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Skin Trade

(Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #17)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  37,580 ratings  ·  1,206 reviews
Once you tell someone certain things, like, say, you got mailed a human head in a box, they tend to think you're crazy.

Anita Blake's reputation has taken some hits. Not on the work front, where she has 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, wh
Hardcover, 486 pages
Published June 2nd 2009 by Berkley Books
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Sunset The books do follow a story but the most important stuff she explains again in each book (annoying when you've read them all). You'll probably miss a …moreThe books do follow a story but the most important stuff she explains again in each book (annoying when you've read them all). You'll probably miss a bit but not too much you couldn't follow the plot. I read one out of order and it wasn't too bad. (less)

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Average rating 3.91  · 
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Crystal Starr Light
'Shut up...And can take the offer so we can all sleep.'

The Real Plot Summary:

Anita Sue: I am SO much tougher and better at this than those wimpy women in my office, who are clutching their pearls in the other room and sobbing into the Manly Men's chests! I can stare at this head in a box and be TOUGH. And MANLY. Because I'm the manliest woman. And I'm TOUGH.

*Anita Sue calls Las Vegas PD*

Shaw: You are in St. Louis and I am in Las Vegas, but I have heard how you sleep with everything with a dick.
Jun 14, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: urban-fantasy
I swore I wasn't going to read any more of these, but I gave in and bought the Kindle version, since I definitely can't justify the shelf space for the actual hardcover books in this series anymore. First, the good stuff: relative to the last couple of books, anyway, this book actually had a PLOT, i.e., a mystery for Anita to solve. And as a result, she didn't actually have sex with anyone for at least the first half of the book, which means that some other stuff actually happened outside of the ...more
Tilly Slaton
Oct 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Skin Trade is a phenomenal book! The story, the plot, the characters and the relationships .. everything about this book just flat-out does it for me.

Blake received a package that contained a human head. Eww, right? I mean .. who does that?

I’d worked my share of serial killer cases, but none of the killers had ever mailed me a human head. That was new, I looked down at the head, ghostly through the plastic bag it was wrapped in.

Rushing home to pack for the trip, Anita does everything possible
Jan 05, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of the early Anita Blake
Hamilton burst into my awareness with Guilty Pleasures, a book that introduced us to a world where vampires were legal citizens, raising the dead was a viable career, and small women who collected penguin-themed tchotchkes could nevertheless be respected police consultants. Anita Blake was a young woman who just wanted to do the right thing, and although she could not deny her attraction to the sensuous vampire Jean-Claude (ahahahahahahah), she never let her personal life interfere with her job. ...more
Mar 11, 2009 rated it did not like it
This is book 17 in the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series. It starts out feeling very much like her first six novels in that Anita will be The Executioner tracking down a serial-killer Vampire, Vittorio. Anita is joined by long-time friend and vampire hunter rival Death (aka Edward, who is masquerading as his good alter-ego Ted), and two other vampire hunters: Bernardo and Olaf. Anita is mailed a human head at her job Animators Inc. from Las Vegas. So, she immediately flies out there to meet her ...more
Fangs for the Fantasy
Jul 20, 2014 rated it did not like it
Anita receives a package in the mail – the head of a vampire hunter.

Vittorio, the vampire serial killer, has emerged again, this time in Las Vegas. He’s already slaughtered several people there to add to his ever expanding kill list and he wants Anita.

Anita calls in what support she can and heads to Vegas before more are killed – but the beasts and weretiger politics also await her in Vegas, no matter how much she’d like to focus on the case.

The most frustrating thing about this book is that, if
Jun 11, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
Well, I'm not sure this was enough to get me back into the Anita Blake fold, but I did like the book. Very much. It made me realize some things about the series, though.

I hate Anita Blake. I think I've always known this, and I believe this is where my problem with heroin(e) started. All the guys want to screw her, and all the girls want to be her. And poor Anita Blake, she just can't figure out what to do with this wacky, crazy life of hers. But, as much as she doesn't want to be a "victim" she
Jun 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: series, horror, vampires
Let me begin my review with the caveat that Laurell K. Hamilton is definitely not for everyone. She has a lot of graphic sex and violence, and I am aware that over the course of the series she has lost a number of fans. I am aware of the literary shortcomings that will keep her from appealing to a lot of people.

