88 points, 4 ½ stars
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…
The tears were back, stinging just behind my eyes. There was blood all over my penguins. I didn’t give a damn about the walls and carpet.
Typically I write reviews for others. Not this time. This will be full of spoilers, both for present and future books. They will be filled with rants and maybe even a little gushing. I don’t want to read these again.
If you have read them before: Enjoy my pain.
If you haven’t: Enjoy my pain.
You have been warned, we’ll see how long I last.
Man. Certain phrases and beliefs are more grating on me now than they typically are. Probably because I’m so tired of them. I’ve been dealing with this inferiority complex against men for 10 years now. After a certain point, it just goes to an annoying extreme. If I haven’t read each book so many times, it probably wouldn’t bug me so much. But lord I’m already exasperated with this reread. Not a good sign.
Things are actually going well, so far.
The Laughing Corpse is so much better than anything the newer books have to offer. There is a (maybe) zombie (they’re not sure) running around murdering and eating families, including the young children. There is a rich mafia-tied asshole who wants Anita to raise a corpse for him and wont take no for an answer – and she won’t do it because this will involve murdering someone in order to get enough energy to raise this particular dead.
And then there is the voodoo priestess who is creepy as shit. She serves to give us readers a means through which Anita can compare her powers to others. She is a way to flesh out the world of zombie raising in a place where the main character is still definitely a necromancer first and a vampire slayer second (unlike recent books where she is a sex addict first, a vampire slayer second, and a necromancer a distant third). And Anita sees herself as the lesser of the pairing. Anita doesn’t think highly of herself at all. Which makes sense in context of how she is raised and her beliefs, but kind of annoying in the grand scale of the series. In recent books there isn’t anything alive or dead that can rival Anita in power. Yet here, she doesn’t think she has any power at all except what she essentially thinks of as a parlor trick.
Even at the end of the book where she drags an entire cemetery out of the grave to kill someone, she still thinks this. Of course. No power at all. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Anita’s dynamic with Jean Claude is also…not that bad yet. He is her “master”, and she is supposed to follow what he says. Anita just tells him to fuck off the entire time. Darn necromancers and their resistance to vampiric powers, huh Jean claude? Yet he still wants Anita, he makes that very clear. However I could do without that entire “Just because I lust after you doesn’t mean I want you” bullshit that happens for 20+ books. Only good news on that is that it isn’t (typically) with Jean Claude in present day books.
I find it so interesting that Anita still sees vampires as monsters here. She says that vampire don’t have souls, that they aren’t people. That is just fascinating, considering where she ends up later, and what she does here. How she feels. How she acts. Her religiosity included. This entire dynamic just piques my interest.
There is also the end of the book, which is pretty incredible when you think about it. This is book two: and Anita Blake, Vampire Executioner has done something that could get her executed. And she hides it. Forever (at least so far). And this is only the first time that has happened.
What a wild ride.