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Dead Ice (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter) Mass Market Paperback – April 26, 2016
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“If you’re looking for a sex-positive, kick-ass female protagonist in a novel filled with sexy supernatural monsters, then Dead Ice may well be your thing...Laurell K. Hamilton continues to be the master of this most unusual of genres.”—Starburst
“An absorbing plot and a tantalizing mystery.”—St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“Her descriptive prose is gritty and raw, with a mosaic of humor and horror to tell this complex, well-detailed story.”—Library Journal
“Offers the necromancy, mystery, and romance of classic Anita Blake.”—All Things Urban Fantasy
About the Author
- ASIN : 0515155667
- Publisher : Berkley; Reissue edition (April 26, 2016)
- Language : English
- Mass Market Paperback : 608 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780515155662
- ISBN-13 : 978-0515155662
- Item Weight : 10.4 ounces
- Dimensions : 4.19 x 1.29 x 6.81 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #185,975 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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I've heard that Laurell no longer has her books edited and maybe that's part of it. Or just the fact that she's written so many that she thinks she can vomit this drivel out and people will continue reading it. I used to pre-order her books and when they would arrive my family had to leave me alone until I finished them. Now I find I could care less when/if I read them. Not a fan anymore. If you can't get Anita back more into the mode I loved in the beginning I won't be reading any more of her books. I don't expect Anita to be the somewhat prudish woman she was in the beginning of the book. What I am asking and I believe a lot of Laurell's fans are asking is to give the sex angle a freaking break please!
The next point I'm going to make is I don't usually make a habit of leaving bad reviews that nitpick or are overly critical, as I'm a huge fan of "If you can't say nothing nice, don't say nothing at all". This point I'm making because I am about to go against every fiber of my being and do the exact opposite of being nice.
Out of all the Anita Blake books I've read, this one is the worst. I have never felt so sad and angry about a book series in my life. Sad because I believed in it so much, adore many of the characters...and angry because I feel they are being mistreated.
In the beginning, Anita is being asked to give her expertise involving a morbid video featuring zombie pornography. Not unheard of, unfortunately, but something about this video puts her on edge. The zombie's soul is somehow back in its body, and she's aware of every agonizing moment she's being touched. Such a ritual rings with familiarity, but the only problem is the only person who could have done it is very dead.
The case itself only takes up the very beginning and the very ending of the book. The middle part may as well be titled "filler because I have nothing else to write". From one chapter to the next we are constantly reminded of what everyone looks like (though let's be honest here. If you've made it this far and don't know Jean-Claude's hair is black, or Micah's eyes are chartreuse, since she gives the exact same description word for word every book...), and we watch Anita bully her way through staff to remind them how big and bad she is.
Jean-Claude wants to make her his queen, but she despises the term. However, she acts very much like it. Just about every chapter features her arguing/fighting (and of course winning). Same scene, different characters. I've wanted to type these words the moment I recognized the pattern: Just because she can bully everyone around and be "one of the guys" does not make her a "strong female character". It makes her a bully. In fact, some of the issues she's arguing about with others is they simply disagree with her lifestyle. Bullying someone into accepting you is no different than being bullied by someone who doesn't accept you. A "strong female character" doesn't have to prove it every chapter.
As far as sex goes, this book isn't dripping with body fluids. In fact, I might even be willing to check this one out from a library without worrying. Two sex scenes and a bit of nude cuddling, so for those of you hoping this will be like the other books Hamilton has become infamous for, sorry to disappoint.
I was excited, like many readers, when I learned Hamilton had finally allowed for an editor. Even then it is clear either she chose the wrong one, or the editor's hands were tied (and strung up for Asher to whine at or Richard to holier-than-thou all over). At 4%, she explains there had been a falling out between herself and Larry Kirkland. At 49%, and 57%, she makes the exact. Same. Points. This book was filled with redundancy do badly it'll make your eyes bleed.
Also, book 101: Never do the think it, then say it. Multiple times in the book Anita would think something, explain the thought to us in her mind, only to have one of the other characters ask the exact same question word for word.
Many of the characters have changed dramatically. Some of the changes are understandable, but for the most part they are inconsistent.
To Hamilton, sex is power. I'm not talking about just the ardeur, many times Anita is almost "pimped out" to help increase the power bases of others. For so long she speaks of the value she puts on love and marriage, yet it's so easy for them all to just accept when someone they barely know must be added to their commitment ceremony... um.
