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The Qwillery

A blog about books and other things speculative

Review: Dead Ice by Laurell K. Hamilton

Dead Ice
Author:  Laurell K. Hamilton
Series:  Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter 24
Publisher:  Berkley, June 9, 2015
Format: Hardcover and eBook, 576 pages
List Price:  $27.95 (print)
ISBN:  9780425255711 (print)
Review Copy:  Reviewer's Own

Review:  Dead Ice by Laurell K. Hamilton
Anita Blake has the highest kill count of any vampire executioner in the country. She’s a U.S. Marshal who can raise zombies with the best of them. But ever since she and master vampire Jean-Claude went public with their engagement, all she is to anyone and everyone is Jean-Claude’s fiancée.

It’s wreaking havoc with her reputation as a hard ass—to some extent. Luckily, in professional circles, she’s still the go-to expert for zombie issues. And right now, the FBI is having one hell of a zombie issue.

Someone is producing zombie porn. Anita has seen her share of freaky undead fetishes, so this shouldn’t bother her. But the women being victimized aren’t just mindless, rotting corpses. Their souls are trapped behind their eyes, signaling voodoo of the blackest kind.

It’s the sort of case that can leave a mark on a person. And Anita’s own soul may not survive unscathed . . .

Doreen’s Thoughts

Laurell K. Hamilton has been writing since the early 1980s, and Dead Ice is her twenty-fourth novel about Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter. During these years, Anita has evolved from a fairly uptight young woman to someone who is involved in polyamory, intimate relationships with more than one other person. Some reviewers feel that since Hamilton started adding this element to her novels, they have become little more than erotica. However, Hamilton was one of the pioneers to combine mystery with the supernatural, and for years, I struggled to find her novels in the stacks as Horror, Mystery, or Fantasy, before someone developed the Urban Fantasy genre.

Dead Ice brings Anita back with a new mystery to solve and more relationship issues to negotiate. While not as tightly written as Affliction, Hamilton is still able to balance the mystery with the personal. This time, someone is making porn using zombies that still possess their souls, something that no one has been able to do since the initial novels. However, the Senora is dead and cannot be the one raising these zombies, and Anita is left to work with the FBI to try to find some clue as to who is performing this rite and how.

At the same time, on the home front, Anita has agreed to marry Jean-Claude, the master vampire of America, and hold a commitment ceremony with at least two of her other lovers, Nathaniel and Micah. However, in the shapeshifter community, there is a prophecy that in order to keep Marmee Darkness dead, Anita must enter into a relationship with one of the tiger shifters. Lastly, Asher continues to make trouble with his lovers and negotiates a relationship that threatens the hyena shifter politics.

Hamilton does a good job portraying some of the more mundane aspects of polyamory -- communication. Everyone involved in the relationship must negotiate and discuss every aspect of adding or deleting someone from the roster. Anita proves that it is a balancing act, and her feeling that she may be torn too much among too many seems a legitimate response for someone with this lifestyle. In addition, Hamilton discusses some of the intimate details of BDSM (bondage, dominance, submission, and roleplaying). As she did with all elements of her novels, she researched the lifestyle extensively before trying to write about it, and it appears that she has done her homework.

I would not recommend this novel (or indeed, any of the novels after Obsidian Butterfly) for anyone under the age of 16, because the sexual scenes in the book are fairly explicit for someone younger. However, I would recommend this series for anyone who is interested in equality, because Hamilton does well portraying individuals from all walks of life – bisexual, polyamorous, sociopathic, etc.

While I feel the relationship aspect was balanced with the mystery, I did think the mystery was solved a little abruptly, although I did see the foreshadowing from the beginning. While some might complain about the relationship aspect of the series, I appreciate it because I feel it more fully depicts Anita as a well-rounded human. I appreciate that she has evolved and grown over twenty-four years. While I sometimes have difficulty remembering the difference between Dev and Demon, it makes me sympathize with an individual who must have sex to feed a certain supernatural need. I still look forward to a new Anita Blake novel whenever they are published.

Wednesday Comics on Thursday - April 28, 2011

I picked up many many many comics yesterday. I obviously like comics with vampires in them. My favorite this week though is... Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters #2.

BOOM! Studios

Dracula: The Company of Monsters #9

Wednesday Comics on Thursday - April 28, 2011
BRAND NEW ARC. GREAT FOR NEW READERS! Kurt Busiek continues to bring an incredibly modern spin to the Dracula mythos! As Dracula and Conrad's fight reaches a fever pitch, Evan enters into an unlikely, and dangerous alliance with Marta and her men. It's vampire vs. vampire vs. vampire hunters as the ongoing horror series from the mind of Kurt Busiek continues!

BOOM! Studios
Dark Horse Comics
The Strange Case of Mr. Hyde #1 (of 4)  This looks great so far. I like the artwork. I'll have to see what I think about the story!

Wednesday Comics on Thursday - April 28, 2011
Sometimes good police work just isn’t enough, as Inspector Thomas Adye of Scotland Yard finds out when he’s assigned to the Jack the Ripper case. He’ll need the guidance of imprisoned madman and amoral libertine, Dr. Henry Jekyll, whose mind-splitting serum Jack might be using to commit his bloody murders. Written by Cole Haddon and illustrated by M.S. Corley, part 1 of Hyde sets in motion events that will pit London’s two greatest monsters against one another. Will Adye--and his soul--survive intact?

