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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.

369 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published January 1, 1996

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About the author

Laurell K. Hamilton

320 books23.7k followers
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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5 stars
31,935 (41%)
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27,273 (35%)
3 stars
14,750 (19%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,526 reviews
Profile Image for Jilly.
1,838 reviews6,164 followers
November 5, 2015
A dumb girl in love with both a vampire and a werewolf? This sounds slightly familiar...

But, hey, this book was written first so I have a pretty good idea on who might have had the original idea.... (I'm smart like that.)

I liked this book slightly better than the last one. Anita is still pretty annoying, but I can still appreciate a few things about her.

I crossed my arms on my stomach. A psychologist would have said I was closed off, uncommunicative. Fuck them.

See, I like that!

In this book, we have Anita trying to solve a case in which several shapeshifters have gone missing. She is also trying to figure out her relationship with Richard, a werewolf. Things get a little hairy with him.. (haha, hairy...see what I did there?) Strangely, for a girl who made a big statement about the fact that she won't date monsters, she is sure singing a different tune all of the sudden. I will go out on a limb here and say that humans dating animals is creepy. And, Richard definitely showed himself to be an animal in this book. His reaction to a very disturbing "snuff film" was equally disturbing.

Hey, crabman!

But, for some reason, that doesn't scare Anita off. And, now she has agreed to date Jean Claude, the vampire king, at the same time as her wolf-man. That is one scary threesome.

Edward is becoming one of my favorite characters in this series. He is such a heartless mercenary, and yet he has a soft-spot for Anita. It cracked me up when he told Anita why he was following her:

"Following you around lets me kill a lot of people."

That's very true, because as I have mentioned before, Anita has a big mouth and ends up having multiple attempts on her life in every book. Any bloodthirsty killer would love to follow her around and kill all of the people who are trying to kill her. He gets to look like a hero, all while fulfilling his murdery dreams. It's a win-win.

I hope Edward will keep showing up in the next books, but I have a feeling that there might be a point where he gets hired to kill Anita. I will actually be on Team Edward at that point.

Profile Image for Manny.
Author 29 books13.7k followers
September 24, 2014
If I had to do this review in two words, it wouldn't be a challenge: Twilight Noir. Okay, it's historically inaccurate, since Stephenie Meyer stole the idea from Laurel K. Hamilton rather than vice versa, but apart from that it's close to the facts. We have the basic Twilight scenario: human woman is simultaneously in love with a vampire and a werewolf, but for bizarre reasons can't actually have sex with either of them. Instead of the infuriatingly wimpy Bella, though, we have tough-as-nails Anita, who's your generic noir private eye. And instead of the bizarre Twilight plot we're served the usual noir routine, with Anita getting threatened, beaten up and shot at, as she wise-cracks her way from one perilous situation to another, kills the occasional supernatural creature or human, and, needless to say, solves the case.

The rest of this review is available elsewhere (the location cannot be given for Goodreads policy reasons)

Profile Image for Megan.
418 reviews385 followers
August 28, 2017
A Date-off?!?! Seriously? Oh, what has become of you John Taylor...er, uh, Jean-Claude...
Hamilton tries to introduce a love triangle. Tries. It ends up being a dating competition, and reminds me of a poorly written sitcom. Not what I would expect from a couple of super powerful, super sexy men. Anita was an even bigger disappointment, relationship wise. We learn that she is such a badass who doesn’t date because of a bad relationship. ONE bad relationship. Big deal. Who hasn’t had their heart broken? I also found it bizarre that Anita, Jean-Claude & Richard seem to think that you can love someone (romantically) without actually liking them. Um… isn’t that just lust, then? At one point, Anita says of Richard that she doesn’t just love him, she actually likes him, too. Hmmm… Hamilton seems to have a pretty fucked up take on relationships.

So far, this was my least favorite book of the series. I know this is a common complaint, but I could care less what color the Nike swoops are. It's curious that Hamilton pays such attention to detail over characters with horrible fashion sense. The majority of the outfits are all black anyway. And Jean-Claude...he just reeks of a white trash, wanna-be goth who doesn't dress as if he is very interested in attracting women. Black jeans with knee high velvet boots. White billowy shirt that is completely unbuttoned except for the ruby pendant at the collar. Is that attractive? No. No it is not. It's just bad taste. I keep imagining some acne afflicted kid at a renaissance fair. Yuck.

Get back to the Zombie raising, Anita!

Profile Image for Crystal Starr Light.
1,350 reviews820 followers
September 15, 2014

1) Client walks into Anita's office and asks her to do something. She refuses.


3) Dolph calls her to the scene of the crime.

4) Someone attacks Anita for no good reason.

5) The most disgusting crime scene EVAH!


