Just a Few Early Anita Blake Books I Read

Posted August 25, 2021 by Berls in Just a Few Books I Read, Review / 4 Comments

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This feature is for short reviews, reviews of books in a series where it might feel repetitive, or (as Michelle suggested) books I was too lazy to write a “real” review for. Today’s books are the first 4 books from the Anita Blake series. I read them a couple years ago, wrote reviews on Goodreads, but never got around to publishing them on the blog. So here they are!

Just a Few Early Anita Blake Books I ReadGuilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton
Series: , Vampire Hunter #1
Published by Berkley on August 3, 2004
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 355
Format: Paperback
Source: Borrowed

Anita Blake is small, dark, and dangerous. Her turf is the city of St. Louis. Her job: re-animating the dead and killing the undead who take things too far. But when the city’s most powerful vampire asks her to solve a series of vicious slayings, Anita must confront her greatest fear—her undeniable attraction to master vampire Jean-Claude, one of the creatures she is sworn to destroy...

This book/series has been recommended to me a Zillion times over the years – and I’ve even owned it (and sold it/donated it) periodically – but I’ve never managed to read it. But I exchanged books with a coworker and this time seems to be the charm because I finally opened it up and read it. And not at all shockingly, I loved it. Anita Blake is a great character. I love her strength and also her humanity – she gets scared and freaked out, which I love. I found the mystery pretty obvious – I knew pretty much as soon as the possibility was on the table who was doing the killing and why. And Anita practically tells us, and yet she misses it. I think she should have seen it too. Otherwise really happy to finally be reading this series.

4 stars Pretty Great

Just a Few Early Anita Blake Books I ReadThe Laughing Corpse by Laurell K. Hamilton
Series: , Vampire Hunter #2
Published by Berkley on August 2, 2005
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 301
Format: Paperback
Source: Borrowed

Harold Gaynor offers Anita Blake a million dollars to raise a 300-year-old zombie. Knowing it means a human sacrifice will be necessary, Anita turns him down. But when dead bodies start turning up, she realizes that someone else has raised Harold's zombie--and that the zombie is a killer. Anita pits her power against the zombie and the voodoo priestess who controls it.
In The Laughing Corpse Anita will learn that there are some secrets better left buried-and some people better off dead...

Why oh why did I wait so long to pick this series up? All the recommendations, all the times I held the books in my hands and had them sitting on my bookshelf, only to return them unread, sell them to Half Price Books, or donate them to a library because I thought I wasn’t interested. Well, at least someone recommended them again and I finally said, “there’s a reason I keep ending up with these books” and picked them up. Because damn they are good.

This is only book 2 in the series, but I will say it’s not living up to all the talk about it being a super sexy series. I don’t know if that happens later or I’ve just read so much true erotica that it takes a bit more to get me these days… but that’s okay – the suspense, action, and characters are keeping me fully engaged.

I think I enjoyed this one mainly because of the character development with Anita. We get to see a bit more of her back story and a TON of potential for where this series could go. We also see her morals and where she draws the line loud and clear. She may have killed, but she doesn’t do it lightly. And she genuinely cares about people.

That’s not to say that the story wasn’t great. The mystery was no where near as obvious in this book as book one and I was pretty stumped about exactly who/how these REALLY TRULY AWFUL murders were happening. I had my suspicions, but I didn’t know how to put them together. Oh and, if like me, you like books that go there with getting brutal (without being horror, because that doesn’t work for me) this book will deliver.

I have a feeling I would love this in audio, but I’m doing a pretty decent job killing it in print – which says a lot.

4.5 stars I loved it

Just a Few Early Anita Blake Books I ReadCircus of the Damned by Laurell K. Hamilton
Series: , Vampire Hunter #3
Published by Berkley on January 2, 2007
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 320
Format: Paperback
Source: Borrowed

In Circus of the Damned-now in trade paperback for the first time-a rogue master vampire hits town, and Anita gets caught in the middle of an undead turf war. Jean-Claude, the Master Vamp of the city, wants her for his own-but his enemies have other plans. And to make matters worse, Anita takes a hit to the heart when she meets a stunningly handsome junior high science teacher named Richard Zeeman. They're two humans caught in the crossfire-or so Anita thinks.

I’m seriously loving this series. I enjoyed the development of Anita’s conflict with Jean-Claude – master vampire of the city – in this book. It was not as intense as the last book for me, nor as mysterious, but I still really enjoyed it. Unlike in previous books where I felt like there were multiple threads to pull, all the threads in this book all really intertwined much more closely and it felt like just one thread. A couple surprises in just how far Anita is willing to go with some things – don’t want to spoil – and a new relationship budding which I’m excited to see. I feel like it’s doomed because clearly at some point Anita is going to get over her aversion to Jean-Claude being a vampire, but still, I enjoy seeing her try other relationships in the meantime. On to the next book!4 stars Pretty Great

Just a Few Early Anita Blake Books I ReadThe Lunatic Cafe by Laurell K. Hamilton
Series: , Vampire Hunter #4
Published by Berkley Books on September 24, 2002
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 369
Format: Paperback
Source: Borrowed

Anita has fallen for the leader of a local pack of werewolves. She's survived a lot, but this love thing may kill her yet.

I really liked the development and closer look at shifters in this book. It was fascinating and there was some great action and police tension.

But I was thrown by the pace of Anita and Richard’s relationship. Last book they were considering dating and now they’re in love? Too fast for me – and I just didn’t feel it.

3.5 stars pretty good

About Berls

Michelle adopted me as part of her blog when I decided to close down my blog, Fantasy is More Fun. The blog was dying, but my love of reading and the blogosphere was still strong as ever - so I found my new home here at Because Reading!

I'm not just a book lover, but a one time author (that hopes to be more in the future), wife, mom to the cutest, happiest, best 2 year old and step-mom to the craziest, sweetest 22 year old on the planet. My family mean everything to me and they appear frequently in the Sunday Post with Berls. So grab a glass of wine and chat books, blogging, and family with me!



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4 responses to “Just a Few Early Anita Blake Books I Read

  1. Yes! I’ve been reading this series since it started and I’ve read all the books so far. It’s one of those auto-buy series for me. It’s one of my favorites for sure. I’m glad you enjoyed the books.

    Mary Kirkland recently posted: Makeup Haul and Review
  2. Yay, third times the charm. This is a series that I’ve been offered a book here and there, but I’ve said no since the books were from so late in the series and I didn’t want to commit to this many at the moment. But, I did read a novella from the series in an antho and it made me see that I’d probably love these. Glad to see what you thought of the first few.