Does this matter to me? Not at all. I have remained a steadfast fan of both the Merry Gentry and Anita Blake series since I began reading them years ago. I was always aware of where the w
Oct 16, 2009 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Never
All I can say is wow, what has this writer become? This is probably my last attempt to read any of Hamilton's work. Her first books in this series were entertaining, and I have stuck with her and Anita even after Anita started losing herself, and my interest. This book is nothing but the same few sentances of dialog repeated over and over in a different way. Nothing new is ever said. The cops all think Anita is a traitor/monster/slut, Anita is constantly trying to prove that just because she's a ...more
Jessica McReaderpants
Ok Mrs. hamilton. Obviously I am a fan because I have stuck it out until book 17. Here are a few pointers from someone who has just re-read the whole series up to #17 in about two weeks.
1. Thank you for stopping telling us (the readers) what color Nike swoosh Anita is wearing.
2. We get that she needs to have sex- and that she is conflicted- you are beating a dead horse here. She needs to move on already- either stop having sex and die or accept the idea.
3. Can she please have sex with someone
Jul 28, 2009 rated it liked it
I have mixed feelings about LKH's work these past few years. She's gotten to write hardcover fiction and I'm sure gotten some of the money and prestige that goes along with it. But Anita Blake spun way out of control a few books back - it turned into porn first, plot second. But I loved the characters and am familiar with the world so much that I just kept on reading.

In this book, the porn takes a second place to plot FINALLY - however, because two giant orgy scenes conveniently are not in the b
Aug 19, 2012 rated it did not like it
Well... there's 5.5 hours I will never get back.

The first few chapters of Skin Trade actually felt like old Anita Blake. And, to my even-in-retrospect disbelief, in almost 500 pages I bet there is less that 20 pages devoted to gratuitous sex (btw - I love sex, just not poorly written sex that is used as a substitute for a plot). Instead, LKH thumps us on the head over and over again about boys not believing girls can be taken seriously and concludes with a trite ending to super-powerful villains
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 10, 2021 rated it liked it
3.5 rounded down. ERly in the series, I would happily binge read the books. Once most of the books became about the ardeur and sex with anyone and everyone, any time, any place (taking up 60% of the book), I need to space them out as I keep hoping we get back to the earlier formula. 3 stars because the original Anita formula parts were really good.
Jun 06, 2009 rated it it was ok
I've stuck by Anita and Laurell for all 17 books. Even the last couple that were lacking. But I'm finally losing interest. The first several chapters were so full of exposition and wasted pages that I found myself complaining out loud. How many people are picking this book up and reading it as if it's the first in the series? If Laurell is concerned about new readers being confused about past happenings, write a brief summary of the previous books and put it at the start of the book. Referring t ...more
Jun 12, 2009 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 30, 2012 rated it did not like it
Today we'll be making "Skin Trade," also known as "Bad Writing Soufflé." This desert will involve a lot of heavy violence, but not nearly as much as some of the others we've made over the years. Additionally, like many of the past recipes on this show, there will be lots of build up. And like the last 6-7, the goal will be to make SURE your soufflé falls as badly as possible, just to disappoint your consumers. The most important difference between this LKH desert and the last ten will be that, f ...more
Jul 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing

This is the seventeenth installment in the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series. It follows Anita, Edward and Olaf as they track their latest vampire threat. When a very unwanted package is mailed to her office, the hunt for its sender becomes personal. Naturally with Anita, she takes the flight out to Las Vegas to track him down.
What awaits her there isn’t just a body count. She realizes the sender is making it very personal...Starting by murdering a fellow Federal Marshall.
Cat and mouse games
Given that this was an "out of town" book, with none of the primary male characters accompanying Anita to Las Vegas, I was expecting a stark police procedural, most similar to "Obsidian Butterfly". That wasn't what this book was, in the least. It had plenty of vamp politics, furry politics, and interpersonal character growth.

Yes, the police case took up more of the page count, but this was one of the books where the police case and the preternatural events were all linked, so things flowed from
I'm pretty sure I read this book, but I have no memory of it lol. This book was like one giant tease. I thought for one shining moment that we were getting the Anita of old. The police working, zombie raising, non-sexing Anita. But alas, that only lasted for about half of the book. I am trash for this series. I can't help it. And part of me wonders if it's because I keep waiting for things to get back to what made the series good.

So what did I like?

- the police work. We got to see Anita solving
Jun 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is even maybe a 3 1/2.

Skin Trade is very well written and LKH is an excellent writer. Her plots are some of the best out there. If that was why I read, I would LOVE this book.

