Friday, October 9, 2015

Affliction by Laurell K. Hamilton

I know, I vowed not to read any more of this series, after it turned into a massive porn saga, but things were a little slow on the new books at the library front, and...

Hamilton actually managed to go on for about four hundred pages of action, before Anita got any "action", if you know what I mean.

Micah's father, who is a sheriff in a small town near Denver, gets bitten by a flesh-eating zombie and contracts a disease (hence the book title). It behaves in a manner similar to flesh-eating bacteria, and all previous cases of the disease reported have been fatal, so Anita and Micah and Nathaniel fly off to Colorado so Micah can see his father and try to reconcile with his estranged family, whom he has not seen since he was part of Chimera's menagerie.

There's a lot of family drama at first, but that is soon shoved to the background as Anita is called in to consult on the outbreak of killer zombies that turns out to have taken far more victims than anyone realizes. Flesh-eating, violent zombies are really quite rare, so she knows that some supernatural agency has to be creating them and sending them out to kill.

There's some fantastic action sequences, and some great dialogue between Anita and Marshall Ted aka Edward, the sociopath monster hunter. Anita really makes Ted's day when she asks him to bring along his flamethrower and they get to play with thermite grenades, as well.

It turns out that when (without too many spoilers) Anita killed the Mother of All Darkness and she and Jean Claude gained a whole bunch of her power, they weren't the only ones. We find out here that another of the master vampires whom Marmee Noir had attempted to possess also got a big power boost when she was killed. This, of course, gives us some food for future plots, as we see what supercharging some of the old vamps' power does to create supervillains.

This novel pushes things in a direction far closer to the things that many of us loved about the early series, and perhaps away from its focus on nothing but sex and relationships. There's still some of that around, but the violence and mystery are back a bit stronger. I'm going to brave the next book in the series.

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