* Thrilling Victorian horror written by exciting newcomer Cole Haddon.

* Weaving together the Jack the Ripper legend with the elements of the classic tale of Jekyll and Hyde.

Dark Horse Comics

Dynamite Entertainment

Warlord of Mars # 6

There are 7 covers for Warlord of Mars # 6 (the last of this series). I'm just going to share my favorite. The cover artist is Patrick Berkenkotter.

Wednesday Comics on Thursday - April 28, 2011Dejah Thoris and John Carter travel to the dreaded city of Thark, where the green Martian warlord awaits. Unfortunately for them, the big, slobbery green monster has a "thing" for red Martian girls. Fortunately, John Carter has super-human strength, and a super-human will to go along with it! Carter realizes he and Dejah cannot remain captives of the green Martians any longer. But the green Martians aren't giving up without a fight. And if they do escape, what terrors await them in the harsh and desolate wilderness of Mars? Find out in Warlord of Mars #6: A Desperate Flight!

Dynamite Entertainment

IDW Publishing

Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters #2

There are 4 covers for Issue 2. Cover A is a more modern depiction of Godzilla so not my favorite cover. I much prefer Godzilla as depicted on Cover B. That's Rodan flying behind Godzilla and Anguirus in the foreground. Awesome! I especially like the 3rd cover that shows Rodan.

Cover A - Cover by Phil Hester
Wednesday Comics on Thursday - April 28, 2011

Cover B - Cover by Eric Powell
Wednesday Comics on Thursday - April 28, 2011

Cover RI B - Cover by
Wednesday Comics on Thursday - April 28, 2011
The world is in panic as Godzilla reduces Tokyo to rubble. No one knows where the giant lizard has come from and even the most extreme military counter-measures prove useless. As the people of Japan struggle to survive Godzilla's wrath, the world's governments start thinking outside the box. Unfortunately, Godzilla may not be the only monster-sized threat the world faces... IDW Publishing

True Blood: Tainted Love #3

There are 7 covers for Issue 3. Cover A, Cover B, the RI Wash Cover (Cover A without color), the RI Photo Cover from IDW. In addition there are 3 exclusives - Jetpack, Hastings and Dynamic Forces. I'm sharing just 3 of the covers. The Photo Cover is for Eric fans!

Cover A - Cover by J. Scott Campbell
Wednesday Comics on Thursday - April 28, 2011

Cover B - Cover by Jenny Frison
Wednesday Comics on Thursday - April 28, 2011

Retailer Incentive Photo Cover
Wednesday Comics on Thursday - April 28, 2011
The Tru Blood contamination scandal escalates! Sookie goes to Eric for help and finds a herself in a whole new batch of trouble. Meanwhile, Jessica's condition worsens and the violence escalates... will Bill be her next victim?!  IDW Publishing

Marvel Comics

Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake Vampire Hunter: Circus of the Damned: Ingenue #3 of 5

Wednesday Comics on Thursday - April 28, 2011

Meet Lawrence “Larry” Kirkland, the newest animator in St. Louis. Short, skinny, like an overgrown Howdy Doody puppet. It’s his first night on the job and Larry’s bitten off than any novice animator can chew. Good thing veteran Anita Blake is on call to pull his fat out of the fire!
Marvel Comics

Tomb of Dracula Presents: Throne of Blood (One-Shot)

Wednesday Comics on Thursday - April 28, 2011

Long ago, the seeds of a vampire cataclysm were planted in the Marvel Universe. One lone vampire rose above the rest and operated in the shadows as the world around him changed. Prepare for a clash of steel, blood, and the undead in Vampire #1, as Marvel changes the way you see vampires…and shows you the meaning of Fear Itself.

Marvel Comics
Vertigo Comics
American Vampire #14
Wednesday Comics on Thursday - April 28, 2011
The war in the Pacific rages on! Henry and the crew storm the shores of a remote island with a secret at its core. But the island's secrets are nothing compared to what Skinner has up his sleeve. Meanwhile, our gal Pearl sets out on a desperate mission of her own . . .

Wednesday Comics on Thursday - October 28, 2010

I picked up quite a few comics yesterday. One comic book publisher seemingly published a few months worth of comics yesterday. But those are not among my favorites. Don't get me wrong, I like all of the comics that I collect, but some are more special to me than others. Here are this week's "special" comics.

Avatar Press

Fevre Dream #8 of 10

Each issue of Fevre Dream has a regular cover, a Nightmare cover and a Wraparound cover. I have to say that theWraparound for Issue 8 is exceptional. It's perfect for October!

Wednesday Comics on Thursday - October 28, 2010

Wednesday Comics on Thursday - October 28, 2010

Wednesday Comics on Thursday - October 28, 2010

Dracula: The Company of Monsters, #3

Wednesday Comics on Thursday - October 28, 2010

Blackbeard: Legend of the Pyrate King #6

Wednesday Comics on Thursday - October 28, 2010

Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake Vampire Hunter
Circus of the Damned: The Charmer #5 of 5

Wednesday Comics on Thursday - October 28, 2010

I obviously like vampires and pyrates!
Review:  Dead Ice by Laurell K. HamiltonWednesday Comics on Thursday - April 28, 2011Wednesday Comics on Thursday - October 28, 2010

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