Monday 26 October 2009


'The older the zombie, the bigger the death needed to raise it.' After a few centuries, the only death 'big enough' is a human sacrifice. I know because I'm an animator. My name is Anita Blake. Working for Animators, Inc. is just a job - like selling insurance. But all the money in the world wasn't enough for me to take on the particular job Harold Gaynor was offering. Somebody else did, though - a rogue animator. Now he's not just raising the dead... he's raising Hell. And it's up to me to stop it.

The Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series by Laurell K. Hamilton has been repackaged and re-released. I think this series is one of the pioneers of the urban fantasy genre. The other obvious one that comes to mind is Buffy the Vampire Slayer. They might be two different mediums, but I'm a fan of both. The Anita Blake books, one through to ten, are some of my most favourite books of all time, but I gave up on the series after book eleven. :(

Everything that I loved about the series - the horror, gore, Anita's relationship struggles, her personal inner struggle, her complicated friendships, the tough as nails attitude, the way her job dominates her life because it's so much more, and just the strong Anita that kept me turning the pages, eventually faded into an almost unrecognisable shadow of herself. One that depended on the ardeur and not much else.

But this is about the second book in the series, and I love this one! It has everything that made this series so addictive to start with. I couldn't put it down until I got to the end.

The Laughing Corpse is a clever, dark and very gritty book. Anita takes us into some very grotesque situations as she struggles to keep a human balance in her life by raising the dead for a living, trying to avoid a vampire who wants her, and agreeing to wear an awful pink bridesmaid dress to be in her friend's wedding. It's not an easy thing to do, but Anita somehow pulls it off in a very entertaining way.

This is the Anita Blake that became a constant in my life years ago, so I really enjoyed getting the opportunity to re-read this book. If you're into urban fantasy and haven't given this series a go, I recommend that you do. Especially the earlier books, because they are truly awesome!

The Laughing Corpse, November 2009, ISBN 075535530X, Headline Paperback (B)

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