7) Oh, crap, there's a plot we're supposed to tie up. Okay, well, X does it.

8) Jean-Claude/Richard tries to get in Anita's pants. Anita makes stupid agreement.


These books are getting formulaic. I guess if the formula were a bit more interesting, I wouldn't mind so much. And in fact, towards the beginning of this book, I really liked it a lot. I actually was tempted to give it 4 stars and declare it my favorite so far.

And then the RELATIONSHIP DRAMA began.

Now, I understand why Anita is kinda iffy about Richard. He's a werewolf after all, and I too would be a bit hesitant before committing to a guy like that. But 1) she's considering committing after maybe two months of dating (she started dating him that October and this book is set in December!) and 2) she was wounded after a fiance dumped her. For point 1, I must ask, "Really?" I though Anita had a head on her shoulders, underneath that poufy, unmanageable hair. Why would she, even hastily, agree to marry Richard? Other than she refuses to have premarital sex because of her last relationship, and this woman SERIOUSLY needs to get laid.

NOTE 1: I know that in a few books I am going to eat those words.

NOTE 2: I have NO PROBLEMS with a person wanting to wait before having sex. That isn't the problem. The problem is...

So Anita has sex with her fiance, and he dumps her. Yeah, that's rough, but we've all gone through relationship troubles. What makes her failed engagement TEH WORST EVAH? (Of course, maybe this is supposed to show her immaturity--she is only 24 after all...)

Okay, let's say I buy all this relationship drama with Richard (and, for the most part, I do). What I do NOT understand is why Anita is so stupid to allow Jean-Claude, the dude she's been trying to foist off her for the last three books, suddenly force her into dating him. Anita, the guy is a creepy stalker dude. LET HIM BE. Don't date a guy like that!

And that is what makes up a good 50% of the novel. About 10% is Anita getting into a p!ssing match with someone (because what book would be complete without Anita having to prove how awesome and adept she is?), and the rest is just action scene after action scene.

The actual mystery is interesting. Disappearing shapeshifters? Looking into the werewolf subculture? Yeah, I'll buy that. But after awhile, I felt LKH was just tossing stuff at us to keep up the breakneck pace (the entire events of this book occur in less than a week). Werewolf snuff films, Anita killing a werewolf, Anita's relationship drama...all of this occurs so quickly, we barely have time to breath and think in between scenes. Even Anita is run ragged--that woman had better have the best damn health insurance, because by God, she goes to the hospital probably THREE TIMES in this book alone. And for God's sake, let the woman get a whole f@#$ing night of sleep, okay?

And Anita? Ugh, how the hell does this unpleasant, unlikable, rude, arrogant woman get even ONE guy after her, much less TWO? It's absolutely ridiculous. If I were a man, I'd be running the other direction from her. I'm guessing that Jean-Claude and Richard are both extremely desperate to get laid. But even that isn't true--Jean-Claude has some German vampire chick after his marbled pecks, barely concealed by his god-awful frilly shirts.

And you know what? I don't have to know what every gorram character is wearing in these books. I don't need to know if Anita is wearing a red sweater with an emerald green skirt and jacket and the jacket can't quite cover the Browning. I don't need an analysis of what knee-high black velvet boots Jean-Claude is using to complete his f@#$ing awful outfit. I don't care if Casper is wearing a tweed jacket or jeans or just his birthday suit. I don't need to know that Anita has changed out of those HORRIBLE heels (because REAL WOMEN can't wear those things!!) into her black Nikes to conceal all the blood and guts she gets in contact with. I DON'T CARE.

What I DO care about is an interesting story. If you are going to go the route of Romantic Drama, don't bother with a mystery plot. But if you have a mystery plot, don't spend more of the book talking about how much of Jean-Claude's nipple we can see and whether or not Anita is going to marry Richard.

On a brighter note (because this review suddenly became WAY more negative than I intended), I still like Ronnie and am even liking Dolph more. And I do like seeing all these other mythological creatures appear. And when they actually attempt to solve the mystery, it is pretty good. Oh, and I do think the action sequences are written pretty damn well.

If I were a smart person, I'd probably stop here, but I do really want to see how the series progresses and if it gets better (before it gets worse). If you've read up to this book and have liked the ones before, I have no doubt you will probably like this one as well. But if the earlier books haven't sold you, it's doubtful this one is going to change your mind.
Author 2 books56 followers
January 1, 2012
WARNING: This book is twisted and brilliant! Review contains certain details that are upsetting and some sexual reference is used. Thus .. the review will touch on a few details that are disgusting and unacceptable to sensitive and closed minds. If you are either of the above, please do not continue to read this review

I love this book! The Anita Blake series is AWESOME! Unfortunately, there are a few books in this series that just flat-out stink. The Lunatic Cafe is most definitely NOT one of those books.

