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Friday, June 25, 2010

Bullet by Laurell K. Hamilton

Bullet by Laurell K. Hamilton
Publisher: Penguin Group
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (340 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/M, F/F, Ménage, Multiple Partners, Anal Sex, BDSM
Rating: Best Book
Reviewed by Holly

Anita Blake is back in St. Louis and trying to live a normal life - as normal as possible for someone who is a legal vampire executioner and a U. S. Marshal. There are lovers, friends and their children, school programs to attend. In the midst of all the ordinary happiness a vampire from Anita's past reaches out. She was supposed to be dead, killed in an explosion, but the Mother of All Darkness is the first vampire, their dark creator. It's hard to kill a god. This dark goddess has reached out to her here - in St. Louis, home of everyone Anita loves most. The Mother of All Darkness has decided she has to act now or never, to control Anita, and all the vampires in America.

The Mother of All Darkness believes that the triumvirate created by master vampire Jean-Claude with Anita and the werewolf Richard Zeeman has enough power for her to regain a body and to immigrate to the New World. But the body she wants to possess is already taken. Anita is about to learn a whole new meaning to sharing her body, one that has nothing to do with the bedroom. And if the Mother of All Darkness can't succeed in taking over Anita's body for herself, she means to see that no one else has the use of it, ever again. Even Belle Morte, not always a friend to Anita, has sent word: "Run if you can..."

She’s BACK!! Marmee Noir, thought dead, is back with a vengeance and her target is Anita and her main men - Jean Claude and Richard. Without a body, the Mother of All Darkness possesses some of the Council, trying to destroy the strongest triumvirate in the United States.

Anita, Jean Claude and Richard must find a way to become Master of Tigers to gain strength for the coming battle, while also dealing with Haven, the unstable Rex of the St. Louis lions. All of the usual gang is here to help, and this time all bets are off. Can Anita, Jean Claude and Richard gain what they need, while dealing with an unhappy Rex, an independence seeking Master Vampire, and The Mother of All Darkness? Is this the time when Anita finally loses her humanity?

Bullet is Anita Blake at her best, and worst. Anita is a strong character, always pushing herself to do more than she reqires her men to do. In this book, we see a side of Anita that has been absent for a while - the self-doubt is strong in this one, but in spite of her doubts, Anita gets the job done. Jean Claude is his usual charming self, even when confronted by a rebellious Asher, who wants to take his were hyenas and find a territory of his own. Richard, so conflicted in previous books, comes through big time here, and strengthens the triumvirate exponentially. Seems the therapy is working for him, and when the threat from Marmee Noir becomes evident, he realizes he is needed to help in the battle.

I love this Richard, strong and dealing with his wolf more than he ever has. I also love the growth many of Anita’s people show in this one, most notably Nathaniel. He has gained an air of maturity that shows how powerful he could be, even as a less dominant person. Anita gains strength in this one, and learns something about all of her people as well.

This wouldn’t be an Anita Blake book without the ardeur, and the sex that goes with it, and it is here in several spectacular events. But it fits in with the story, and is necessary to the plot, and to the survival of everyone involved. This is Anita Blake, so I wasn’t looking for a happy ever after. But I did want a satisfactory conclusion, with progress toward a strategy of what to do about Marmee Noir, and I got this. I have followed this series from the first book, Guilty Pleasures, and while Anita seemed to stray for a while, this book brings the old Anita, with all her strengths and weaknesses, back full force, and I loved it. Anita fans will love this one, but it is not for the faint of heart-it IS Anita Blake after all.

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