“We only give names to the ones that we fear. She is the Executioner…”
– Kiss the Dead by Laurell K. Hamilton
From my perspective, the Anita Blake saga is arguably one of the most significant series in the history of genre fiction. In the last two decades, this series has irrevocably changed the landscape of genre fiction.
“Was I a U.S. Marshal, or Jean-Claude’s human servant? Was I a Marshal, or Micah’s Nimir-Ra? Was I a police officer, or Nathaniel’s sweetie? Was I an officer, or Nicky’s master? Was I a cop, or the new Mistress of Tigers of Sin, and Dev, and Jade, and Ethan, and Crispin, and… Could I keep being a cop and be everything else?
This novel also had its fair share of memorable noir-nuanced one-liners:
• “There’s only so many times you can scrub blood out from under your fingernails before you start going all Lady Macbeth and stop believing the blood is ever gone.”
• “Because all bad little vampires see me in the end.”
• “Dead, down, done.”
Bottom line: LKH’s Anita Blake saga is literary history in the making. It’s been a long, strange ride since 1993 but I, for one, can’t wait to see where LKH ultimately takes Anita and company.
Paul Goat Allen has been a full-time book reviewer specializing in genre fiction for the last two decades and has written thousands of reviews for companies like Publishers Weekly, The Chicago Tribune, Kirkus Reviews, and BarnesandNoble.com. He is a member of the National Book Critics Circle.
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