Filled with skinned and gutted victims, bestial pornographic snuff films, and forced romantic tangles, The Lunatic Cafe is by far one of the most interesting books in the Anita Blake series .. the first half of the series anyways.

I’ve always been a little twisted. Curiously intrigued by things that make others gag. What can I say? I’m a little weird. With that said, keep in mind when you read this book that although left intrigued and wondering .. that is not an implication of preference or justification of lifestyles by others. To each his own I just needed to explain this little bit to avoid confusion and concern by loved ones.

I was so excited to read this book, that I completely forgot to highlight some fun parts for previewing pleasure. I did however, highlight a paragraph from one of the crime scenes. I think it’s totally rockin’ awesome. You may wrinkle your nose and find yourself disgusted. Woo hoo for individualism!

Ragged furrows ran down the right side of his face. One claw had sliced over the eye, spilling blood and thick globs of eyeball down his cheek. The lower jaw was crushed, as if some great hand had grabbed it and squeezed. It made the face look unfinished, only half there. It must have hurt like hell, but it hadn’t killed him. More’s the pity.

The handsome Richard viewed as a monster? The sexy Jean-Claude grasping leverage to hostage intimate moments from Anita?

A sexual-sadist, Raina, an alpha werewolf to the local pack and Richard’s former lover, climbs under Blake’s skin and wiggles around, leaving Blake disgusted with the idea that Richard could ever be involved with such a monster.

Nasty, manipulative witches. Nagas seeking rescue. Shapeshifters missing. This book has a wide range of plots that continually catch you off guard. Just when you think you’ve figured it all out, you’re blindsided by something entirely unexpected and delicious.

I recommend this book to curious minds, those pushing lines of moral reality, and those with their feet firmly planted on the ground. There is more to a normal life, and this book covers several aspects of life that are shunned and ignored by a society of manners and a certain set of acceptable sexual standards.

ADULTS ONLY! I highly recommend you store this book away from curious little hands. Although open-minded, I strenuously object to younger minds reading this book. And even so .. here on out .. ANY book from this series.

Filled with beautifully crafted and blood dripping crime scenes, obscenely provocative and perverted sexual content .. The Lunatic Cafe will leave you wondering just how far other people will go to satisfy their needs and desires!

“There are more roads to monsterdom than most people realize.”

Profile Image for Laurie  (barksbooks).
1,726 reviews674 followers
May 11, 2011
This book begins where the previous left off so your best bet is to read these in order so you can figure out how these tangled relationships develop into the mess that becomes Anita’s love life. Anita, Animator of the Dead, is seriously dating Richard the werewolf and is beginning to realize the perils of dating a “monster”. Jean Claude her other would-be beau is sticking his nose in their business because he’s a jealous little vampire-man and hasn’t been able to woo Anita with his vampire charms and sea blue orbs of promised delight. I’m not a real big fan of the Jean Claude here. He does his best to ruin things for Richard and comes across as a bit of a mean-spirited brat. I was rooting for Richard in this book. His feelings seemed more real and I wanted him to have Anita, his teaching job and a peaceful normal life. If you hope for that too you may not want to read too much further along in this series.

Anita is still raising zombies and helping out the spook squad but I noticed she begins to spend more time with the monsters and their politics here than in any of the previous books. She encounters evil vamp Gretchen as well as enters into the midst of the lycanthrope pack where she meets sadistic Marcus and Raina and sees first hand what the lycanthropes are capable of underneath all of the beauty. We also get more glimpses of hard-ass “I don’t bluff” Anita who refuses to back down from any big boy. It gets a little annoying in later books but here it still works, she’s still got shit to prove. Edward, AKA Death, plays a big role in this one and he’s always an enigmatic character who keeps my interest high.

On the downside, we are once again inundated with endless boring descriptions of the hidden guns and the Nike swish color (mine is silver by the way in case you’re dying to know). Are you one of those freaks who will spend a sleepless night if you don’t have the most insignificant of details about Dolph’s wardrobe? Not to worry, here you go:

”His hands were plunged into pockets of a long black trench coat. The coat looked too thin for the weather but maybe it was lined, though he was a little bit too bulky to leave room for him and a lining in the same coat.”

I don’t know about you but I wasn’t holding my breath wondering if Dolph wore a lined coat or not. Sheesh. Tell me something interesting and relevant to the story, like the fit of his undies or the secret spot he applies his cologne and I may finally stop complaining about these details.

