78 points, 4 stars
When Anita Blake’s boss at Animators, Inc., informs her that she’s expected to raise 300-year-old zombies from a field of jumbled bones just to settle a land dispute, she’s understandably annoyed. But as soon as she arrives in Branson, Missouri, to do the deed, the job gets more interesting. A psychotic sword-wielding vampire starts committing multiple murders in the area, and Anita must call on Jean-Claude, her powerful fanged suitor, for help. As always, Anita prevails over the undead, keeping Jean-Claude at arm’s length, clearing the cemetery land of an ancient enchantment, and nailing the vampiric killer in one fell swoop.
“First, there were the dead in the graveyard – two-hundred years dead. I’d been hired to raise them to settle a dispute over who owned the land they were buried in.
Then there were the three dead teenagers in the woods, slaughtered in a way I had never seen before.
And then they found the dead girl, drained of blood and left in her bed.
I knew what that meant, all right. It didn’t take a degree in preternatural studies to figure out that something was very wrong in and around Branson, Missouri. My name is Anita Blake. Welcome to my life…”
“One thing I’ve learned about vampires–they keep pulling new rabbits out of their cloaks. Big, fanged, carnivorous bunnies that’ll eat your eyeballs if you’re not paying attention.”
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.
I think Bloody Bones shows both the highlights and downfalls of Laurell K. Hamilton’s work perfectly. There are so many good, interesting things that are (by this point) increasingly overshadowed by the bad bits.
First off, the world. In The Lunatic Cafe, there was a throwaway line that fae existed. Now we’re dealing with them and we learn so any cool, interesting things about fae in just this singular book. All of which is good. but in a few books, they are completely forgotten about for nearly 20 books. Which is not so good. I think the only reason they ever came up again at all is because Anita went to Ireland. At least I can credit her for not forgetting them entirely?
But also, there are the vampires! What the fuck is this horror show of a vampire that voluntarily ROTS? This is a damn horror book masquerading as urban fantasy. It is terrifying and disgusting and horrifying. And it damaged both Anita and at least one, maybe two, of the side characters for books to come. One of them literally rots on a character when the character thought they were going to be having just sex. Nope, sex with a side of gag. This is interesting because I don’t typically think of Anita Blake and lasting consequences in the same breath.
But…and this is the super bad part: Bloody Bones is the start the truly petty and antagonistic Anita Blake I know and am rather fed up with from the later books in the series. So, so much. She actually makes fun of junior high students for not dressing well. Junior high! And then she turns around and complains that people treat her differently for being a girl. And every single woman has something to prove, Anita most especially. She to prove that she is better than the guys. I fucking hate that line so much.
And is also the earnest start of Anita vs. the police. Joy. It sort of peeked its head out in the previous book, but Jesus Christ. Half of this book was Anita trying to prove herself to this foreign police crew without her normal backup. And then things go poorly, and it gets worse for Anita. And for me. The hostilities are so aggravating.
I just feel so conflicted. So annoyed, but so interested.