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Monday, November 6, 2023

Double Book Review: Slay (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter Book 30) by Laurell K. Hamilton + excerpt

Slay (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter Book 30)
by Laurell K. Hamilton
November 7, 2023
Laurell K. Hamilton has captivated readers with her gritty, seductive tales of vampire hunter Anita Blake for thirty bloody fantastic years. Now, in the thirtieth novel in the #1 New York Times bestselling series, wedding bells are ringing. But before Anita can make it to the altar, she must face an obstacle more daunting than any supernatural threat....

Necromancer Anita Blake is small, dark, and dangerous. Her turf is the city of St. Louis. Her job: U.S. Marshal—Preternatural Branch. She’s faced horrifying monsters and brutal killers and come out the other side still standing.
 
Considering how things in her life tend to go, Anita never expected her walk down the aisle with Jean-Claude to go smoothly. They’ve already been confronted with naysayers and a power-hungry ancient evil, but now Anita has to do the one thing that actually scares her: introduce her very religious, very human relatives to her fiancĂ©—the newly crowned vampire king of America.
 
As Anita tries to keep the peace between the family she left behind and the family she’s chosen, dark forces jump at the chance to take advantage of the chaos. With her happy-ever-after at risk and everyone’s immortal souls hanging in the balance, Anita grapples with a hard truth: Blood makes you related, but loyalty makes you family.

Mary Kirkland-Dark Thoughts Blog
I give this book 5 out of 5 sheep

After reading the last book, Smolder, I was hoping that this book would give us a little more insight into the big bad that we met in that book, and fortunately, we find out who it is and what they want. The big bad being Deimos is behind the attacks on Anita and her people. Anita's family is set to come to town to meet Jean-Claude, be fitted for her wedding, and see if her father will give her away at her wedding since he and the rest of the family are very religious and don't like the fact that she's marrying a vampire. Her father and grandmother were really awful but her father at least seemed to chill out a little by the end of the book. Her grandmother, on the other hand, was just plain terrible and I can't say one good thing about the woman. Although we did learn a secret about her that was not explored yet. Like, why bring up this big secret if we aren't going to find out more about it? That made no sense.

By the end of this book, we were really no closer to the wedding which I was hoping would happen or at least try to happen. But we do find out about the plan that Deimos has hatched and it's a very well-thought-out one that includes some of Anita and Jean-Claude's people actually betraying them, which I found to be exciting when it was revealed who it was. Plus, the fact that Deimos is not just a vampire; no, he has other abilities which made him a very strong adversary. It was nice to see a big bad be able to overpower Anita and some of her people for once because usually she and Jean-Claude are very powerful and they quickly overcome whatever is thrown at them, but not this time, and that made this book exciting.

There was a lot of action, danger, and family drama in this book, so I was always engaged and excited to see what would happen next. I've been a long-time fan of this series and enjoyed this book but am really looking forward to finally seeing Anita and Jean-Claude get married.

Review by DeniseB
5 Sheep

Anita’s family has decided to come to St. Louis to meet Jean-Claude prior to the wedding. It has been up in the air whether her dad would be able to walk her down the aisle since, in his eyes and that of his mother, vampires have no soul and if Anita marries him, then her soul will be damned to hell as well. Even though Anita has her family to deal with, and details of the upcoming wedding, she still ends up entrenched in vampire politics.

The biggest surprise for Anita comes with how her stepmother and stepsister behave towards her and the loves of her very confusing poly group. As Anita quickly learns blood doesn’t make you family; loyalty does. Her grandmother, who was not supposed to come, insisted on joining the family on this trip,, and needless to say there was a reason she wasn’t to come. I have to say I really enjoyed this story. There was more story and less sex which sometimes is what I am looking for.

 
A figure rounded the bend in the stairs all that way down, and before my eyes told me who, the energy we shared danced over my skin as if he’d brushed his fingertips over parts of my body that were hidden under my clothes. I shivered as I watched him lift off the steps and start floating toward me. It made me laugh and say, “Now there’s a solution to all these damned steps.”

He rose toward the ceiling, his long black hair spilling out around him like a dark aura. His hair wasn’t streaming out around him because he was flying toward me but moving in the wind of his own power, so that his black curls writhed and boiled like a dozen hands were playing with it, but it was his magic, just his magic.

He needed one of his usual lace, leather, and sexy-boots outfits for all that hair to frame, but he was dressed in one of only two modern suits I’d ever seen him in; the first time it had been to save the feelings of a grieving family, and this time we were trying not to give my father any other reason to hate him. In that moment I knew I didn’t care if my dad liked him or not. I loved Jean-Claude and nothing my dad did would change that.

He landed lightly on first one foot, then the other until he stood beside me at the top of the stairs. I wrapped my arms around him, but the traditionally long suit jacket felt wrong on him. He either did no jacket or some version of a bolero so that it hit him somewhere between his lower ribs and just below his natural waist. He had a fabulous ass, and it seemed a shame to cover it up.

He wrapped his arms around me and laughed. “Ma petite, we chose this suit precisely so it would cover more of my body, so I did not shock your family.”

I stared up into that beautiful face with the darkest blue eyes I’d ever seen, set in thick black lashes with a perfect curve of eyebrows that were all natural; he didn’t even need mascara. So unfair to the rest of us. His face was almost feminine in its beauty, but there was something about the line of his chin that turned all that gorgeousness a little more masculine. He was still androgynous, but it leaned a little more to the male side. The long black curls framed his face and trailed down his shoulders almost to his waist. My family thought long hair was only for girls. Putting him in a traditional men’s suit really didn’t make him look more like the type of man my family would approve of, but hey, at least we were trying.

“I won’t ever look into your face without thinking how beautiful you are, and why are you marrying me?”

“I believe that is the man’s line, ma petite.”

I grinned and said, “Traditionally it is, but most men don’t look like you.”

“That you compare yourself to me and think yourself the lesser beauty means you do not see truth when you look into the mirror, ma petite.”

“I second that,” Nicky said.

I glanced at him and couldn’t help but smile at the look on his face. “I know I don’t always see the truth in the mirror. Nicky and Ethan have met who messed me up.” I turned back to Jean-Claude. “That delight is still ahead of you.”

“I am looking forward to it, ma petite, and before you complain I would give much if my mother and sister were alive for me to introduce you to them. That I can meet your family, however broken, is a gift to me.”

Excerpted from Slay by Laurell K. Hamilton Copyright © 2023 by Laurell K. Hamilton. Excerpted by permission of Berkley. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

 
About the Author:

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Laurell K. Hamilton is one of the leading writers of paranormal fiction. A #1 New York Times bestselling author, Hamilton writes the popular Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter novels and the Meredith Gentry series. She is also the creator of a bestselling comic book series based on her Anita Blake novels and published by Marvel Comics. Hamilton is a full-time writer and lives in the suburbs of St. Louis with her family.

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