Seriously though, I like this book a whole bunch and think it is a solid entry in the series. Its old school Anita and her conflicted feelings about her two sexy men way back before she was uber powerful and attractive to every male in sight. Here she is still human with benefits just starting to make an appearance. She is vulnerable and I can relate to her need to be a tough girl. There are several subplots (but not enough to hurt my brain), lots of paranormal action and a whole lot of gore along with that slow burning sexual tension between the characters that I remember so well. I’m having a lot of fun revisiting this series and the imaginative world Laurell K. Hamilton built a decade or so ago.
Profile Image for Lena.
1,145 reviews244 followers
June 29, 2022
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She gave that rich, bedroom laugh again. “I am alpha, Ms. Blake. I can do a great many things that most shifters cannot.”
- Raina

4th Listen: I love Raina, she’s nefarious.
3rd Listen: Every book with Edward is better for it!
“I wanna play,” Edward said.
“Just like that? You don’t know what I’m involved in, but you want a piece of it?”
“Following you around let’s me kill a lot people.”
Sad but true.

2nd Listen: I had forgotten that she mounted the swan pelt: Anita the savage!

Shape shifters are going missing in St. Louis and the monsters won’t talk to the police, but they will talk to Anita Blake. They would have earlier if not for Richard.

Bad Richard.

This is the first book where things start to go south. Richard is too much her opposite. The sort of relationship with drag out fights before the first date.
It just gets uglier.
Still a damn good story.
And I love the ones Edward is in.

Casting choices:
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Profile Image for Sammy Loves Books.
1,131 reviews1,439 followers
February 23, 2019
This is turning into a very interesting love triangle between Richard and Jean-Claude.

Finally!!! We get some progression in Anita's personal love life. She finally let her guard down a little and admitted that she loved Richard and Jean-Claude! Oh, and she even allowed a little heavy kissing, Lol. No heavy petting yet, but a girl can dream.

Anita Blake's Theme

Anita's still a complete hard ass and what can I say? I like it! This was action packed and full of murder and gore.
Profile Image for Jordan.
25 reviews
December 4, 2008
One of my first book I read that starting me reading Vampire books. I remember being blown away by the female character in this book, I had never read anything like her before. Also the idea of having a female character that is truly in love with two completely different men, and she is allowed to have both of them! Yeah we need more books like this.
This is really a great series, at least the first 11 books are great. Way better than anything written by Stephanie Meyer. HA!
Profile Image for Ken.
2,165 reviews1,323 followers
August 5, 2018
With each book in this series, Anita Blake is really growing on me as a character.
I’m finding that I’m enjoying each instalment more and more as I’m progressing through the series.

Set after the events of the previous novel, Anita is asked to investigate a series of shapeshifter disappearances.

The main focus of the novel delves into Anita’s personal life with werewolf boyfriend Richard and the continued advances of vampire Jean-Claude...

A Werewolf/Vampire love triangle instantly draws parallels to Twilight.
But with this book initially published during the mid-90’s and Anita’s kickass attitude, the storyline still feels fresh and interesting 20 years later.

The mystery itself was interesting and helped keep up the pace.
Hamilton perfectly blends the romance and action perfectly.
Profile Image for Wanda Pedersen.
1,865 reviews370 followers
January 5, 2018
What a treat, to find out you have a cousin who shares your reading habits! My public library has this book on order and I’ve been waiting for it for months! While visiting over New Year’s, my cousin & I got discussing this series, and she sent me home with a suitcase full of reading material—a happy New Year indeed.

Although some aspects of the series are silly, I’m enjoying it despite that. I mean Anita accepts a marriage proposal from a man (well, a werewolf) she really barely knows—and that becomes more and more obvious as the book progresses—and even though she has serious misgivings, they keep on as if they were actually going to go through with a wedding. Then her vampiric nemesis, Jean-Claude objects, stating that if she has feelings for him too, he should get equal time to press his suit. And Anita takes this bit of sophistry seriously. I mean, last time I checked, women were allowed to marry as they chose and didn’t have to give anybody equal time to make an impression! (Besides, I’m usually of the opinion that if a woman really does have feelings for two men, she shouldn’t have to make a decision between them!)

I will also confess to a bout of severe eye-rolling when I read Anita’s reasons for not sleeping with either of them. Betrayed by her first fiancée? OMG. But, as a plot device to keep the love triangle stretched out, it works beautifully. Will I continue to read? Of course! Especially since I now have a suitcase full of Anita Blake books to keep me supplied.
Profile Image for Jessica.
37 reviews19 followers
April 29, 2016
WHYYYY are these books so bad? They have potential. A lot of potential. But instead of focusing on what is absolutely necessary in a 25+ book series, namely, character development and world-building, Hamilton focuses on action scenes and a whole bunch of stupid, pointless plot that keeps the story moving but gives us nothing.

