There are twenty books in the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series by Laurell K. Hamilton, and that definitely requires two posts. This is by far my favorite vampire series, to the point that I own almost all of the books and am working on getting the rest as they come out in paperback. Anita is the main reason why. She is a giant bad ass in a petite package. Anita’s “day” job as an animator (zombie raiser) combined with her side jobs of helping the police solve crimes involving the preternatural and vampire hunting can get her into some very dangerous situations but as scared as she may be she never gives in to the fear, at least not until after and not until late in the series.
Anita is in her mid-twenties when the series starts and over the course of the books (twenty in twenty years) she ages into her thirties. The first eight books of the series see Anita battle a variety of monsters, help solve preternatural murders, meet a variety of weres and vampires. She becomes friends with vampires, something she thought she would never do. She is conflicted in her love life having to try to make a decision between Richard a werewolf, and Jean-Claude a vampire, because she is a one-man woman. If that sounds familiar please remember that this was written way before that teen series that I’ll write about at a later date.
The first book opens with Anita in her office at Animator’s Inc, meeting with a vampire that she knew in life before he was turned. As at this point she finds all vampires evil, this makes her rather uncomfortable. The Master of the City wants her to help solve a murder case, and not just any murder, case but the murder of vampires.
In Anita’s world, vampires came out of the closet about two years ago, again this probably sounds familiar but again this was written first. Hmm I sound a bit defensive of this series don’t I? Yes Anita was written first, a decade before Sookie, and the authors appreciate each other and each other’s books so I just need to relax.
Anita meets the Master of the City after being set up by the friend of a friend. It all starts at a bachelorette party at Guilty Pleasures a vampire and were strip club. Yes you can go down to the “District” better known in our world as the Landing in St. Louis. Yes this book and many of the others take place in St. Louis, as that’s where LKH lives. Being a native St. Louisan I love this, it’s so cool to read a book and know exactly where it’s taking place, for me it just increases my pleasure in reading.
Ok back on track, in this first book we meet two of Anita’s best friends who help her, Ronnie and private investigator and Edward a bounty hunter. That’s just the beginning of a very interesting cast of characters that just grows and grows until LKH herself admits in posts on Facebook that she has to reread to keep track of them (as she also has to do with her Merry Gentry series).
More upcoming later this week about other books in this series, and my review of Dr. Sleep!!