But that isn't why I read. I read for the characters. I want to care about them and I want them to grow. If they regress, it needs to set up growth. It's great to grow over the series, but it is important for them grow in each book. Anita doesn't. I at least want to feel bad for them.

Anita bitches, a lot. I can only ta
Rating: 1.5 stars

Anita Blake and her group of merry men are back again for more adventures in their alternative-world US of America.

This time, Anita receives a human head in the mail. It seems an old foe, Vittorio the vampire is back to wreck havoc, this time in Las Vegas. So, Anita has to go to Nevada to give chase. US Marshals Bernardo, Edward and Olaf go with her.

The 17th Anita Blake book was eerily reminiscent of "Obsidian Butterfly" (book 9 in the series) in a few aspects: Anita Blake trave
Jun 06, 2009 rated it it was ok
I liked it okay, but this book gives me mixed feelings, because the first eight books in the Anita Blake series were brilliant--and this was another half-loaf offering, I'm sorry to say. I really wanted to love this book as I'm invested in this series and these characters. Instead, it's a lukewarm reaction.

In "Skin Trade," the author has backed away from nothing but sex for plot progression...yet the book is still plagued with the same problems that beset her more recent offerings: not enough h
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Oct 16, 2012 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Die-Hard Anita Blake Fans Who Like Soft Porn in a Respectable Cover
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: Crystal
I have to thank Laurell K. Hamilton and this book for teaching me life is too short to hang on even after a series jumps the shark. For me the Anita Blake series did in Narcissus in Chains, the tenth book. This is the 17th book in the series, but two things had kept me going. First, back when this book came out, once I had invested in a series, I kept going no matter what. (Hello, Gookind's Sword of Truth series, where I suffered to the end.) Second, this series once was good. I liked Jean-Claud ...more
This is probably generous, but I'm so happy that Anita actually got back into action! Things are looking up. While there is some sex toward the end, it actually makes sense.

The good points:
- Edward & company are back!
- Anita is back in action, hunting a vampire serial killer.
- Some major elements are brought back into play & resolved.

There were some major writing issues, though.
- The pacing of the book sucked. It takes place in a couple of days, the first day stretching for a LONG time. The las
Jun 06, 2009 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: the suicidal, it may just kill them.
Recommended to Espresso by: Previous books
Originally this series was fresh and alive, the character Anita Blake was someone that was interesting and battling her own foibles. As the series progressed plot was completely lost in lust. This book is the fatal crescendo of any hope for a plot flow. None of the characters are likable, most especially not Anita who is too hyped up on being a tough woman to make even a good fictional role model.

Anita goes through life emotionally abusing everyone who cares for her and to be honest complete str
Literary Ames {Against GR Censorship}
Hurray for a plot! AND we have a return to police work, yay! Skin Trade wasn't perfect but I'm happier now that Hamilton is cleaning up her act (as is Anita). ...more
Matt Schiariti
Nov 19, 2012 rated it liked it
I thought that after Harlequin this series was going to pick up. Then I read the sub par Blood Noir and realized that it wasn't likely to happen any time soon. This is yet another example of post Obsydian Butterfly downward spiral that the series has yet to recover from.

Is it as bad as Incubus Dreams or Cerulean Sins? No. I think ID was probably the worst AB book out of the lot. Unfortunately, where I thought Harlequin was a promise of the book going back to its roots and would start to phase ou

Things I liked about this book: Edward. All the Edward. He remains fantastic. It was also nice seeing Anita actually out working on a murder case for once. How quaint. Also: I quite like Las Vegas, so it was fun seeing the characters run around in Sin City.

Things that drove me nuts: Lack of editing, weird pacing, and repetition plague this book. Hearing the same phrases over and over again to the point where I wanted to start a drinking game. Also, you can't have a character insist, proba
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Anita Blake Vampi...: Skin Trade (Book 17) 18 66 Jan 10, 2017 03:47PM  
A Million More Pages: 17 - Skin Trade (Anita Blake): Oct 1 1 9 Sep 25, 2015 10:54AM  
The Mother of All Darkness? 13 70 Dec 16, 2014 06:42AM  

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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 ...more

Other books in the series

Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter (1 - 10 of 28 books)
  • Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #1)
  • The Laughing Corpse (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #2)
  • Circus of the Damned (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #3)
  • The Lunatic Cafe (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #4)
  • Bloody Bones (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #5)
  • The Killing Dance (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #6)
  • Burnt Offerings (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #7)
  • Blue Moon (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #8)
  • Obsidian Butterfly (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #9)
  • Narcissus in Chains (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #10)

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