some extent. Luckily, in professional circles, she’s still the go-to expert for zombie issues. And right now, the FBI is having one hell of a zombie issue.

Someone is producing zombie porn. Anita has seen her share of freaky undead fetishes, so this shouldn’t bother her. But the women being victimized aren’t just mindless, rotting corpses. Their souls are trapped behind their eyes, signaling voodoo of the blackest kind.

It’s the sort of case that can leave a mark on a person. And Anita’s own soul may not survive unscathed . . .

Review: I started Anita Blake many years ago. It was the first vampires series that I was reading and I had a great time. From volume 12, the series began to degrade for me but I could never bring myself to stop it and since, even if some are not as good, I have a good time in general. These last years I confess that I didn’t pick the books as soon as they were released but the French release gave me the opportunity to plunge back into the story.

Anita is preparing for her wedding since she agreed to marry Jean-Claude. But there, it is not only him she agreed to marry and she also prepares a ceremony for Nathaniel and Micah. Unfortunately, it seems that many are jealous of this change and would like to be part of this union. As always, sentimental stories take a big place here and Anita faces some crises of consciousness and tries to compromise with each party. On top of that, Anita finds herself on a new deal and has to help the FBI who is investigating zombie porn. Indeed, it seems that someone managed to put a soul back to a zombie and to turn terrible scenes by violating these poor people.

The investigation is quite deviant and I confess that I did not expect this situation to turn out this way at the end of the story. I wondered who the culprit might be and I was finally quite surprised. It’s a pity that Anita is still going round in terms of her relationships and it is true that sometimes I was a little lost with the large number of characters.

It was a nice read, in continuity with the other novels although I might have liked something more regarding the intrigue.

3-5 

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Coeur de Glace de Laurell K. Hamilton

Anita Blake, Tome 24

Résumé : Je suis une nécromancienne accomplie et un marshal fédéral, et j’ai exécuté plus de vampires que n’importe qui dans ce pays. Mais depuis que Jean-Claude m’a demandé en mariage, aux yeux de tous, je ne suis rien de plus que sa fiancée. Difficile de passer pour une dure à cuire dans ces circonstances…
Heureusement, je fais toujours autorité en matière de zombies. Et le FBI a besoin de mon aide : quelqu’un est en train de produire des vidéos de pornographie zombie. Mais le pire, c’est que l’âme des victimes est toujours prise au piège dans ces corps pourrissants. Là, ce n’est plus à la nécromancie que j’ai affaire, mais aux maléfices vaudous les plus sombres… Et même moi, je ne suis pas sûre de pouvoir m’en sortir indemne.

Avis : J’ai commencé Anita Blake il y a de nombreuses années, avant que Milady ne les reprenne et bien avant qu’ils ne soient arrêtés par Pocket et Fleuve Noir. C’était la première série sur les vampires que je lisais et c’est vrai que j’avais passé un excellent moment. A partir du tome 12, la série a commencé à se dégrader pour moi mais je n’ai jamais pu me résoudre à l’arrêter et depuis même si certains ne sont pas aussi bons, je passe un bon moment en général. Lors de la sortie en anglais j’avoue que j’ai repoussé ma lecture mais la sortie en Français m’a donné l’occasion de me replonger dans l’histoire.

Anita est en pleine préparation de son mariage depuis qu’elle a accepté d’épouser Jean-Claude. Mais voilà, il n’y a pas que lui et elle prépare aussi une cérémonie pour Nathaniel et Micah. Malheureusement, il semblerait que plusieurs soient jaloux de ce changement et aimerait y être aussi. Comme toujours, les histoires sentimentales prennent une grosse place dans l’histoire et Anita fait face à certaines crises de conscience et essaie de faire des compromis avec chaque partie. En plus de cela, Anita se retrouve sur une nouvelle affaire et doit aider le FBI qui enquête sur des pornos zombies. En effet, il semblerait que quelqu’un arrive à remettre son âme à un zombie et tourner des scènes terribles en violant ces pauvres personnes.

L’enquête est assez déviante et j’avoue que je ne m’attendais pas du tout à ce retournement de situation à la fin de l’histoire. Je me demandais qui pouvait bien être le coupable et j’ai été assez surprise finalement. C’est un peu dommage qu’Anita tourne encore en rond au niveau de ses relations et c’est vrai que parfois j’étais un peu perdue avec le grand nombre de personnages.