I finished this book less than 48 hours ago and I can hardly remember anything that happened. There were a bunch of shapeshifter action scenes, lots of Anita just being a straight up bitch, and what is potentially the dumbest love triangle I have ever read. Dude, the love triangle in Twilight made more sense than this one. Anita claims she loves the vampire...Um, HOW? You literally hate everything about him, everything he does, everything he says. Thinking he's hot does not make you love him. And the whole agreeing-to-date-vampire-while-werewolf-stands-by-before-she-makes-a-decision thing is insane. Do grown people do this? Wtf???? And accepting a proposal while you're half naked getting hot and heavy? Again, wtfffffff.

This series can be redeemed. I want backstory -- why is Anita so rude and condescending? What made her this way? Why is Richard such a sap? Why is Edward obsessed with killing like, everything? I understand Jean-Claude. I don't get anyone else. None of their actions make sense to me.

Also, let me understand the world! Every book there is quick mention of new creatures, new groups and beliefs and laws, but nothing is expanded upon. This world is seriously intriguing (no sarcasm). So give me more world-building and less descriptions of Anita's hideous outfits for crying out loud!

In conclusion, here are some things Anita needs to STFU about:

The color of the swish on her Nikes. NO ONE CARES.
Descriptions of her ~ironic~ Christmas sweaters. You're not cute.
Her pretentious coffee. Especially when she made a cup that she claimed would "grow hair on someone's chest" and it was VANILLA FLAVORED. Hahahaha seriously? I've been taking it black since I was 16. Your vanilla coffee ain't shit.
Her stupid penguin collection.
Guns and holsters and knives. Obviously.
Profile Image for Ranata Clark.
65 reviews25 followers
December 30, 2009
So I just finished it. I have to say I've started to not like Anita already. First of all, there was hardly any Jean Claude and the bits we did get pretty much sucked. How can she prefer a wolf over a vamp? Reading about how Werewolves changed was pretty gross. They don't just blow up into a ball of fur like in the Twilight series. LOL.

Besides no Jean Claude, I noticed how she just kills people just because. Richard noted that and although I think he sucks with her, he had a point there. A gun DOES solve all her problems. And I hate that she doesn't accept any kind of help from anybody even if it's life or death. It's okay to not be the strong one all the time and it's gotten kind of old for me. I think I've reached my "done" point and that's funny because I was debating whether or not to continue the series even though I already know it turns into a smut fest. I decided to continue and now I'm done after only deciding after finishing Circus of the Damned. Well, maybe one day I'll revisit just to read the part where Jean Claude and her finally go all the way.

I've got lots of books queued up thanks to the site and I'm gonna get started on some of those series now!

BTW, am I the only one that's not impressed with Edward?
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Amanda.
360 reviews
February 24, 2011
I keep reading these books and the further I get, the more I just struggle to continue. This series was highly recommended from some friends. I thought, what the heck and started reading. The story lines are OK, the love interest are alright, but the characters drive me batty. They make it really hard for me to connect and engage in the story.

Anita is this tough as nails chick who doesn't like help, ask for help, or respect you if you offer her help. She is hard core all the way. I get what the writer is trying to do with this character, but it isn't working. You can be an independent tough chick and still have a soft side. There is no soft side with Anita and she is, in my opinion, cruel to her supposed love interest Richard. The other thing I cannot stand is that she keeps saying she is out to protect the innocent and she is "good". I don't get that with her. I don't get that she is "good" or doing this stuff for the right reasons.

Jean Claude (up to this book, I've heard rumors that you start to see a different prespective in the next) is hard core vampire who isn't afraid to torture anybody so that he can remain in charge of his city as Master. Part of me wants to like him, but I struggle with it. I haven't pinpointed why and maybe if I decide to continue the series my opinion will change.

Richard is a good werewolf who doesn't believe in killing just to kill. It is an interesting character and I actually like him. He's a good guy who does things for the right reason. Honestly, he is way to good for Anita and I wish he would walk and find himself a sweet girl who does love him, disease and all.

The storyline in this book is OK. It is more of bad guys threatening the bad Anita who sleeps with her guns and gets into situations with a lot of blood. I think these books are supposed to be crime mysterious with supernatural thrown in. This book had a good mystery in it when the writer actually focused on it and not just on putting Anita into situations where she was going to end up bloody. I can't decide if it is time for me to step away from this series or continue to see if there is any redemption left. Decisions, decisions.
Profile Image for Jamie (TheRebelliousReader).
3,135 reviews31 followers
February 5, 2021
“All the fairy tales, the romance novels, the soap operas; they're all lies. Love does not conquer all.”

