Thursday, March 16, 2023

Book Review: Smolder by Laurell K Hamilton


Book Description

Vampire hunter Anita Blake is no stranger to killing monsters. It’s part of her job as a Preternatural U.S. Marshal, after all. But even her experience isn’t enough to stop something that is bent on destroying everything—and everyone—she loves.
Anita Blake is engaged to Jean-Claude, the new vampire king of America. Humans think she’s gone over to the side of the monsters. The vampires fear that their new king has fallen under the spell of the most powerful necromancer in a thousand years.
In the midst of wedding preparations—including getting Edward, aka U.S. Marshal Ted Forrester, fitted as best man—Anita gets a call that the local police need her expertise at a brutal murder scene linked to a nationwide slaughter of vampires and humans, dubbed the Sunshine Murders.
But there is more than just a murderer to catch: an ancient evil has arrived in St. Louis to challenge Jean-Claude for his crown, his life, Anita, and all they hold dear. Even with Jean-Claude’s new powers as king and Anita’s necromancy, it isn’t enough; they must embrace their triumvirate or allow primeval darkness to spread across the country, possessing first the vampires and then the humans. Evil will triumph unless Jean-Claude and Anita can prove that love conquers all.

My Review

Anita and Jean-Claude are finally getting married...or are they?

Anita is making preparations to marry the new vampire King of America when a new, very old vampire comes to claim Jean-Claude's place as King. They find that this new nemesis is very powerful and have trouble fighting him when he first makes an appearance. It's only Richard's appearance back in their lives that seems to help strengthen their hold so they can best him. 

So not only does Anita need to worry about wedding plans, her family who hates vampires wanting to come to the ceremony, but now a new vampire threat, Richard coming back and Asher coming back with a new problem named Kane, as well. It was nice to see Richard and Asher back though. 

When Anita is called to a murder scene things start to go wrong because the government is working on a way to control vampires but it totally works the opposite way from what they wanted. Anita is mad, and rightly so. 

I was waiting for a storyline that I'm used to with lots of action and ended up with lots of therapy talk and talking about problems. I can kind of understand that since Asher and Richard are back and they needed to show Anita, Jean-Claude and the rest of the poly group that they have or are trying to work through their problems in order to come back to the group for good. But this felt more like a book that is setting up the next book so there aren't these emotional messes to deal with. I just hope the next book is high on action and has less talking about the emotional problems they have. 

Although they figured out who the big bad was in this book, they didn't take him down. They did figure out a way to fight him and are planning to do just that but it didn't happen in this book. This was more a setup for that to happen in the next book. This book dealt more with the jealousy, emotional baggage, and problems they have being a poly group with so many people in Anita's life. Some of the issues are being resolved but not all and Asher's big problem, Kane is still a big problem that he can't control. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens with that. 

I will say that there are a lot of characters in this series and a lot of them are in this book so I would say not to start with this book if you want it to make sense. I would definitely start this series with the first book and work your way through since there seem to be new characters popping up each new book and old characters coming back from previous books. 

I give this book 3 out of 5 stars. 

Disclosure: I was given an e-ARC via NetGalley but all thoughts and opinions are my own.