All in all, I think Hamilton has turned into one of the arrogant authors that rely on people buying books just because it has their name on it. But maybe one day she'll listen to what her readers are saying rather than simply ignoring them.
She speaks of not objectifying the women (even beats up a douchebag in the locker room for being suggestive to fellow female employees) yet I ask here...what does she think she's doing to the men? Why is it not okay to do to the girls, but totally acceptable to do towards the men? Hypocrisy smells must foul.
I hope this long review proves helpful. Don't waste your money, for this book is like a bad relationship. It's comfortable, it's familiar, but in the end you'll still be disappointed. Check it out in the library or borrow it, but save your money. Then skip from the first few chapters until about 85% if you want to skip the boring parts.
Spoiler-free review: If you can't get enough of the never-ending relationship drama, you may enjoy this one. If you picked it up because of "the old Anita's back" vibes, you probably won't.
There are ***SPOILERS *** in this review. You have been warned.
1. LKH appears to have abandoned her distaste for using actual anatomical (crude ones, but still) terms as opposed to constant references to "his body" and "me" - as long as they're being used to insult/belittle someone, including one use of the four-letter word beginning with D for male reproductive organs in a scene that's really distasteful. LKH's use of different words than other authors for sexual climax (the whole "go" instead of "come") remains unchanged, however. The s*x scenes remain pretty vague and Anita has still not figured out that you can get long-wearing lipstick.
2. A lot of plot elements draw on The Laughing Corpse, one of the earliest books. There is enough information if you haven't actually read that one to get the info you need for the plot, which is good.
2b. There's also a TON of unneeded rehash of other issues and phrasing throughout the book, which is not so good. Plenty of refs to stuff that readers know and characters SHOULD know, such as the whole "Anita raises her dead dog" story, and "Anita raises the college prof" story.
3. LKH's legal setup still makes no real sense, either on law enforcement agencies or how the legal framework is set up to be either super lenient or super punitive. LKH also refers to Anita as "a cop" NUMEROUS times, which with all due respect, she is NOT.
4. LKH's timeline aren't well done. Several places in the book have confusion as to whether Anita is 30 or 31, and despite the fact that only 7 or 8 years of book time have passed, she uses "hip" updated jargon, such as "frenemy" which doesn't really fit. Especially since Anita clearly has no time to watch TV or read anything. Also, when she talks about Dominga not realizing there was a market for online zombie porn - probably not when the books she appeared in was written, but in a world where Anita refers to people as "frenemies", I don't see how she couldn't.
5. The awkward "I gave X "wide eyes", "cop face" phrase is alive and all too well in the book.
6. A lot of filler dialogue about zombie raising stuff that has no real impact.
7. Plenty of ego-stroking for Anita and the whole "I'm so not pretty" self-image problem she has now. I liked Anita a lot better when she was a realistically depicted woman who didn't really worry about how she looked all the time. However, LKH takes it to a new level with a Helen of Troy comparison.
8. After the whole deal about naming the jewelry store, it is only actually named in the author's notes.
9. One section that was distasteful concerns an older vampire's servant: "It had been somewhere in what would be the Middle East today, but I think had been Mesopotamia then, yeah, as in the cradle of civilization. She gave her name as Irene; I doubted it had been her birth name, but I’d learned that it was rude to ask a vampire or human servant’s original name. Whatever name they came with was their name. I guess you can’t go through centuries being mud-dabble-wat-wat, so Irene it was." Luckily, it's in her internal monologue, but still.
10. The whole "murder victim as zombie" gets a lot of play, but is sort of revealed to be one of those concepts that's not fleshed out enough.
11. Anita's running theme of being unfairly disrespected in her professional life due to her personal life gets a workout here in a way that makes it clear LKH doesn't really get how things work. We learn Anita has been a plant in the strip club performances as the "lady victim" and getting up on stage (not stripping, although LKH implies that she has in one of the other books) and not really seeing a problem with doing so - however, the Marshals don't seem thrilled. Also, the fact that her various men don't really take agreements like "no making out on the job" seriously doesn't help either. Finally, if Anita is tired of being judged by the clothes that Nate picks out for her, then she should stop judging other people on theirs (and by judge, I mean "decide what you think their whole personality is").
12. The whole king/queen/royalty fixation the vamps and shifters have developed is annoying, especially with Anita remarking on how Americans like equality.