4 stars. I cannot get out of this series. Seriously, I feel like I’m gonna keep reading them until my library runs out because that seems like the only way that I’m going to stop. Send help. Or don’t, I’m perfectly content where I’m at.

This installment wasn’t as good as the last two books up until the end where shit pops off and gets crazy. I loved it. Also, I want someone who will simp for me as much as Richard simps for Anita. I don’t ask for much. That lucky woman is now dating Richard and Jean-Claude, she’s living my best life honestly. She should realistically pick Jean-Claude (because who wouldn’t?) but I feel like this little throuple is going to be here for a while if not permanently.

If you couldn’t tell this one was heavy on the romance and relationships.

This review is a hot mess and I’m not even a little bit sorry. I’m off to start book five now because I’m deadly serious about not wanting to leave this world and these characters.

{Challenges completed:
✔All Challenges All The Time: Gilmore Girls Challenge
✔The Lost Challenges: Hidden Homes Semi-Annual Challenge
✔For Love of a Book: Greatest Love Stories Challenge}
Profile Image for jenn.
694 reviews310 followers
September 14, 2017

Again with Richards stupid ass. Like why is he here? I know why but I won't say because that is a spoiler.

But yes, more ass kicking please. More Jean Claude please. And can the next book go by quick so I can get to the parts of this series that made me end up getting all 25 books? LIKE NOW!? *wails*
Profile Image for Nick.
964 reviews16 followers
July 11, 2018
This one is full of shapeshifters and Anita is dating one of them. The vampires are still around but they take a bit of a back seat here (aside from trying to kill or date Anita).

The story is good, if a little disturbing at times and it's nice to see Anita coping (or not) with having a man in her life. There's a lot of arguments but her humanity comes out a lot more as well as getting beaten up by various preturnatural creatures along the way.

We get to see some pretty bad humans in this one too which makes a change.

A fun story and good chapter which sets up some big plot points to come.
Profile Image for Joanne.
749 reviews17 followers
September 28, 2019
These books seem to not only be getting darker but also more gruesome and frank depraved. This was my least favorite book of the series so far. I am going to continue reading and I hope that the elements of this book that I did not like do not make a reappearance.
Profile Image for Sofia.
332 reviews67 followers
February 17, 2016

Anita Blake has got a hot date, with Richard, the werewolf she's been dating for a few months only. As she describes, they're still not very intimate, since they barely know each other. But as you know, if you've read this book, their relationship just goes really fast, way too fast in my opinion.

Jean-Claude is still trying to interfere with their relationship, for some reason. At this point I think this love-triangle, (turned into love-square) is just getting more and more stupid. I really wasn't able to see the point. But still, you'll see Anita admitting she loves both JC and Richard, even if in different ways -wtf?- Anita, get your act together, you don't know either men well enough to say that. As a matter in fact, you sure don't know Richard to accept his marriage proposal just because you want to jump his bones. Yes people, although Anita feels no remorse when she's got to kill someone or something, she feels remorse about having pre-marital sex. - Bitch, get your priorities straight!


As for the crime that takes place this time, or crimes, we got a disappearance, a female shapeshifter
has gone missing for a few days, Anita delivers this case to Ronnie, her bff, because that's just not what her job is about. There's also a brutal murder (as usual), a man is found in the snow half-eaten by a bear (or is it?). Marcus, an alpha werewolf, who also happens to want to kill Richard, calls Anita to go to the Lunatic Cafe to have a few words with him. We all know that something else goes on besides those said words.

Although Anita Blake still manages to be one of the most badass female characters I've ever had the pleasure to meet, I gotta ask: Why the f*** does she wear corny-ass clothing? Everything about her sense of fashion is simply wrong! And I'm not a fashion guru, I'm more of a tshirt-and-jeans kind of gall. Why doesn't she just dress herself like the typical UF badass heroine? Leather black pants, leather black jacket, Doc Martens and a sexy top? I got nothing against that. Instead Anita is a fan of fanny packs... That's just wrong in so many levels.

That's why folks, the first thing I advise you to do while reading an Anita Blake book is to completely ignore her outfit. Just picture what you would like to see her wearing. I sure as heck do that.


Speaking of clothing, since I'm sounding like Fashion Police, let's talk about Jean-Claude's cape, yay or nay? I kinda like it, I think it's ridiculous, but it just suits him.

Let's take a look at the people I hated on this book:
-Markus - he's such an idiot, seriously! How can anybody follow his orders? That scene with Alfred was just full-on crazy stupid.
-Kaspar -what even!! A wereswan whose name is Kaspar, can you think of something more hilarious? No? What about Anita's fanny pack? That gets the prize.


