Dead Ice by Laurell K. Hamilton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I don't think any author delves as deeply into emotional entanglements and relationship issues as LKH. And there's so many to delve into, Anita Blake's harem of men (and now women) doesn't seem to get any smaller even as a few of them decide to make their relationships more serious and permanent.
Jean Claude and Anita are officially engaged to be married while Anita, Jean Claude, Nathaniel and Micah have a commitment ceremony- but as usual with the supernaturals...some kind of crazy politics intervene. The clans want Anita to choose a tiger to add to their official poly group due to a prophecy. SO to try to keep everyone happy they decide to interview candidates...which of course never goes as planned.
Anita's very public engagement has added a little stress to Anita's work life as a Marshall, who can take her seriously after her publicized princess engagement. Now everyone sees her as girl, which she worked very hard to overcome. She's also getting some flack about her poly life as those in law enforcement struggle to understand and accept how she can be engaged to Jean Claude yet still have all the other lovers.
The part I really love is that Dead Ice finally returns Anita to her necromancy work with Animators Inc. We haven't seen much of this in the last few books. She's been hired to raise a really old zombie, but something odd happens. This zombie isn't zombie like at all. He looks, thinks and acts completely human...until he doesn't.
Have Anita's abilities grown or is there something else going on? Perhaps something tying into the case she's working on with the FBI. Someone is making zombies with their souls inside...and forcing the zombies to make porn. It's horrifying even for Anita, who has seen a lot over the years.
Dead Ice puts Anita in the middle of chaos. It's non-stop action. She goes back and forth between her too perfect zombie, the FBI case, and her lovers and possible soon to be lovers.
There is a lot of character and story development in this book that finally moves this series ahead...along with some things brought up in the book that were not really addressed.
Like the power boosts. It is hinted at that Anita's too perfect zombie and sudden ability to control the graveyard ghouls might be connected to the necromancer raising the porn zombies. But that's never confirmed and it doesn't seem likely since her closest lovers also receive power boosts and new abilities.
I think we'll see answers and more advances in the characters and world in upcoming books.
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