Thursday, February 25, 2010

Spotlight Series: Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter

Laurell K. Hamilton is a full-time writer and mother. She is the author of the bestselling Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter novels and also the author of the Meredith Gentry. She lives in a suburb of St. Louis with her family. 

Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter is a series of fantasy novels by Laurell K. Hamilton, narrated by the title character, Anita Blake. Anita lives in a parallel universe's Saint Louis, geographically and technologically much like our own, save that, not only are things like vampires and shapeshifters real, but their presence is public knowledge and they are considered citizens of America, much like normal humans. The novels follow Anita's ongoing conflicts with the supernatural as she attempts to solve a variety of supernatural mysteries, come to terms with her own abilities, and navigate an increasingly complex series of romantic and political relationships.

The Anita Blake series was the first the very first urban fantasy series I discovered. I love how Anita is both tough and soft at the same time. She has evolved so much over the course of the series that she has become more than just the title character, but almost a living, breathing entity in her own right. She is human (pretty much) with flaws that most people can relate to. She can be both stubborn and condescending while still being loyal and protective of the people she loves. Anita started as a zombie animator and vampire executioner. She still does both of these things professionally, but her personal life has become so involved in the world of the "monsters" she once despised that she is often considered one one of them.

Important Characters to Know
Anita Blake - Necromancer, Human Servant, Nimir-Ra, lupa, Bolverk, Federal Marshal and Police Consultant. Master vampire abilities including having her own triumvirate and having to feed the ardeur. Animals to call include wolf, leopard and tigers. Carries multiple lycanthropy beasts; leopard, wolf, lion, five tigers and one unknown. Is able to call all animals that she has a beast for. Has never shifted. Attracts and can control the dead in all forms. 

Jean-Claude - Master of the City of St. Louis. Formed triumvirate with Anita and Richard to make their hold on their territory stronger. The three of them become quite powerful together as he tries to provide a safe haven for himself and his kiss. Become a sourdre de sang. Must balance showing strength from growing powers in order to rule, and hiding it from the vampire council. Leadership style is revolutionary and is thought to be weak by other Master of the City's.

Richard Zeeman - In the closet about his werewolf status. Jr High Science Teacher. Becomes Jean-Claude's Animal to Call and Ulfric of the Thronnos Rokke pack.  Joins with Anita and Jean-Claude to form a triumvirate of power to save their lives.  Has issues about hating his beast and wanting the white picket fence.  On again/off again love/hate relationship with Anita.

Edward - (aka Ted Forrester, Death & Undertaker) Preternatural hit man, bounty hunter and mentor to Anita. Now a federal marshal and vampire hunter. Considers Anita his soul mate.

Jason Schuyler - Newer werewolf. Becomes Jean-Claude's pomme de sang and good friend to Anita and the leopards. Sometimes acts as a substitute wolf for Richard's power. One of the few people who can tell Anita "like it is" without her getting angry. Part of Anita's ardeur stable. Stage name is Ripley. Bastard son of the Governor of NC. Becomes Anita's Animal to Call.

Nathaniel Graison - Weakest leopard in the pard. Bottom in the BDSM scene and can't say no. Becomes Anita's pomme de sang and later her Animal to Call and part of Anita's second triumvirate, picking up some of her dominance trait. Stripper stage name is Brandon.

Damian - Originally thought to be about five hundred years old, is actually just over one thousand. Not a master vampire. Jean-Claude ransomed him from the one who made Damian. Accidentally raised during the day by Anita. Becomes Anita's servant after saving his life. His touch calms Anita. Member of the second triumvirate with Anita and Nathaniel.

Asher -  His greatest ability is to fascinate someone whom he's had sex with. His bite is orgasmic and can cause flashback orgasms if done during sex. Blamed Jean-Claude for his torture and the death of his human servant. Becomes Jean-Claude's témoin and a ménage à trois with Anita and Jean-Claude. Gains hyena as an Animal to Call.

Mother of All Darkness - (aka Marmee Noir) The mother of all vampires. Animal to Call is cave lion. Had been a necromancer and lycanthrope. The one who created the council and the laws they live by. Has been sleeping for at least one thousand years. Feeds off of powers used by vampires when they attack other vampires. She and Father of the Day created most vampire lines.

Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series
(in reading order, links lead to my reviews)
  1. Guilty Pleasures
  2. The Laughing Corpse
  3. Circus of the Damned
  4. The Lunatic Cafe
  5. Bloody Bones 
  6. The Killing Dance
  7. Burnt Offerings
  8. Blue Moon
  9. Obsidian Butterfly
  10. Narcissus in Chains
  11. Cerulean Sins
  12. Incubus Dreams
  13. Micah
  14. Danse Macabre
  15. The Harlequin
  16. Blood Noir
  17. Skin Trade
  18. Flirt
  19. Bullet
  20. Hit List
If you like the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series, you should try:
 The Riley Jensen, Guardian series by Keri Arthur
The Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs
The Sign of the Zodiac series by Kim Harrison
The Weather Warden series by Rachel Caine
The Kitty Norville series by Carrie Vaughn
The Women of the Otherworld series by Kelley Armstrong
The Dante Valentine series by Lilith Saintcrow


  1. For some reason Anita just annoyed me and from what I hear the series changes as the books get past book 8 or 9 :(

    Tara SG (25 Hour Books)

  2. I have read a few...then kinda lost interest. Thanks for the other recommendations

  3. Never read this series before, or heard of it. Will check it out!!

  4. I've only read a few of these books, but I love Anita Blake! :) Thanks for the great overview. I enjoyed it, and look forward to reading more.