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BOOK REVIEW – LAURELL K. HAMILTON – THE ANITA BLAKE VAMPIRE NOVELS #5 BLOODY BONES 2005 Orbit Books
The 5th, and to date, the most violent and well written book in the series in which vampires have equal rights with humans, and can only be executed when they are proven to have committed murder.
Anita Blake is hired to raise ancient zombies from a cemetery to settle a land dispute. She travels to the countryside as the guest of a leading industrialist and finds that a powerful fairy that is feeding off a powerful demonic fairie entity called Rawhead And Bloody Bones who he has trapped in the soil owns the land. The Fairies even name their restaurant Bloody Bones in its honour. The creature is believed to have immortal powers and so a host of people, vampires and others seek control of the creature. This leads to a series of brutal murders, child molestations and other crimes, in which Anita Blake gets involved.
As she is out of her usual city territory, she calls on her vampire lover, Jean-Claude, Master of the vampires of New Orleans, and her near-lover, to assist her. He does, as the knows that vampires who helped create him are involved. They come close to destroying Jean Claude and Anita too before finally being dealt with, mostly illegally by the heroine.
The story raises the question of whether her gifts of necromancy make Anita Blake herself a monster, and she gains greater sympathy for Jean-Claude, even saving him when the other vampires almost re-kill the undead figure. Anita realizes that some monsters are not necessarily evil, while some humans are.
There are moments of humour amidst the tragedies, such as the vampires stealing Jean-Claude’s coffin, and there is the interesting development of Blake taking on an apprentice Vampire Hunter who is shocked by how she takes short cuts in the laws as well as sleeping with vampires and werewolves.
Jean-Claude gets a very touching scene where he tells Anita his origins, as a medieval French peasant slave boy bought literally to take the punishments for wrong doings by a spoilt French aristocratic boy just before the couple get closer than ever to making love – something that could happen yet in future books.
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