The people I loved on this book:
-Edward - not surprisingly, I just love Edward way too much. Anita should bet on this guy, even if he is kind of psychopatish... Oh Edward *sighs*
-Gabriel??? I'm not sure, this dude likes pain way too much, but he just seems really hot. - yes, I'm just that superficial. I hope we see more of him in the future.

Then there's also Anita's mug collection, now I'd love to see a whole video haul on that, she has really funny mugs she likes to take to the office just to annoy the hell out of Bert, her boss. I find that highly entertaining, just like her stuffed penguin collection. A girl's got to have muscle on her, but a girl's also got to have someone to hold on to, even if it's a stuffed animal, I'm all for that. (I love my stuffed alpaca, which I hold all night long).

As for fav quotes:
I had to smile. I knew more monsters than the monsters did.

"Following you around let's me kill a lot of people." Sad but true. - I don't believe I have said it enough times: I LOVE EDWARD.

Sometime in February a box arrived from Edward. It was a swan skin. The note read, "I found a witch to lift his curse". - OH EDWARD I SAW WHAT YOU DID THERE, HAHAHA
Profile Image for Kati.
1,759 reviews65 followers
January 24, 2010
I freely admit that I have problems with Hamilton's writing. You see, she has a great gift for tense plotting and engaging writing. But instead of utilizing her talents, she turns her books into ridiculous will-they-won't-they soaps. Basically, this book was all about Anita facing off Jean-Claude on the one hand and mulling over Richard on the other. And the back and forth of that quickly became more than annoying. The plot itself - the search for the killer - took what? 60 pages? Everything else was shipping or gratuitous gore. Anita being all obnoxious and uppity, especially towards Richard, was... Ugh. I can understand her misgivings. But not her hypocrisy.

Well, I will probably read the next book in the series but for once I'm glad that I'm simply borrowing these books and not owning them - I'm quite sure that I won't be doing any actual re-reads.
Profile Image for Shannon.
481 reviews56 followers
September 16, 2019
I've been rereading these, and I just now noticed that Scribd has an unabridged and abridged version of these books. Guess which one I've been accidentally listening to? I kept wondering why I was going through them so fast! I'm so ticked. I've been missing out on over 4 hours of audio! 4 hours!!! A lot can happen in that time, and now I'm left wondering what in the hell I've been missing. Oh well, I made sure to get the unabridged version for the next one.

I may have given this one four stars because I'm so pissed about the abridged thing. I'm not sure. I was a little irritated by the whole love triangle thing that's starting up, because I hate them so much. I read these so long ago that I can't really remember much of anything. I was happy Edward played a bigger part, and I always think the stories are interesting. Anita has a super crazy life!
Profile Image for Saimi Vasquez.
1,348 reviews61 followers
November 2, 2021
Ahora que Anita esta saliendo con Richard, lo que menos se espera es un "novia celosa" de Jean-Claude comienza a amenazarla, y cuando se enfrenta a Jean-Claude este le descubre alguna de las cosas que le ha ocultado Richard, asi que ahora no sabe si realmente es capaz de tener una relacion con alguno de los dos. Pero como el trabajo y la vida no puede detenerse, le asignan un caso de persona desaparecida, donde los desaparecidos son todos cambiaformas, y cuando el lider de la Manada de Lobos, Marcus, intenta obligarla a ayudarlos, aprende de mala forma que a ella no se le puede obligar a hacer nada. Y ademas, tiene a Edward en la ciudad, de nuevo, y esta vez le esta pidiendo ayuda para encontrar a dos cambiaformas que asesinaron a una mujer en un video sexual.
Por supuesto, Anita tendra que ingenierselas para solucionar el caso, lograr un acuerdo entre Jean-Claude y Richard, y descubrir quien esta haciendo desaparecer a los hombres-lobo.

En este libro el autor nos ensena lo que es el mundo de los cambiaformas, nos decribe algunas de sus reglas, sus temores y sus diferencias. Por supuesto, tambien vemos un poco mas de los "poderes" de Anita que me imagino que libro a libro el autor ira aclarando, hasta convertirla en una especie de "super-poderosa".
Tambien vemos que la personalidad de Anita ahora es mas segura, ya no es tan temerosa y ahora tiene mas personas en las que confia, y con las que entabla "amistad". Por supuesto, tambien vemos el triangulo amoroso tipico de este tipo de libro lobo-vampiro-humano, donde ella (que es la humana) tendra que decidir entre el menor de dos males, cosa que me imagino que se ira desarrollando en los restantes libros.
Asi que si, la saga esta entretenida, divertida y sobre todo interesante. Tenia tiempo que no leia libros de este tipo, y estos me estan gustando bastante.
Profile Image for Anna 'Bookbuyer'.
665 reviews78 followers
January 27, 2019
I can't believe Richard proposed! Sometimes I think their relationship went way to fast!