C’était une lecture sympa, dans la continuité des autres romans même si j’aurais peut-être aimé plus d’intrigue derrière.

3-5 

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Affliction by Laurell K. Hamilton

Anita Blake, Book 22

Synopsis: Some zombies are raised. Others must be put down. Just ask Anita Blake.

Before now, she would have considered them merely off-putting, never dangerous. Before now, she had never heard of any of them causing human beings to perish in agony. But that’s all changed.

Micah’s estranged father lies dying, rotting away inside from some strange ailment that has his doctors whispering about “zombie disease.”

Anita makes her living off of zombies—but these aren’t the kind she knows so well. These creatures hunt in daylight, and are as fast and strong as vampires. If they bite you, you become just like them.

Review by Cass: I just realized that I’m late because the French translation is already out.

This novel is somewhat reminiscent of the first books since it follows Anita working and that’s the part I enjoy the most.

The things that annoyed me a little:

– After 22 volumes, you know how her boyfriends look like, no need to redo descriptions each time and always the same ones (hair and muscles… it’s boring.)

– There is always a police officer who is a problem for Anita during an investigation, but this is frankly too much. I jumped paragraphs!

– Well, everybody is just talking about Anita’s sex life, this is the only topic of conversation (boring!)

– I have a problem with the size of Anita’s bra… I do not know exactly how big it is in France but EEE seems huge and she is obviously super thin. Yeah… my experience tells me that it’s not really possible!

This is what comes to my mind now. In fact, in summary, the fight game with zombies is cool, the sex scenes are not bad but the rest is not great.

3Cass

Review by Melliane: I admit that it took me some time before starting this book. I don’t have any more the anticipation to throw myself on each release. Admittedly, Laurell K. Hamilton went sometimes part a bit too far in her ideas. Those who read the series know what I mean. But I was still curious to read the novel, especially after seeing a beautiful review written by Aurianx. Aurianx has a very good taste in books and I thought that if she had so enjoyed the novel so much, I shouldn’t be as pessimistic.

I admit that the idea of ​​the novel made me think of the one in “Jason”, as both started from the same base. Indeed, Anita is called by Micah’s mother, his father is dying in a hospital after being attacked by one of the strangest zombie. Indeed, he is rotting little by little from inside and nothing seems able to heal him. Finding Micah would be the last thing he could do. But our dear leopard does not know how his family will welcome him, especially after all the things he said to them or even by seeing him in couple now with Anita and Nathaniel. I admit that I was really curious to discover the whole family to this character so important to the story. But still nothing will happen as planned and our heroine will end up embedded in a story that completely exceeds her. She will have to track down a vampire who seems able to jump from one body to another regardless of the nature of the person. But besides that, he manages to create nasty zombies that no one else has seen yet. All this before everything is getting worse to the point that we wonder how Anita will be able to adjust.

I found that Laurell had managed to master this little story, trying to handle everything. Of course, what has been done can not be erased and as always everybody denigrates her about her sexual stories. But we get used to it in the end, is not it? I still found it lighter than usual. we have like three love scenes in the novel and that it was more than enough. I also enjoyed finding all the characters that we know and I did not really expect to see Jean-Claude so that was a nice surprise. But of course he will not be the only one there and we will also have the chance to see Edward! Yes, Yes! Edward! I was really happy to find him there as it’s a character that I particularly enjoy. The Apocalypse also allows Anita to understand some things about the men in her life. For the sad side, a « friend » of our executor will die and I confess that it was really difficult to see the consequences of that.

I must say that I enjoyed the story, even if the level is far from the first book for me but it’s a good read and I am curious to read more. Okay I admit that at the end, I wonder how the author will get to manage all the bad guys as they seem to come back at some time or another. Besides, I was a little disappointed by the end of the story. After all that the vampire had managed to do and all the evil he has committed, I found that the resolution of the case was concluded fast enough. Especially when Anita could have done it well before and so save many persons. So I was surprised to see such a purpose there and I expected a little more fighting spirit.

Finally you will understand that despite some details I enjoyed the story and as always I will read the rest of the series trying to see where this will lead us.

 

4 

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