10 Mar 2015

SKIN TRADE (ANITA BLAKE, VAMPIRE HUNTER #17)


SKIN TRADE by LAURELL K HAMILTON.

SOURCE: Ex-library stock. I was given this by a friend who wanted to know what I thought of it.

INNER FRONT COVER BLURB: I'd worked my share of serial killer cases, but none of the killers had ever mailed me a human head. That was new.

My name is Anita Blake and my reputation has taken some hits. Not on the work front, where I have 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 me a head from Las Vegas, I know I have to warn Sin City's local authorities what they're dealing with.

Only it's worse than I thought: several police officers and an executioner have been slain paranormal style. When I get to Las Vegas I'm joined by three other federal marshals. Which is a good thing because I need all the backup I can get when hunting a killer this powerful and dangerous.

FIRST SENTENCE {Chapter 1}: I'd worked my share of serial killer cases, but none of the killers had ever mailed me a human head.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {Page 64/65}: I had that feeling of falling down the rabbit hole, except there'd never been serial killers in Alice in Wonderland, though I guess you could make a case for the Queen of Hearts. Off with their heads!

MY THOUGHTS: Having periodically and randomly dipped in and out of this series (if my memory serves me correctly the last one I read was #8, Blue Moon) I'm not too sure I'm best informed as to the series as a whole but to comment on this particular book ...

Probably best read in sequence but, my interest piqued by 'but none of the killers had ever mailed me a human head', I knew that I simply had to read this and try not to let my lack of background knowledge re previous events/characters influence my rating of it too much. 

Possibly a case of my being unduly irritated by it but liking my heroines (especially supernatural ones) feisty I really disliked how the author constantly had Anita whine about her not being taken seriously by men whilst at the same time had her refer to herself not as a woman but a girl. 

Then ....

Perhaps in search of something to write about other than your average shape-shifters/vampires etc there were all these confusing 'cross-breeds'. Anita herself being a living vampire come succubus (though one that can feed without intercourse) with a number of different were-animal (tigers and a leopard as well as a wolf included) in her DNA.

And then ....

Disappointed by the lack of description when it came down to characters - its all very well to know the colour of their eyes etc but it did nothing in the way of helping me understand them or their motives - and yet frustrated by the unnecessary  over-describing of weaponry and wounds etc, there just didn't seem to be any middle ground.

But most of all ....

Bored by the constant (if thankfully generally not too graphic) suggestion of sex with multiple partners. Perhaps Ms Hamilton's way of showing us what an liberated empowered woman (sorry, girl) Anita was but it only made for uncomfortable reading given that far from seeming happy about it it felt like Anita was almost compelled to have sex with all these men. 

Maybe tired of the whole supernatural genre. Maybe because I haven't read the series from the beginning and in order (the friend who gave me the book did warn it wasn't one for newbies). Either way I have no desire to read any of the further escapades (whether past or present) of Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter.



13 comments:

Lexsa said...

Thx, good post!
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Kelly said...

Once upon a time, I might have been interested in trying out this series. I think the genre has been 'done to death', though, and I can honestly say this doesn't appeal to me now. Your review clinches it for me.

Kelly said...
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Literary Feline said...

I love that first sentence. It would have drawn me in too.

I really enjoyed the first several books in the series. It's definitely a series best read in order so you can see the progression of the characters and the overarching story lines.

The books went from being more urban fantasy/mystery to being urban fantasy/erotica somewhere along the line and that's about when I lost interest. I love a good romance mixed in with my urban fantasy, but the direction Anita's story was going wasn't my cup of tea. I also felt the author's writing had begun to suffer. I stopped reading the series years ago. Maybe the books got better. Maybe it was just me. I don't know.

Hamilton and Butcher were my introduction to urban fantasy and I will always be grateful for them for that. I still love a good shapeshifter/vampire story. The genre hasn't grown old for me at all, like I know it has for some. I don't see that changing anytime soon.

Sherry Ellis said...

That's quite an opening sentence! Too bad the rest of the book didn't live up to the great beginning.

Suko said...

Tracy, thanks for sharing your honest thoughts about this book. It doesn't sound like a book I'd enjoy, either.

New Release Books said...

Thanks for sharing your views.

Betty Manousos said...

hi tracy,
this just doesn't seem like something i'd enjoy. thanks for your honest review.

big hugs!
Xx

Alexia561 said...

Well done review! I stopped reading this series several books back, when Anita changed from a strong vampire executioner into some kind of weird hybrid shifter with superpowers. And I got the impression that the author was more interested in the sex scenes than putting together an actual plot, so I bailed. Glad to hear that I'm not missing out on anything!

Stephanie@Fairday's Blog said...

I haven't read any of the books in this series- but it was interesting to read your thoughts. Glad to know your honest opinion- so helpful. :)

Gina R said...

Had a few friends who loved the series, but it never did capture my attention. Cie la vie. Thanks for the look behind the cover nonetheless!

Claudine G. said...

Hmmh, doesn't sound like my kind of book either ...

Bo said...

Terri over at Alexia's Books and Such used to rave about Anita Blake, but the books got too weird. I see she posted a comment as well. By the way, I don't know if I ever mentioned it was Terri who turned me on to your blog.
Regardless, I have a hard time with most paranormal detective/investigator, police/bounty hunter, etc, whatever flavor. And by your description alone, I can tell I would not like it.
I like romance in a story and I don't mind sex on the whole, but I would be really uncomfortable with really graphic sex scenes. My passion is the characters and the plot. I think really graphic sex scenes take away from the plot.
I'd say you're probably better off staying away from this series.