It would be rough to have to see your beloved eating someone. :O No wonder she ran to Jean Claude.

It was shapeshifters on the menu this book I guess. Two different groups were hunting them. :/

Gretchen or Gretel is truly mad. She is like crazy in love with Jean Claude. I pity her. He obviously doesn't reciprocate.

Rain and Gabriel are broken somehow. They are missing a piece of their conscious and that's not okay.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Timothy Boyd.
6,557 reviews32 followers
April 15, 2020
Very enjoyable Urban Fantasy series. It's hard for me not to compare them to Butcher's Dresden Files books. The books have alot of similarities in both character and plot line. They are a very nice entertaining and fast paced action filled read. Recommended
Profile Image for Dichotomy Girl.
2,014 reviews129 followers
June 18, 2018
2018 Reread to figure out where this series went so horribly wrong:

And it begins. At the halfway point of this book Anita makes two decisions that sent her course for the future.

#1. She says yes to Richard's proposal, even though they is constant friction because Richard wants a soft gentle woman to protect and make him feel human, and Anita wants someone human who accepts that she is tough and prone to violence. She also is uncomfortable with Richard in her apartment, and irritated that her FIANCE cooked her dinner.

#2. She doesn't take the out that Richard offers her after she clearly finds out that Richard is as unhuman as Jean-Claude.

#3. She lets Jean-Claude manipulate her into agreeing to date him. She reasons that if she is Ok with Richard not being human, then she must also date Jean-Claude. FALSE! It has been laid out numerous time in the previous #3 books that Anita is a Christian, that she believes vampires to be be: dead, soulless, and basically evil (bound for hell and all that). It has also been established that lycanthropes are HUMANS who have been infected by a disease, which changes them genetically, but not necessarily spiritually.

However, she seems to completely forget this in this book, effectively saying instead "Hey, if I'll date one non-human than I'll date all of them."

This is her first step to becoming one of the monsters. And honestly, if Laurell K. Hamilton had been a really good author. She could have used this. As Anita gets pulled further and further away from her principles, until the day that she wakes up and realizes that she has become that which she hates....THAT is where the series should have ended, and it would have been Awesome.

(That's my Head Cannon anyway.....)

To be Continued...

In the afterward of the re-release of this book, the author states that she realizes now that this was the beginning of the end for Anita and Richard. Which is ironic, as their entire relationship prior to this book was off screen. (In the last book they are having their first date, in this book they are engaged). I honestly can't see how Anita and Richard would have gotten past those first few dates. They are so incompatible that it's laughable....and this before Anita turns into a supernatural whore.
Profile Image for Anna 'Bookbuyer'.
665 reviews78 followers
July 19, 2020
There was so much happening in this book I don't know where to start.

Richard proposed!?

Anita saw the shapeshifters eating someone for the first time! O.O

There was both a witch and a group of humans (police included) that were hunting shapeshifters! :O

Jean Claude wants to get equal dating time to woo Anita! O.o

Gretchen is a mad bitch. I actually really feel sorry for her. She is DESPERATELY in love with Jean-Claude and is unfortunately taking out her issues on Anita.

Raina and Gabriel are really sick puppies. I've come to be okay with the whole dominance thing but bestiality and and snuff films are horrifying. -.-

Marcus really needs to die. He is someone who thinks he has all the power and has none. He will destroy the pack.

Edit July 2020:

I never understand people who propose so soon after they start dating. Like a couple/few months is too soon in my opinion. What I am surprised at is that Anita was even willing to consider it. Also I forgot her whole I won't have sex until marriage thing. The later books really influence how I see her now.

Raina's face shifting was really cool. It's useful as a villain. lol.

Kaspar was an ass. I wish the witch had just killed him instead of cursing him.

I forgot that Peggy's husband killed her. It was such a small but I guess amazing scene?

The bestiality thing was really gross. I hate that part. I love that Anita was so weirded out watching the 'normal' part of it at first with Edward though. lol.

This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Robbie.
31 reviews1 follower
January 27, 2008
I'm always in search of a good vampire story, so I read the first four Anita Blake books. I think Laurell K. Hamilton had a potentially interesting concept creating a world where most supernatural elements are real and integrated into society. I like the concept of were-(insert any animal here). What I don't like about Anita Blake books is Anita Blake! It's hard to read books when the protagonist has an abrasive personality and nothing witty to say. You can look forward to Anita's verbal confrontations with an authority figure or tall blonde female at least once every few chapters, and a page-long description of her outfit every time she goes to a new location.

ps- I realize I'm probably not the target audience for these books. But I feel sorry for poor Richard. Anita treats him like a CHUMP. Dump her!
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