13. So apparently now Animators Inc (remember them?) has handouts that clients are supposed to read, which means Anita gets irritable at any questions. Personally, I'm surprised that there's not a lot more paperwork, mandatory videos, etc involved in the whole process. Also this historical group that wanted the zombie raised all seem not so bright. They take the zombie to Denny's for a snack, for crying out loud.
14. The middle of the book "zombie raising" plot has interesting moments, but it doesn't really fit with anything else. It basically exists to point out that Anita is better than everyone else, even if she doesn't know how she's doing what she's doing... And it introduces a bit of tech and practice that seems totally NOT A GOOD IDEA with the required twists and turns to make it fit.
15. Why do the shifters care about carbs? It's not like they have human metabolisms...
16. Some of the shifters (including the oh-so-perfect Micah) discover they can have more than one beast.
17. Lots and lots and lots of relationship drama details that are not necessary.
18. The end bit where they bring the main plot back in (and tie it to something that's totally obvious) is okay, but Anita just looks less than bright in it. If someone identifies himself as "X's son", and your reply is "W and X only have one son", and he repeats that with emphasis on the W and X part, how many brain cells does it take to figure out that X has another kid (whether they know or not). LKH's desire to write more than necessary just makes Anita look not smart in this scene.
19. Traditional Anita Blake epilogue where everything is brushed under the rug and it's made clear that despite all the emotional dramas, there have been no changes to the status quo.
Top reviews from other countries
I did read other reviews of this books, most of which are long time fans such as myself, and almost all said 'save your money'. Well I didn't, because I used to enjoy this series so much, with it's interesting plots and cool fight scenes. I wish I had saved my money. The writings ok from a technical standpoint, but the fact that the book is mostly just sex scenes and then people fighting about the sex, is just irritating and boring. I like romances, but I'd never read a romance with this much angst, it totally wouldn't be worth it in my opinion.
I think this series should have stopped a few books ago really. I won't be buying any more books in the Anita Blake series; Dead Ice was very much the last nail in it's coffin.
In short, I did not like the book although I can't say I was disappointed as I haven't particularly enjoyed any of the series since Obsidian Butterfly. If you follow the series you will know that it's soon after this book that Anita became poly so to be clear I do not have an issue with that. The thing is LKH seems to be trying to be inclusive, diverse, LGBTQA friendly and promote equal rights - the problem is she does just the opposite, is offensive and her writing delivers a message that it is okay to invalidate other people and their sexuality.
The book is full of inconsistencies with constant contradictions with the narrative. The book veers away from the main plot arc far too much to lesser arcs that are nonsensical drivel and seem to be added with the sole purpose of leading Blake to a certain situation that serves no real purpose to the story other than to prove to the reader and all the other characters how powerful and mighty and strong she is over everyone else. There is a lot of tedious repetition of things readers are already aware of, by all means, link back to certain facts, however, a glossary would easily resolve this.
In places the dialogue and narrative make absolutely no sense, there is no hidden meaning in the words or phrasing, it is just that it is very poorly written. To be fair some of the writing is very well done but it’s few and far between and a long distance away from the literary genius of the beginning of the series. Such a shame. There are fewer sex scenes in this book than previously and that was a blessing; the sex scenes are no longer erotic and well written, they are at best cringe worthy and at worst disgusting, offensive and immoral.
Anita as a character has become weak; she is misogynistic, bigoted, racist and a sadistic bully.
The other well-loved characters barely receive any page time although they are talked about incessantly in terms of the relationship/commitment struggle/angst repetitively at tedium. So much so that it takes away from the synopsis of the plot and the other characters confliction and decisions are brought to the forefront but to no actual avail. In terms of the murder mystery, Anita was at most a glorified consultant to the FBI; the crime coming to a head by the murders own psychosis and surprise surprise, obsession with Anita. It was also poor that the reader finds out who the killer is very early on instead of the mystery being prolonged till near the end.
By the end of the book, I found the main character to be toxic which is in sharp contrast to the funny, witty, smart Anita from years ago.
The author not only has lost her touch but she is out of touch.
It is strange that an author that write about issues of equality, diversity and sexuality that she is not current with what that truly means in today’s society.
As I said, by all means, read the book and judge for yourself, however, it would be my recommendation to pay as little as possible for it and if you can get it for free legally then even better.
Still a good book it j u st feels as if the story line got lost in amongst all the emotional stiff Anita the main character in the book is going through.
I would recommend this book to anybody who likes paranormal romance with a g o Ryan twist.