Thursday, June 28, 2012

Book Review - Kiss the Dead

Kiss the Dead by Laurell K. Hamilton
Penguin Books June 2012

Format? Hardback
Source? Auto-shipped from Amazon

Why?  Kiss the Dead is the 21st book in the Anita Blake, vampire hunter series, and I've read them all.  I've liked some better than others...and even disliked a couple. But, I'm a series junkie, and I've liked more books than I've disliked.

What Now?  I'm thowing this one in the trash.  The dog chewed it up anyway...I think she was trying to tell me something.


(tarnished) Golden Lines

I wasn't like most of the Marshals; they were humans who just happened to be good at killing monsters.  I was one of the monsters.

He understood that I'd understood that he'd understood.  It took us one sentence, two looks, and a nod - with another woman it would have been at least five minutes of out-loud talking.   Lucky for me I spoke fluent guy.

There's only so many times you can scrub blood out from under your fingernails before you start going all Lady Macbeth and stop believing the blood is ever gone.

"...I know that Blake still has the highest kill count of any Marshal in the service.  I know that every officer I've spoken to would take her as backup in a firefight.  Even the ones who hate her personal life with a vengeance would still take her into a shoot-out and trust her to keep them alive.  If there's a higher praise from one officer to another, I don't know it."

Was my issue with Cynric not him personally, but just being overwhelmed with all my lovers?  I collected them they way a crazy cat lady found strays to bring home, except I could afford to feed and take care of all of them, I was just running low on emotional resources, or so I told myself.

"You have never mentioned this," Jean-Claude said.
"I did not think that Anita would be able to do it.  She is not a true vampire...She..."
"I am master here, Asher; you should have told me and let me decide what ma petite needed to know."

I went through the door, leaving Claudia looking at him as if she'd never quite seen him before.  In the midst of catching bad guys maybe we could have a little romance, and for once, it wouldn't be mine. Cool.

I felt Jean-Claude wake for the day, felt him draw the first breath, and then his voice in my head, asking, "Ma petite, what has happened?"
For some reason, that was what made me cry.


An old vampire named Benjamin heads up a new group of vampires who choose to be free...that is, not tethered in any way to a Master Vampire.  Because of the very nature of vampires, in order to keep all of them safe and able to contine to live with humans, this arrangment is not normal and is heavily frowned upon by other Master Vampires.  A rogue vampire or group of vampires is a threat to all vampires.  Anita is called in to help SWAT and other preternatural law enforcement with containing a large group who've broken away from Benjamin and want to start a war. 

What I Liked 

Jean-Claude - the 5 pages that were actually devoted to him anyway :(
I actually feel a little tricked bc somewhere over the last year, I got the impression that this book was going to be more Jean-Claude than we've had in several books.  I think it was less!  The only thing less would be nothing.

Micah and Nathaniel - Anita has my permission to keep these two...they are there for her, when she needs them and they don't whine like babies.  They each have their own comfortable lives and responsibilities outside her house; they do their own things and come home to her and they don't question her about what she does or where she goes.

The premise of the story...what could have been a very interesting plotline...just wasn't...but it was bc the plot wasn't given time to develop, and the connections (if there were any) weren't made in between the beginning and the end and all the extra-curriculuar activity in the middle.

What I Didn't Like

The F bomb - I don't necessarily have an aversion to the "F" word (and I ain't talkin' about "fruit"), but geez Louise...I honestly started rolling my eyes every time it was used.  And then I got an eye cramp.  Ok, ok, ok, I got it.  Things are bad.

The sex - sex as a part of a storyline, I'm ok as just sex thrown in so that you feel like you're reading a porno novel...not so much :p

The cliches - I got so tired of the Anita-isms - her "live-in sweeties," "girls do this; guys do that; I'm so guy," "main honey-bun," everybody gets "pissy," her collection of penguins, "my second yummy boy," "we're police; we run toward the trouble, not away from it, silly ringtones, dressing in a thong and 9 inch heels and falling down where everybody can see her undies" and on and on and on and on and on and on...

# of Characters - We are so way past too many characters...I cannot in any way imaginable keep up with who's am I supposed to remember which animal is Anita's to call when, who came from where, how old everybody is, why who needs who, who's which personality, and for Heaven sake, just how many lovers am I supposed to believe are ok with sharing her.  Really now?  Seriously??
Jean-Claude, Micah, Nathaniel, Cin, Nicky, Devil, Richard, Asher, Jade, Damian, Ethan, Crispin...I can't even remotely begin to remember even their names!

Plot - Hello? Could we please have a plot??  We learned about the rogue vampires in the very beginning...then sex, sex, and more sex, a little violence in between and then finally in the last chapters (pg. 327 out of 359) we returned to the plot.  Ahem.

Cynrick - Sin - whatever he wants to be called...kick his whiney hiney out the door, Anita...I just cannot take any more.

Repeitition, repetition, repetition, repetition...and did I say repetition????
Where the heck was Hamilton's editor??  She explained the elevator being a killing box and whether or not she knew about Jean Claude taking power from lesser vampires in at least 2 places close together...I swear, I wondered if Hamilton worked on these chapters out of order and then forgot where she mentioned what.

Overall Recommendation

I am not a negative reviewer.  You can take a look at my review archives and see that I would come closer to being accused of at least liking something about everything I've read and reviewed.  That's because I purposely only read books that I think I'll like.  I don't care how high on the Bestseller list something floats; if it doesn't sound good to me, I'm not gonna read it.  Most importantly, because I just don't want to.  But almost as important is the questions I have in my mind about whether or not I can give that book an honest read.
I like the Anita Blake series...I hated Kiss the Dead.
I really did.
So, I can't recommend it to anybody.  I think even a lot of Anita fans will be disappointed in this one.
I'm not going away though...I'll be here when Hamilton publishes the next one, but two stinkers in a row will have to be my limit. :( 
I'm sorry for the snark, but I really felt cheated by this one.


  1. Thank you for an honest review. If all reviews were positive and gushy, what would be the point of doing them?

    1. I agree...I just usually end up writing mostly positive ones bc I don't read just anything and everything. It was impossible to find anything positive about this one. :(

  2. I am a vampire fan, have been since I was very young, have NOT read this series! Embarassed to tell you I read the entire four twilight books in 9 days.

    I am currently reading Lost & Found and also bought the sequel, thanks for the recommendation, I really like it!

    1. Karen, me too! This series was great until around #7...then things heat up pretty quickly.

      I'm so glad you're enjoying Lost and Found!! Yay!!

    2. Karen, I forgot to say I've read all the Twilight books as well...liked them all, New Moon was my least favorite and have actually re-read parts of Breaking Dawn. The movies have been good so far but the trailers for Breaking Dawn look a little corny :(

  3. Sounds like this series is still off-track. I miss the Anita if the earlier books.

  4. Every now and again a book just doesn't work. It is what it is, and it sounds like a lot of the things you didn't like, I probably would get annoyed with also. And getting eye cramps - they are never good. :)

    1. I know, eyes started rolling really early on in this one and I knew that was a bad sign. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Hamilton's next book is much better. The first few in this series were the best.

  5. Well, I think the dog felt the same way ... and he was spot on! I'll steer clear!

  6. Lol, I really enjoyed this review. For a couple of books, I thought Blake had listened to her fans and was going to cut down on the rampant sex that did nothing for the stories. Was it Skin Trade maybe? And even a Merry Gentry book cut down on it. But it seems that that streak lasted all of 1 book per series :(