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Book Review

Book Cover

Dead Ice (Hardback)


Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
Publisher: Headline
RRP: £19.99
ISBN: 978 0 7553 8906 3
Publication Date: 04 June 2015

Someone is producing zombie porn. While this is not strictly illegal, the soul of the dearly departed are very much still stuck in the zombies, which is indicative of some very unpleasant voodoo. In order to tackle the case the FBI brings in federal marshal Anita Blake, vampire hunter...

Dead Ice (2015. 566 pages) is another in the Anita Blake series of novels by Laurell K. Hamilton.

This is a big old book with many layers to the story. Unfortunately, for the overall experience, a lot of it could have been dumped without sacrificing anything from the main narrative. The main plot, if that’s what you want to call it, involves Anita ferreting out just who is making the zombie porn. Beneath this is a layer where Anita is supposed to get married and further below sundry additional plot threads which may be tangentially connected with the main story but would never have been missed by their absence. The book is less translucent jelly as it is Eton Mess.

For the life of me I can’t remember if I have previously read a book by this author and while she includes much that would be found in a Anne Rice novel - depictions of sex, violence and as this has a contemporary setting the inevitable, but unnecessary bad language - it misses some of the more wonderfully fantastical elements of a Rice novel.

It was probably unfair to start with the twenty-fourth book in the series, as for the most part I neither knew who the characters were - some are mentioned that never even appear in the story - nor did it make me care. I’m guessing that this far down the series it has consisted of both good and bad novels, but even without the background, this one failed to spark my interest, as the book is too dense and too steeped in its own lore to work well as a standalone novel.

The zombie porn aspects of the story seemed almost superfluous, given the balance of time offered compared to Anita’s love life and worries about becoming a second class citizen, as a woman. There is a heavy leaning towards the promotion of polyamorous relationships, which is fine, but has little to do with what should have been the central plot. It felt like you joined a story with a lot of loose ends and ended the experience in the same manner.

Who knows, had I been a woman or a fan of the series my take may have been different, but the overall experience was one of an unnecessarily over complicated novel with too many characters and too much navel gazing.


Charles Packer

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