Book Review: Kiss The Dead: An Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, Novel

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Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
ISBN: 978-0-7553-8899-8
RRP: $29.99

Kiss The Dead is a novel that has been on my TBR pile for quite a while but other books kept jumping in front of it so I decided that it was a perfect book to bring away with me on holidays where all my reading could be for pleasure first.

This is the 21st book in the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series and about the 4th I have read. I started late in the series and think I have missed a couple of the more recent ones as well as the early ones.

I enjoyed reading Kiss The Dead and it kept me turning pages but not so much because the story had me engrossed, more because I wanted to get to the centre of the story. The further I get into the Anita Blake series the more they seem to be focused on her personal life rather than her work. The series is paranormal romance so a lot of the personal side of Anita’s life is to be expected, and the fact that she is involved in so many relationships means they need a lot of page space just to get your head around her situation.

I know there are many holes in my back-story knowledge because I have read so little of the series but that doesn’t seem to matter as I read. Relevant information is given when required so that you can keep a reasonable hold on who’s who and where they fit. I have always intended to go back and fill the gaps in my knowledge by reading the entire series but it’s something I’m not sure I will ever find the time for unfortunately.

In all of the books I have read Anita has ended the book with an extra lover and in this one it seems that she will be seeing a lot less of one. Much of this book sees Anita questioning her ‘monster’ status, having her loyalty questioned, and doubting how long she can continue with her lifestyle and her work as a US Marshal and vampire hunter.

kiss the dead

A lot of the sex scenes are beginning to seem gratuitous, graphic and drawn out a lot more than is required for the flow of the series. I can picture most of these characters, not because they are described so evocatively, but because they are described so minutely and so often. Anita has collected many wereanimals, vampires, lovers, psychic powers and skills throughout her career and one of them seems to be the ability to keep herself extremely tight, which we are told in every sex scene, even though she engages in an extremely ‘polyamorous’ lifestyle with an extremely well hung harem.

If you are reading this series just for the sex then I think you will enjoy this book. There is enough of a story that it’s not just a string of loosely connected bedroom, bathroom and hallway scenes but it isn’t as well developed or intense a story as it showed potential for.

The story began with Anita on the job and showed promise of a vampire hunter novel, and an intriguing story seeing the vampires they came across were not of the demographic you come across often, especially in large numbers. An entire group of vampires largely made up of children too young to be turned and the elderly, who usually don’t want to be turned and trapped in a body that is beginning to fail them, are found with a kidnapped 15 year old girl they are going to turn and the remains of two police officers.

Anita needs to find out what this group of vampires means, and how to get to the top of their food chain before she loses anyone she loves.

A new character joins the series, as a US Marshal and not a potential new playmate for Anita. I think he could be quite an engaging character if developed well, which he wasn’t really in Kiss The Dead. Hopefully the role he plays will grow in any upcoming volumes, and that seems likely after the falling out Anita has with US Marshal Larry Kirkland.

A book that I don’t think really lived up to my expectations but one that I enjoyed nonetheless. I am not sure it will have me itching for the next installment but it won’t stop me following the series either.

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