When a vampire serial killer sends Anita Blake a grisly souvenir from Las Vegas, she has to warn Sin City's local authorities what they're dealing with. Only it's worse than she thought. Ten officers and one executioner have been slain - paranormal style. Anita heads to Vegas, where's she's joined by three other federal marshals, including the ruthless Edward. It's a good thing he always has her back, because when she gets close to the bodies, Anita senses 'tiger' too strongly to ignore it. The weretigers are very powerful in Las Vegas, which means the odds of her rubbing someone important the wrong way just got a lot higher.
Series: Book #17 in the Anita Blake Series
Reason for reading: We all know now that I don’t have a reason – I’m addicted to this shizz like it’s crack.
Summary: Skin Trade picks up not too long after the events of Blood Noir. In a bid to appear more servant-like to the Master of the City, Jean-Claude, Anita has moved into the Circus of the Damned. I think that’s the only concession Anita makes though, because it quickly becomes apparent that this woman is going to do what needs to be done, with or without approval from her “Master.” So what has Anita done this time? Well, after receiving a severed head at her work, some quick calls reveal that the head belongs to a body in Las Vegas and that an old vampire friend has left a message written in blood for Anita for everyone to see. So Anita rushes down to Vegas to save the day. And I really do think she’s there for all of a day – two at the most. So 486 pages for two days. Fun times.
But back to what happens. The friend I’m referring to is a vampire Anita has come across before, Vittorio. He’s a serial killer and he got away a couple of books ago. In Vegas, Anita is reunited with US Marshalls Edward (playing good time guy Ted), Olaf (another serial killer who has a crush on Anita, LOL) and Bernardo. Good times are had by all. Olaf gets his jollies by feeling up dead people with Anita, Anita gets mind-raped by Vittorio and sleeps with a bunch of strangers (one of whom is 16, thank goddess we don’t get that in detail) and oh yeah, Marmee Noir dies! And Anita all this time is pondering her life and if she’s truly happy and does she even want to be a vampire executioner even more?
My Thoughts: First of all – the 16 year old weretiger. WRONG WRONG WRONG. I’m sorry, using the excuse that he’s legal in Vegas does not work for me. And the fact that Anita wasn’t even aware of what she was doing doesn’t work for me either. That shit just pissed me off.
Second – and this is a biggie – the lazy writing! I noticed this in the last two books. Someone likes to use the phrase “what does that mean?” way too much. I had picked up on it enough that I went back and counted how many times that phrase or a variation of it was used in Skin Trade. Want to know how many times it was used? 37!! That’s a bit excessive in my opinion. I find it a lazy way to get the characters talking. And also the fact that Anita says that phrase 85% of the time? HOW THE FRICK IS ANITA SO KICKASS IF SHE DOESN'T KNOW ANYTHING?????????????
Also, there was a lot of repetition. The description of Anita’s tigers running up the forested path inside her head, that was repeated quite a bit. Every time it happened actually.
The basic plot of Skin Trade was ok (despite the fact that it’s the second book in a row featuring Anita out of town). Anita goes to Vegas to hunt for a serial killer vampire. Hijinks ensue with Edward and the rest of the team, they save the day and she goes home. But no, more crap has to be going on with the ardeur (I mean after 9 books don’t you think Anita would realize she needs to eat and feed more often before it goes out of control???? ) and yet even more men are added to her menu – despite the fact that she emphatically tells everyone she doesn’t need anymore men in her life. So my thinking is, if she doesn’t want to collect more men, she should use the men she’s already sleeping with to keep that freaking ardeur under control. That just makes sense right?
One more thing – I hate how Marmee Noir dies. Can we say anti-climactic?
AND I just knew that Anita was going to use the hated ardeur to save the day, again. I mean why does she hate it? She should freaking embrace that shit and rule the world already.
Skin Trade gets a D from me. And yet despite all that, I’m still going to keep reading this series in the hopes that one day things will get better.
This review is cross-posted at Thrifty Reader.